Even though there will be no Triple Crown winner this year, the Belmont Stakes on June 10 still stands tall as a $1.5 million, 1 1/2-mile test for 3-year-olds.
And with less than three weeks to go, a picture is emerging of how the field might shape up.
One horse who will not be in New York for the race is Mage, winner of the Kentucky Derby. He was headed to Lexington, Ky., to rest up for a summer campaign with the Aug. 26 Travers (G1) as a goal.
The New York Racing Association issued a list of 10 possible Belmont starters Sunday.
They include four possibilities for trainer Todd Pletcher. Forte, the morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby until being scratched the morning of the race, leads the pack. Others are Tapit Trice, seventh in the Derby; Kingsbarns, 14th in the Derby, and Prove Worthy, who broke his maiden on his third try May 2 at Churchill Downs with a 4 1/2-length win at 1 1/4 miles.
NYRA lists two possibilities for Bob Baffert: Preakness winner National Treasure and Arabian Lion, the gate-to-wire winner of the Sir Barton at Pimlico on Saturday.
Baffert said Sunday that Reincarnate also is a possibility for the Belmont, and that an alternative for Arabian Lion could be Woody Stephens (G1) on the undercard.
Arcangelo, winner of the Peter Pan (G3) also is a possibility, but trainer Jena Antonucci said she’ll make that decision after she sees him train more.
The final possibilities listed by NYRA are Raise Cain, the Gotham Stakes (G3) winner who was eighth in the Kentucky Derby; Red Route One, fourth in the Preakness; and Sun Thunder, who was 11th in the Derby and skipped the Preakness.
Not mentioned by NYRA were horses trained by Brad Cox. Angel of Empire, the post-time favorite for the Kentucky Derby who finished third, and Hit Show, who finished fifth, both are pointed to the Belmont, Thoroughbred Daily News reported. According to Paulick Report, Cox had not decided on the next starts for his other Derby runner Verifying, who was 16th.
2023 Belmont Stakes G1