- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Belmont Stakes: Animal Kingdom favorite in Crown’s final leg
Rubber match for Derby and Preakness winners
NEW YORK — The 1-2 finishers in the Kentucky Derby are 1-2 on the morning line for the Belmont Stakes.
Derby winner Animal Kingdom was made the 2-1 favorite for Saturday's final leg of the Triple Crown, with Derby runner-up Nehro the second choice at 4-1.
Preakness winner Shackleford was next at 9-2 when a field of 12 was entered Wednesday for the first rubber match between a Derby winner and Preakness winner since 2005.
Maryland-based Animal Kingdom, with John Velazquez riding, will leave from the No. 9 post, which has produced only four Belmont winners since 1905. The colt trained by Graham Motion is attempting to become the 12th to complete a Derby-Belmont sweep. The last to succeed was Thunder Gulch in 1995.
"It doesn't change anything for us," Motion said of the post position. "I don't think it's going to take him out of his game."
Shackleford, with jockey Jesus Castanon aboard, will try to become the first Belmont winner out of the No. 12 post. The colt trained by Dale Romans also is attempting to become the 22nd Preakness-Belmont winner.
While Motion says Shackleford may have to work harder early in the race to get an inside position, Romans isn't buying it.
"In a mile-and-a-half race, the post position isn't that important," Romans said. "With No. 12, he'll be the last one in and the first one out. Hopefully, he'll be able to clear the field."
Nehro, with Corey Nakatani riding, has finished second in his past three starts. The colt drew the No. 6 post.
"Nehro is very versatile, so he can be anywhere," said Brad Weisbord, racing manager for Nehro's owner Ahmed Zayat.
The Belmont is the longest and most grueling of the Triple Crown races, and post position usually isn't considered as vital as in the Derby and Preakness. Motion, though, believes it can be significant.
"It's not a very long run to the first turn, so I do think it's important," he said. "I'm glad I'm not hung out there [like Shackleford]."
For the first time, the first seven finishers from the Derby will be running in the Belmont.
The field, from the rail out, is Master of Hounds (10-1), Stay Thirsty (20-1), Ruler On Ice (20-1), Santiva (15-10), Brilliant Speed (15-1), Nehro (4-1), Monzon (30-1), Prime Cut (15-1), Animal Kingdom (2-1), Mucho Macho Man (10-1), Isn't He Perfect (30-1) and Shackleford (9-2).
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow