Dale Romans: A Triple Crown force in the making

Few racing fans will pay special attention to Dullahan in the Belmont Stakes because Dale Romans is his trainer. He's not one of the horsemen who have made their reputations with success in the 3-year-old classics in the way that Bob Baffert and Nick Zito have. His career record in the Triple Crown series is 1 for 11. But the Kentucky-based 46-year-old looks as if he may be on the brink of big success in these races.

Romans is an accomplished horseman with notable achievements to his credit outside of the Triple Crown: He trained an Eclipse Award winner, the turf specialist Kitten's Joy. He captured the world's richest race, the Dubai World Cup, with Roses in May. His lone victory in the 3-year-old classics came with Shackleford in last year's Preakness. But his overall record in the Triple Crown is much better than it looks.

Romans started getting seriously involved in the Triple Crown in 2010, and he still hasn't come into the series with a high-profile 3-year-old. None of his starters has gone to the post at odds less than 5 to 1. But his colts have almost always run well, exceeding expectations. Paddy O' Prado looked as if he was strictly a turf runner, but rallied to be third in the 2010 Derby. Dullahan appeared to be a synthetic-track specialist, but he managed to finish third in this year's Derby. Romans's record in the Triple Crown races since 2010:

Year Race Horse Finish (Odds)
2012 Derby Dullahan 3 (12-1)
2012 Preakness Cozzetti 7 (27-1)
2011 Derby Shackleford 4 (23-1)
2011 Preakness Shackleford 1 (12-1)
2011 Belmont Shackleford 5 (6-1)
2010 Derby Paddy O' Prado 3 (12-1)
2010 Preakness First Dude 2 (23-1)
2010 Preakness Paddy O' Prado 6 (7-1)
2010 Belmont First Dude 3 (5-1)

By Andrew Beyer - The Washington Post. Published June 6, 2012.