Linkage, who finished second to Aloma's Ruler in the Preakness Stakes, will run in the Belmont Stakes June 5.

The decision was made Monday night by owner Jane duPont Lunger, who said yesterday, "I think our horse has a good chance to win. Of course, we will ride Bill Shoemaker, the country's finest rider. I'm never happy when owners criticize a rider after a disappointment. Also, please understand that the decision to run in the Belmont was Mr. Clark's. He's my trainer and I listen to him."

Henry Clark, one of the three who made that decision, had said after the Preakness, "I'd rather miss the Belmont. I think Mrs. Lunger is thinking about the Travers at Saratoga in August."

Later that week, however, Clark acknowledged there still was a possibility Linkage would run in the Belmont.

Richard Jones, Lunger's son-in-law and the third party at the Monday meeting, said from his office in Delaware, "Linkage gave a good account of himself in the Preakness. He deserves another chance."

Since the Preakness May 15, Shoemaker has been criticized in many quarters for holding back Linkage. Aloma's Ruler took an easy lead that left him with enough energy in the stretch to hold off Linkage.

For Linkage, who was kept out of the Kentucky Derby, that was only his third loss in 11 starts.

But Linkage had defeated Derby winner Gato del Sol by 5 1/2 lengths in the Blue Grass Stakes, 10 days before the Derby, and he remains in contention for the 3-year-old championship.

Aloma's Ruler has been prepping well for the Belmont at Laurel Race Course. Yesterday, the bay colt worked five-eighths of a mile between races in 1:01 4/5, the final eighth in 11 4/5 seconds.

Trainer John Lenzini Jr. said after the workout, "We're ready for anybody. If they run the filly (Cupecoy's Joy), all the better. My horse likes to run at horses. I'm confident."

Owner Nathan Scherr said of Aloma's Ruler, "Look at him. He's in the best of health. We're not worried about the mile and a half of the Belmont. Our horse has the quality to make it. The addition of Linkage? That will help to eliminate some of the supposed 16 starters."

The field for the Belmont, including Aloma's Ruler, Linkage and Gato del Sol, is listed as 10 firm and six possibles by Belmont officials.