Updated on 09/15/2011 12:16PM

McCarron on 'Balto' in Belmont

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Vaughn Youtz
Chris McCarron

ELMONT, N.Y. - Chris McCarron, the Hall of Fame jockey who recently joined the select 7,000-win club, has been named to ride Balto Star in the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 9, trainer Todd Pletcher said Wednesday.

McCarron replaces Mark Guidry, who rode Balto Star to front-running victories in the Spiral Stakes and Arkansas Derby. Guidry then rode Balto Star to a 14th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Guidry is currently serving a 30-day suspension, and although it expires before the Belmont, Pletcher opted to make a change.

"I felt like he would fit the horse very well," Pletcher said of McCarron. "The key to the race for [Balto Star] is going to be pace scenario, and I think [McCarron's] very good at that. We were happy with the job Mark did, and I'm sure he was happy with the opportunity to ride him. We just felt like we wanted to make a change for this race."

McCarron, 46, is a two-time winner of the Belmont: in 1986 with Danzig Connection and in 1997 with Touch Gold, who denied Silver Charm's Triple Crown bid.

Pletcher said he plans to work both Balto Star and Invisible Ink at Belmont on Sunday.

Monarchos arrives at Belmont

Monarchos, the Kentucky Derby winner who finished sixth in the Preakness, arrived at Belmont Park late Wednesday afternoon following a 4 1/2-hour van ride from Baltimore. Monarchos arrived with Hero's Tribute, a contender in Saturday's Peter Pan Stakes; Catch a Thief, a maiden and Mouse, a pony.

After disembarking from the van, Monarchos took one tour around the shed row of barn 3 before being bedded down in stall 18.

Before leaving Baltimore, Monarchos galloped 1 5/8 miles over a wet Pimlico track. It was his second day back to the track since the Preakness. He jogged on Tuesday.

"His energy's been good, no complaints," said Yvonne Azeff, assistant to trainer John Ward. "Had to send him back after two days, he was tearing the barn down. I told John I hadn't seen him recover from a race quite this quick. I'm sure this trip will take the edge off of him."

Bryan Beccia, who galloped Monarchos, said, "He was bucking around there having a good time this morning. I think he might be a little mad about that race."

Ward said he has not yet mapped out a training schedule for Monarchos.

No couplings in Belmont

The New York Racing Association received permission from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to allow horses with common ownership to run as separate betting interests in $1 million races. That means Monarchos and Invisible Ink will run as separate betting interests in the Belmont Stakes, despite John Oxley having an interest in each horse. The same applies to A P Valentine and Buckle Down Ben, who share Michael Tabor as an owner.

Acorn-Belmont double

Following the success of the Kentucky Oaks-Kentucky Derby double offered by Churchill Downs, NYRA will offer the Acorn-Belmont Stakes double. The two-day wager requires bettors to select the winner of the Acorn Stakes on Friday, June 8, and the Belmont Stakes run on Saturday, June 9.

The wager will be offered for $1 with a takeout of 20 percent.

Also on Belmont Day, the pick-six will feature a guaranteed $1 million pool.