Photo: Kevin Creative (Kevin House)
A strong contingent of horses will attempt to spoil I’ll Have Another’s Triple
Crown bid when the 3-year-olds assemble at Belmont Park on June 9 for the 1
½-mile “Test of the Champion.”
Chadds Ford Stable’s Union Rags
will return to the site of his 5 ¼-length win in October’s Grade 1
Champagne as he looks to regain the winning thread following a pair of tough
trips when third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 31 and seventh in the Derby on May 5. He is
unbeaten in New York, having taken the Grade 2
Three Chimneys Saratoga Special by 7 ¼ lengths and also sporting a triumph in
the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream
Dullahan, owned by
Donegal Racing, fell 1 ¾ lengths short of emulating his half-brother Mine That
Bird when he finished third in the Kentucky Derby. He has a pair of Grade 1
victories over Keeneland’s Polytrack to his credit, having won the
Breeders’ Futurity in October and the Blue Grass on April 14.
Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams’ Rousing
Sermon completes the list of horses who will go directly to the
Belmont Stakes after competing in the Kentucky Derby. The Grade 1-placed runner
was eighth in the Derby.
in the Kentucky Derby and sixth in the Preakness for owner Bluegrass Hall, is
probable to take another shot at I’ll Have Another.
Mark Valeski, who
skipped the Derby,
will attempt to become the first horse to sweep the Grade 2 Peter Pan and
Belmont Stakes since A.P. Indy pulled off the feat in 1992. Prior to his 1
¼-length victory in the May 12 Peter Pan, Mark Valeski was second in both the
Grade 2 Risen Star and Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds.
Paynter, a facile
winner of a Pimlico allowance on the Preakness undercard for owner Zayat
Stables, has faced I’ll Have Another once before. In his second start,
Paynter was fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, won by I’ll Have
Another, and then was second in the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs.
The list of horses who are slated to make their first Triple Crown
start in the Belmont Stakes also includes Atigun,
winner of a Churchill Downs optional claimer on May 5; Five Sixteen, fourth in an Aqueduct
allowance on April 18; Guyana Star Dweej,
runner-up in a Belmont optional claimer on April 27; Street Life, third in the Peter Pan; and Unstoppable U, who is unbeaten and untested
in two starts in New York.