Belmont Stakes Post Position Draw: Horses Contending for the Belmont

Leave a comment

Justify will look to complete the Triple Crown bid on Saturday at Belmont from the No. 1 post as the 2018 Belmont Stakes post position draw was announced.

Trained by Bob Baffert and jockeyed by Mike Smith, Justify will look to be the first horse to win the Triple Crown since American Pharoah in 2015.

Belmont Stakes: What Time, Where To Watch and More

Check out the post positions and odds for the rest of the Belmont Stakes contenders:

  1. Justify (4/5)
  2. Free Drop Billy (30/1)
  3. Bravazo (8/1)
  4. Hofburg (9/2)
  5. Restoring Hope (30/1)
  6. Gronkowski (12/1)
  7. Tenfold (12/1)
  8. Vino Rosso (8/1)
  9. Noble Indy (30/1)
  10. Blended Citizen (15/1)

Tapwrit won the Belmont Stakes last year from the No. 2 post.

What: 150th Belmont Stakes
When: June 9, 2018
Post time: 6:37 p.m ET
Where to watch: NBC, NBC Sports app

Victor Espinoza plans comeback in late December

Getty Images
Leave a comment

ARCADIA, Calif. — Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza is planning a comeback in late December after fracturing a vertebra in his neck during a training accident at Del Mar.

That’s according to his agent Brian Beach, who says Friday that Espinoza saw his doctors this week and they are pleased with his progress. However, they’re not yet ready to release the 46-year-old Hall of Fame jockey to ride again.

Beach says on his Twitter account that Espinoza “wants to be 100 percent when he comes back.”

A late December return would allow Espinoza to ride at Santa Anita, which opens its winter-spring meet on Dec. 26.

Espinoza got hurt July 22 when he fell while exercising a horse.

He rode American Pharoah to a Triple Crown sweep in 2015.

Vale Dori scores upset win for Baffert in Zenyatta Stakes

Getty Images
Leave a comment

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Vale Dori defeated La Force by three-quarters of a length to win the $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes in an upset at Santa Anita on Sunday.

Abel Tasman, the 1-9 favorite trained by Bob Baffert, finished next-to-last, beaten 10 1/2 lengths. Vale Dori, an 11-1 shot also trained by Baffert, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.88 under Joe Talamo. The Grade 1 victory earned her an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.

Vale Dori snapped a six-race skid.

Bettors waged $474,683 to show on Abel Tasman, who was fresh off a pair of Grade 1 victories in New York under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. But she broke poorly from the starting gate and never fired.

“I’m as shocked as everybody else, but they’ll do that,” Baffert said. “I’m worried about (Abel Tasman) because Mike said she was lethargic, and she’s up there where all these sick horses are, so I hope she’s not getting sick.”

Vale Dori returned $24.60, $13.20 and $40.60. She earned $180,000, and increased her career earnings to $1,365,567.

La Force paid $8.40 and $14.60. Shenandoah Queen was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $26.60 to show.