06/04/2014 11:19AM

California Chrome draws post 2 for Belmont Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
California Chrome will be heavily favored to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

ELMONT, N.Y. - California Chrome’s final quest for the Triple Crown will begin from post 2, and the colt was installed as the heavy favorite against a relatively sizable field when the post positions were drawn and morning line established for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, to be contested Saturday.

California Chrome, seeking to become the 12th Triple Crown winner, and first since Affirmed in 1978, is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the field of 11 entered Wednesday morning. The field assembled would be the largest Belmont group defeated by a Triple Crown winner; Citation (1948) and Seattle Slew (1977) each faced seven rivals.

::2014 BELMONT STAKES: Latest news, video, and more

California Chrome has won six consecutive races by a combined margin of 29 1/2 lengths. He prevailed in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with confident early handling from jockey Victor Espinoza, who secured solid position early from post 6 and post 3, respectively. Espinoza will need to turn in a similar performance here with California Chrome down toward the inside of the gate.

Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong, fourth in the Kentucky Derby, landed in post 9 and is the 6-1 second choice on the morning line. Tonalist, winner of the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont, is the third choice at 8-1.

California Chrome, Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin in post 5, and General a Rod, who drew post 10, will be the only horses to start in all three legs of the Triple Crown.

The Belmont, with a post time of 6:52 p.m. Eastern, anchors a blockbuster 13-race card that includes nine other stakes, five of those Grade 1. The Belmont will be televised on an NBC broadcast beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Belmont Stakes
Purse: $1.5 million; 1 1/2 miles; Grade 1
1. Medal Count, R. Albarado, 20-1
2. California Chrome, V. Espinoza, 3-5
3. Matterhorn, J. Bravo, 30-1
4. Commanding Curve, S. Bridgmohan, 15-1
5. Ride On Curlin, J. Velazquez, 12-1
6. Matuszak, M. Smith, 30-1
7. Samraat, J. Ortiz, 20-1
8. Commissioner, J. Castellano, 20-1
9. Wicked Strong, R. Maragh, 6-1
10. General a Rod, R. Napravnik, 20-1
11. Tonalist, J. Rosario, 8-1
Track odds
All starters to carry 126 pounds

Manuel Lopez More than 1 year ago
1$ superfecta California chrome with samraat with California chrome , samraat, commanding curve, ride on curlin, wicked strong, THATS IT LIKE 24$.....GUARANTEED!!!!!!!
Richard Kennedy More than 1 year ago
RACETRACK RIK’S PIKS: 1ST: 11 – TONALIST 2nd: #9 – WICKED STRONG 3rd: #4 – COMMANDING CURVE 4th: #2- CALIFORNIA CHROME Just taking a shot, who knows, California Chrome may even off the board.
Kingfish More than 1 year ago
Chromie wire to wire in 2:26 flat, wins by 5 open lengths.
Bruce Eckhoff More than 1 year ago
I have to admit up front I am pulling for The Chromester. I'm old enough that I saw Swaps run when I was a little boy and I never thought I would see another Cal-bred win the Derby, let alone have a chance at the TC. Once again I will try to hit exactas, worked for me n the previous 2 legs. I'll try to use The Chromester with two horses I expect to be overlaid, Medal Count and Commanding Curve. Can't fault those who like Ride on Curlin, Wicked Strong or General A-Rod. Tossing Tonalist....but I have tossed horses that beat me before. To be honest I don't have a clue whether California Chrome will handle the last part of the race. At first glance the pedigree says no way. But I have noticed that pedigrees in obscurely bred horses can be unpredictable. Tiznow is a good example. I will echo Art Sherman and hope for a clean race with all participants coming home safe and sound. It is a wonderful card of racing. Best wishes to all.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Let me be the first of 134 comments to say that Medal Count and Robbie Albarado win the 1.5 mile Belmont. Best race rider here at this distance along with IMO the best Pedigreed horse to boot. I say Robbie makes all the right moves and wins as Tom Durkin calls him winning at a big big price............
Justin More than 1 year ago
if the race was on turf i would agree but its not so he wont
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Just a question, don't freak: Does anyone think that Commissioner might be a sleeper?
StockPicker More than 1 year ago
Not sure he's bred for this distance. Seems more suited to shorter distances however you never know that's what make this sport so great. Good luck
Lenny Mamola More than 1 year ago
Chrome gallops
maagadag More than 1 year ago
General a Rod wins the Belmont
BrianK More than 1 year ago
Chrome needs to be no further out than the two lane. This is a jockey race.
Charles Legaspie More than 1 year ago
Look at posts 3-6. All of those horses don't have early speed. Chrome can have any lane he wants coming out of the gate.
Dave Cullather More than 1 year ago
Looking for carpool to Belmont to see CChrome...I-78 in PA....(570) 294-6693