2012 Belmont Stakes Top Contenders and Triple Crown Odds
Monday, June 04, 2012
by Bovada Racebook
I’ll Have Another will be running for the Triple Crown when he hits the track at Belmont Park for the 144th Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 9. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner would become the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years, should he win this race. Up against him include top Belmont Stakes contenders Dullahan and Paynter.
I’ll Have Another has shown himself to be a champion over the course of this Triple Crown series – winning the 1 ¼ mile Kentucky Derby with a spectacular stretch run on May 5 and then winning the 1 3/16 mile Preakness Stakes in similar fashion on May 19. The Doug O’Neill trainee is undefeated this year as well, having won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 7 and the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) on Feb. 4. His jockey, Mario Gutierrez, has engineered perfectly timed moves in both Triple Crown races. But he is inexperienced – both at Belmont Park, compared to his rival counterparts, and handling the pressure of a potential Triple Crown winner. Still, the duo has pulled off incredible victories this year and Ill Have Another has looked smooth and comfortable in all his gallops at Belmont Park. I’ll Have Another, a son of Flower Alley, has earned $2,693,600 from seven career starts and is 5-1-0.
Most capable in the role of spoiler is Dullahan, an Even the Score colt trained by Dale Romans. Dullahan finished third behind I’ll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby and will be looking to improve on that performance on Saturday; he has looked fresh and comfortable at Belmont Park. Jockey Kent Desormeaux has been replaced by Javier Castellano for the Belmont Stakes, and it will be the first time that Castellano pilots Dullahan. The lightly raced colt has won one of three races this year; he is 9-2-2-3 overall with $1,072,091 in earnings.
Paynter is one of the newcomers to the Triple Crown series with a good shot at ruining I’ll Have Another’s historic bid. The Awesome Again colt has faced I’ll Have Another before – in the Santa Anita Derby – and finished fourth, albeit hampered by a poor start. Paynter finished runner-up in the Derby Trial Stakes (G3) on April 28 before winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs on May 19 by 5 ¾ lengths with a front-running effort. Regular rider Mike Smith is expected to ride the Bob Baffert trainee on Saturday. Paynter has earned $152,224 from four starts and is 2-1-0.
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