Analyzing the Belmont field
Animal Kingdom will be the likely favorite in Triple Crown's third leg
Animal Kingdom made a valiant run in Saturday's Preakness Stakes, but fell just short of keeping a Triple Crown run alive. Even though there won't be any history on the line in just under three weeks, it appears a good field is taking shape.
In the past few years, we have seen the Belmont Stakes field not include the Kentucky Derby and/or Preakness winner but that could change this year. It appears that Animal Kingdom and Shackleford are being pointed for another rematch in New York. Surprisingly it would be only the 20th time the Derby and Preakness winners would square off in the Belmont.
In addition, there are usually a handful of horses that skipped the Preakness or will make their Triple Crown debut in the "Test of Champions." Here is a breakdown of what the Belmont field might look like:
Derby and Preakness horses
Animal Kingdom (first Kentucky Derby, second Preakness) -- When the Derby winner dropped back to next-to-last in the early running of the Preakness, it may have cost him a chance to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown. But he certainly validated his Derby win and silenced any doubters.
The additional distance of the Belmont, which is run at 1.5 miles, should prove beneficial to the colt who has yet to finish worse than second in six career starts. He will likely be the Belmont favorite.
Shackleford (fourth Derby, first Preakness) -- Trainer Dale Romans, who celebrated with his first Triple Crown victory, has shipped the Preakness winner back to his Churchill Downs home but it appears he will tangle with Animal Kingdom for a third time.
To read Lane Gold's full analysis of the Belmont field, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE HORSE RACING HEADLINES
- Eblouissante retired after 2 wins in seven starts
- Upstart earns Derby points with Holy Bull win
- Mischief Clem wins photo finish in Cal Cup Derby
- Birdatthewire rolls to easy win in Forward Gal