Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another will begin his 1 1/2-mile journey toward the Triple Crown by breaking from post 11 in Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes.
A field of 12 was entered for the third jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, which covers one lap of the sweeping Belmont Park oval in New York.
I’ll Have Another was made the 4-5 morning-line favorite, and the outside draw should cause few problems for the son of Flower Alley. All the speed is to the colt’s inside, and with nearly a quarter-mile run to the turn, I’ll Have Another has the early foot to get in decent stalking position while avoiding a wide journey around the first bend.
The key to I’ll Have Another’s performance is what happens on the long journey down the backside. If able to stay in the clear while avoiding a wide trip, I’ll Have Another should have every chance to show what he has when called upon by jockey Mario Gutierrez.
A more dangerous rival with speed is Paynter, who breaks from post 9. He’s trained by Bob Baffert, who’s had Triple Crown prospects foiled three times with the likes of Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem.
Paynter was light on experience when fourth to I’ll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby in only his second career start. However, the colt enters on a major upswing following a strong Pimlico allowance score on the Preakness undercard.
Union Rags, the 6-1 third choice on the morning line, has some tactical speed and will break from post 3. Dullahan, the 5-1 second choice on the morning line, is a deep closer so post position was not much of a factor for him. He’ll break from post 5.
Most of the other longshots in the Belmont field are closers and their post position draws were not of critical importance.