Elmont, NY - Instead a looking at a possible Triple Crown winner this weekend, those planning on watching the 144th Running of the Belmont Stakes got a triple shock yesterday as I'll Have Another took to retirement after experiencing issues with the onset of tendonitis.
The race will still be run and there is a lot to look forward to as the odds will now shift a bit. Dullahan will be the betting favorite in the field.
Look for Paynter and Unstoppable U to turn on the heat early as front runners. Jockey Mike Smith should be giving Paynter a ride just like he did with Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. This horse is trained by Bob Baffert and this past Wednesday Baffert said, "I thought Paynter was a much better horse than Bodemeister initially." Paynter's odds are at 8/1 and he should still be to the front coming around the backside. He'll try for the lead over Unstoppable U and My Adonis coming out of the far turn.
Those running at mid-pack will be Guyana Star Dweej, Dullahan, Antigun, Five Sixteen, Street Life and Optimizer with Union Rags to the back.
Down the stretch I believe Paynter will be on the lead, until jockey John Velazquez asks Union Rags to go, and it will be a dual to the finish between Dullahan and Union Rags.
Despite Union Rags having problems in the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby, with a little bit more track and less traffic he should prove a major player in this race.
This morning weather reports were calling for 40% chance of rain. If that becomes the case the top four contenders to run on a wet track are Paynter, who ran on a sloppy track in the Derby Trial. Union Rags, he won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August on a sealed wet track, followed by Guyana Star Dweej, and Optimizer.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Horse Racing News
Breeder's Cup Classic at Santa Anita today
Santa Anita Park hosts Breeders' Cup racing