Dale Romans, the Eclipse Award-winning trainer of 2012, does not appear, at first glance to possess a notable record in the Triple Crown series. He has saddled 14 starters and won with one of them, Shackleford in the 2011 Preakness. So he won’t attract special attention when he runs longshot Keen Ice in the Belmont Stakes.
But even if they don’t reach the winner’s circle, Romans’ horses often run better than expected. None of his starters in Triple Crown races has been less than 5 to 1, but six of them have finished in the money at good odds:
|Horse||Year and race||Finish|
|Nolan’s Cat||2005 Belmont Stakes||Third at 20-1|
|Paddy O’Prado||2010 Kentucky Derby||Third at 12-1|
|First Dude||2010 Preakness||Second at 23-1|
|First Dude||2010 Belmont Stakes||Third at 5-1|
|Shackleford||2011 Preakness||Won at 12-1|
|Dullahan||2012 Kentucky Derby||Third at 12-1|
Romans excels with long-distance runners, and he has had considerable success in turf races, where U.S. horses get more opportunities beyond 1¼ miles than they do on the dirt. He has won two of America’s most important 1½-mile grass races, the Breeders’ Cup Turf (twice) and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. So it would not be a shock if a Romans longshot ran well in the country’s only important 1 ½-mile race on dirt.
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