The field is finally set for the final leg of the Triple Crown this Saturday, 12 June 2011. Twelve horses are set to run the “Test of Champions” and the “Run for the Carnations” at the Belmont Stakes.
It’s not as celebrated as the Kentucky Derby, but the attendance at the Belmont Stakes ranks fourth in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races, Breeders Cup included.
This year features a rematch of the two horses that battled to the finish line in the Preakness. Animal Kingdom will look to win another leg of the Triple Crown, while Shackleford at 9-2 will look to prove that the Preakness wasn’t a one shot deal.
In the 1.5 mile long dirt race at the Belmont, Animal Kingdom is the early favourite to win it at 2-1 odds. But as we have seen in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, favourites mean nothing, and we’re just as likely to see another winner come out of nowhere to steal the Belmont Stakes.
That hasn’t stopped the trash talking between the camps of Animal Kingdom and Shackleford. In fact, the trash talking between the two sides has taken center stage in this final leg of the Triple Crown.
As the NY Times reports, Barry Irwin, the breeder and owner of Animal Kingdom, dismissed Shackleford as a threat even after the win at the Preakness.
NY Times reported Irwin saying, “I’m not worried about Shackleford, by the way…I’m worried about Mucho Macho Man. I think he’s the horse to beat.”
Dale Romans, the trainer of Shackleford, fired back with his own remarks, “That’s not the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard Barry say, but it’s one of them.”
This is exactly the type of excitement the horse racing industry needs, there’s nothing better than smack talk from two contenders heading into the Belmont Stakes.
Here’s the breakdown of the odds for twelve horses entered in the Belmont Stakes:
1. Master of Hounds 10-1
2. Stay Thirsty 20-1
3. Ruler On Ice 20-1
4. Santiva 15-1
5. Brilliant Speed 15-1
6. Nehro 4-1
7. Monzon 30-1
8. Prime Cut 15-1
9. Animal Kingdom 2-1
10. Mucho Macho Man 10-1
11. Isn’t He Perfect 30-1
12. Shackleford 9-2