American Pharoah draws No. 5 position
NEW YORK — Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah drew a middle starting position for Saturday’s 11⁄ 2- mile Belmont Stakes, and trainer Bob Baffert said that the No. 5 gate in the eight horse-field was fine.
“I don’t think there is a horrible position,” Baffert said.
Owner Ahmed Zayat’s American Pharoah, seeking to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978, and the 12th all-time, was made the obvious morning-line favorite at 3-5.
Second choice in the betting was 5-1 Frosted, with veteran Joel Rosario aboard. Victor Espinoza, who finished in a dead heat for fourth in last year’s Belmont when his California Chrome was seeking the Triple Crown, will ride American Pharoah.
Other entries include 6-1 Materiality, 10-1 Mubtaahij, 12-1 Madefromlucky, 15-1 Tale Of Verve, 20-1 Keen Ice and 30-1 Frammento.
Besides American Pharoah, those horses that also ran in the Kentucky Derby are Materiality, Mubtaahij, Keen Ice, Frosted and Frammento.
Tale Of Verve finished second to American Pharoah in the Preakness Stakes.
Veteran Gary Stevens rode Firing Line in the Derby and Preakness and picked up the Belmont ride on Tale Of Verve.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has two Belmont entries, Madefromlucky and Materiality.
The race is a Grade I worth $1.5 million, with $800,000 to the winner. It is scheduled to go off at 3:50 p.m. PDT, and will be televised on NBC.
Baffert said Wednesday that all was “going smoothly” in American Pharoah’s preparation.
“He is holding his weight and his appetite is good,” Baffert said. “It’s my job just to keep him happy.
Hopefully, he can bring it one more time.”