2017 Belmont Stakes: How to Watch

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The Triple Crown concludes this weekend on NBC Sports with the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN with a 6:37 p.m. post time from Belmont Park.

Watch: 2017 Belmont Stakes (Saturday at 3 p.m. ET)

For the second straight year, a different horse will win each leg of the Triple Crown, after Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Preakness winner Cloud Computing were held out of this weekend’s festivities in Elmont, NY. A host of contenders will look to seize glory in their absence, including the Japanese import Epicharis, who opened at 4-1 odds in his first race on American soil.

The air of mystery surrounding the three-year old colt has only increased this week after trainers kept Epicharis in his barn on Thursday and Friday morning with a right hoof issue. His connections insist that Epicharis is still ready to take on the Belmont, but he’s been bumped down to 12-1 odds ahead of the Triple Crown’s longest and most demanding race.

Another horse to watch will be Lookin at Lee, who is holding steady at 5-1 odds after notching top-five finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The only horse in the field to run the first two legs of the Triple Crown (after Classic Empire was scratched earlier this week), Lookin at Lee just missed a historic win at Churchill Downs, nearly overcoming 20-1 odds and finishing second behind Always Dreaming.

The Friday evening favorite is Irish War Cry at 4-1 odds and the one-eyed Patch will once again be the among the underdog at 12-1 odds.

When: 3 p.m. ET (Post Time – 6:37 p.m. ET)

Where: NBCSN, NBC, NBC Sports app

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live and the NBC Sports app

 

British horse racing inspired by Formula 1 for new series

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LONDON (AP) British horse racing is drawing inspiration from motor racing for a new championship.

Twelve branded teams will compete over eight consecutive Thursdays at different race courses across Britain when “The Series” is launched by Championship Horse Racing in 2019.

The aim is for each team to feature 30 horses and four jockeys. Each of the teams will enter one horse into each of the races to create 12-runner fields.

Organizers say a Formula One-style points system will be used to determine the winners of championships for teams and jockeys.

Championship Horse Racing CEO Jeremy Wray says it’s a chance to engage fans with “bite-size, interactive content.”

The Series has been developed with the Jockey Club, which hopes to attract a new audience to horse racing.

Kanthaka wins San Vicente prep at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Long shot Kanthaka won the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths on Saturday at Santa Anita, giving Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer a second Kentucky Derby prospect.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Kanthaka ran seven furlongs in 1:22.62 and paid $24.20, $7.20 and $4.80 at 11-1 odds in the field of six 3-year-olds.

Hollendorfer also trains Derby contender Instilled Regard.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Nero returned $7.80 and $5.60 at 9-1 odds. All Out Blitz, another 9-1 shot that was another 12 lengths back in third, returned $5 to show.”

Ax Man, the 2-5 favorite also trained by Baffert, was under intense early pressure from his post along the rail and faltered badly in the stretch to finish fourth.

“I would completely throw this race out,” said Drayden Van Dyke, who rode Ax Man.

Kanthaka was next-to-last midway around the far turn before cutting inside All Out Blitz a quarter mile from the finish of the Grade 2 race.

“He gave me a great run and he did everything right,” Prat said. “He broke like a bullet but then we had quite a lot of speed in front of us. So he sat really nicely behind the speed and made a really nice run around the turn.”

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Kanthaka’s career earnings to $153,440, with two wins in three starts.