Pletcher Takes on American Pharoah in Belmont Stakes With Trio

Trainer Todd Pletcher sat out the Preakness Stakes after going zero for three in the Kentucky Derby, but will come back with three runners in the Belmont Stakes hoping to derail the Triple Crown bid of American Pharoah.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is the 10-11 betting favorite for the Belmont Stakes coming up on June 6 at Belmont Park. The Bob Baffert trainee is seeking to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. There have been 14 horses that have showed up in New York looking to win the Triple Crown since, but they all came up short including California Chrome last year.

Pletcher has started nine runners in the Belmont Stakes, winning with the filly Rags to Riches in 2007. It looks as if he will send out the second and third betting choices in this year’s race.

Pletcher’s Materiality won the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in just his third career start and was sent off at 11-1 in the Derby but had a troubled trip in a sixth place finish, beaten 7 ¾ lengths.

Expected to be close to the pace, he broke a beat slow and found himself at the back of the pack early. The colt came with a four wide bid after saving ground in behind horses and finished up well. He is currently the third betting choice for the Belmont Stakes at 15-2.

Madefromlucky was no match for American Pharoah in a runner up finish in the Rebel Stakes and fourth in the Arkansas Derby. The colt came back with a sharp win in the Peter Pan Stakes over the Belmont Park main track, earning a start in the Belmont Stakes.

The colt is currently at early betting odds of 22-1 for the Belmont Stakes.

Pletcher is considering running Carpe Diem as well. The colt earned his way into the Kentucky Derby by winning the Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass Stakes, but was a disappointing 10th in the Kentucky Derby as the third betting choice.

In addition to the Pletcher trio, it looks like American Pharoah may have to best as many as 10 or 11 foes to earn the Triple Crown.

Others that ran in the Derby and skipped the Preakness that are headed to New York for the third jewel of the Triple Crown include Frammento (11th), Keen Ice (seventh), Mubtaahij (eighth) and War Story (16th).

This will be Baffert’s fourth try at Triple Crown glory as a trainer. He came up short with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002).

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