American Pharoah’s bid for history on Saturday in the Belmont Stakes (G1) got a bit easier on Monday morning with defections of two starters, reducing the field to eight, and the Bob Baffert trainee drew rave reviews after posting his final workout for the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
Trainer Ken McPeek announced that The Truth or Else is out of the Belmont Stakes with filling in his ankle. The colt won an allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park on May 22. He was no match for American Pharoah in his fourth in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and seventh in the Arkansas Derby (G1) and was listed at Bovada at 50-1 for the Belmont Stakes.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will now have just two runners as Carpe Diem has been withdrawn from consideration in the Belmont. The colt won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Toyota Blue Grass (G1) and was sent off as the third betting choice in the Kentucky Derby but was a disappointing 10th.
Pletcher will saddle Materiality, who will reunited with John Velazquez. The colt is currently at odds of 13-1 at Bovada. In addition, Pletcher will give a leg up to Javier Castellano, who will ride Peter Pan (G2) winner Madefromlucky.
American Pharoah put in his final work for Saturday’s race, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 seconds under jockey Martin Garcia. The colt was times in :25 for the opening quarter-mile, :36 3/5 for three furlongs, and :48 3/5 for a half-mile. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13, seven furlongs in 1:26, and one mile in 1:39 3/5, according to Churchill officials.
“Everything went really well this morning,” Baffert told the press after the work. “The track was in perfect shape. It went just as we thought it would. He just kept clicking right along. Now we just play the waiting game.”
Thee Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will board a plane for New York on Tuesday
American Pharoah Workout at Churchill Downs on June 1
Probable Belmont Stakes Field:
Horse Trainer Jockey Last Race
American Pharoah Bob Baffert Victor Espinoza Preakness, 1st
Frammento Nick Zito Mike Smith Kentucky Derby, 11th
Frosted Kiaran McLaughlin Joel Rosario Kentucky Derby, 4th
Keen Ice Dale Romans Kent Desormeaux Kentucky Derby, 7th
Madefromlucky Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano Peter Pan, 1st
Materiality Todd Pletcher John Velazquez Kentucky Derby, 6th
Mubtaahij Michael de Kock Irad Ortiz Jr. Kentucky Derby, 8th
Tale of Verve Dallas Stewart Gary Stevens Preakness, 2nd
Go to Odds Shark for the latest betting odds for the Belmont Stakes.
Michael Dempsey’s Belmont Stakes Day Report $20.00
Belmont Stakes Michael’s Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire Belmont Stakes Day card. Report will be available by June 5.
The third jewel of the Triple Crown features an outstanding day of horse betting that also includes the Grade 1, $1 million Manhattan, the Grade 1, $750,000 Longines Just a Game, the Grade 2, $500,000 Woody Stephens, the Grade 1, $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap, the Grade 1, $1 million Ogden Phipps, the Grade 1, $750,000 Acorn, the Grade 2, $500,000 Brooklyn Invitational, the Grade 3, $300,000 Jaipur Invitational, and the $150,000 Easy Goer.