06/03/2015 4:14PM

Dave Litfin's Belmont Stakes analysis


AMERICAN PHAROAH took blinkers off after his debut and has since won six races in a row – five of them Grade 1 stakes – at distances ranging from seven to 10 furlongs. Along the way, he has beaten everyone in this field at least once by margins of three to 12 lengths. These accomplishments have been delivered with push-button tractability. He won the Kentucky Derby from post 15 with an outside stalking trip; he won the stormy Preakness by gunning to the lead from a waterlogged rail, switching off for a breather down the backstretch and galloping away again late. Two superlative workouts have followed, and the grandson of 2003 Belmont winner Empire Maker appears to be holding up well through the rigors of the Triple Crown quest.