Because the Triple Crown is a more difficult feat than it once was, colt is superb, even if he’s no Secretariat.
The Belmont Stakes favorite is vulnerable, and three challengers have credible handicapping merits.
The trainer has only run one winner in a Triple Crown race in 14 starts, but his horses often run better than expected.
Unless he has won the Kentucky Derby, many trainers opt to skip the Preakness so a horse can be fresh for the mile-and-a-half demands of the Belmont Stakes.
America’s leading trainer, Todd Pletcher, has a poor record in the Kentucky Derby and almost none in the Preakness. But his horses usually run well in the Belmont.
Measuring performance in the third leg of the Triple Crown by more than just raw speed shows a clear trend in recent years.
With a focus on speed, there’s no incentive to mate horses who can handle the mile and a half.
A breakdown of, and a link to watch, what went wrong in each of the 12 times a horse won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and lost in the third Triple Crown race.
ANDREW BEYER | There are definable reasons that the past 12 horses to enter the Belmont with a shot at the Crown have lost.