American Pharoah has won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and now he’ll try to become just the 12th horse ever to win the Triple Crown when he runs in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday (6:50 p.m., NBC). American Pharoah will break from post five and is likely to be a prohibitive favorite; he was set at 3-5 by morning-line oddsmaker Eric Donovan. If American Pharoah were to lose it could trigger massive payoffs, but can he be beaten? Let’s take a look at his competition.
Frosted (Post Position: 6 Odds: 5-1)
Frosted was last seen making up ground late when he finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby, but it didn’t look like he would get by American Pharoah at any point. He has one career start at Belmont; he finished second in a sprint at age 2. Frosted has been working nicely at Belmont in the mornings in preparation for this race.
Materiality (Post Position: 8 Odds: 6-1)
Materiality was one of the fastest horses on paper coming into the Kentucky Derby but his inside post and lack of seasoning doomed him; he finished a troubled sixth. He has a solid pedigree for the Belmont distance which features 2005 Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex. Kentucky Derby runners that skip the Preakness to await the Belmont usually have great success. There have been six winners in the 21st Century that have used that strategy, the most recent winner being Palace Malice in 2013.
Mubtaahij (Post Position: 1 Odds: 10-1)
Mubtaahij got into the Kentucky Derby field by virtue of winning the UAE Derby in Dubai. But he did not make much of an impact at Churchill Downs, finishing eighth despite getting a ground-saving trip. However, his connections decided to make the most of his trip to the states by keeping him here and trying their luck in the Belmont. Mubtaahij has plenty of distance runners in his family; his sire Dubawi is a great distance influence. He won’t mind the mile and a half but he may not be as fast as these.
Madefromlucky (Post Position: 3 Odds: 12-1)
Madefromlucky won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont three weeks ago, the same race that 2014 Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist used to prep for the “Test of the Champion.” He is sired by 2010 Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky, so he has some influence in his pedigree that suggests he’ll handle the mile and a half.
Tale of Verve (Post Position: 2 Odds: 15-1)
He made a bold run from far back to grab second in the Preakness but he was beaten seven lengths by American Pharoah. It’s hard to imagine him turning the tables no matter the track condition.
Keen Ice (Post Position: 7 Odds: 20-1)
Keen Ice has continually shown that he can’t run with the best of this division, he’ll have to hope that his pedigree (sire is 2007 Belmont Stakes runner-up Curlin and dam is by Awesome Again) can carry him past some of the tired ones at the end and help him grab a share.
Frammento (Post Position: 4 Odds: 30-1)
Frammento drew into the Kentucky Derby as an also-eligible and finished a non-threatening 11th. He has just one career win to his credit and his pedigree doesn’t suggest that he’ll get better with the added distance. A distant longshot.
Place a bet on: Materiality