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Belmont Stakes post positions and odds

07 June 2018

"I never do like to draw the rail, but my horses seem to live in it", he said Tuesday. We have it; we can't change it. "I just feel that, I think most importantly, the horse is doing well".

The 5-for-5 Justify will try to become thoroughbred racing's 13th Triple Crown victor.

Should Justify pull off the historic bid in the one-and-a-half-mile Belmont, the third and most hard of the Triple Crown legs staged at the venerable race course just outside NY city limits, the colt will set a record for number of rivals defeated with the storied feat on the line. Justify, who did not race as a 2-year-old and has only five races on his short but impressive résumé, has won three times on wet tracks.

To do so, Justify will have to defeat nine horses.

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He followed it up two weeks later at Pimlico, fending off an extended challenge from Good Magic in an enveloping fog on another muddy course, and also from the seven hole, to win by a half-length over Bravazo. Lukas often observes that both accomplishments are gratifying, but is quick to acknowledge that the hunt for the Triple Crown keeps him motivated year in and year out.

If Justify survives the Triple Crown's toughest trial, he'll become the 13th thoroughbred to do so, only the second since 1978 and trainer Bob Baffert's second victor, after American Pharoah in 2015. Preparing for the longest race of the Triple Crown after running two of the best races of a horse's career is no easy task, but if anyone is up to it, it's Baffert.

That's been the picture painted throughout the buildup to Saturday's showdown at Belmont Park, with another two-minute outing being all that separates Justify from cementing his place in horse racing folklore.

Since 1905, a leading 23 horses have won from the No. 1 post.

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Back in 2003, Juddmonte's Empire Maker took home the race, spoiling the Triple Crown aspirations of Funny Cide, who finished in third.

"Let's see if he can do it", said Baffert, who will also send out longshot Restoring Hope in Saturday's main event. "What a handsome horse.' He's become a rock star, like Pharoah, so let's see if he can do it".

The field for the 150th Belmont in post position order with jockeys and odds: Justify, Smith, 4-5; Free Drop Billy, Robby Albarado, 30-1; Bravazo, Luis Saez, 8-1; Hofburg, Irad Ortiz Jr., 9-2; Restoring Hope, Geroux, 30-1; Gronkowski, Jose Ortiz, 12-1; Tenfold, Ricardo Santana Jr., 12-1; Vino Rosso, John Velazquez, 8-1; Noble Indy, Javier Castellano, 30-1; Blended Citizen, Kyle Frey, 15-1.

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Belmont Stakes post positions and odds