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Handicapping the Belmont Stakes

California Chrome goes for the Triple Crown in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, but can he handle the mile and a half? This is where his breeding may come back to haunt him.

1Medal CountRobby AlbaradoDale Romans20-1
Probably a grass horse but is working well; could be valuable long shot in exotics.
2California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman3-5
Speed figure improved in Preakness; still doubt he’ll get distance; jockey is 3 for 68 at Belmont
3Matterhorn Joe BravoTodd Pletcher 30-1
Has only one career victory; owners must want good seats.
4Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart15-1
A plodding late-runner who passed tired horses to finish second in Kentucky.
5Ride On CurlinJohn VelazquezBilly Gowan12-1
Made huge improvement to finish second in Preakness; late runners don’t usually win Belmont
6MatuszakMike SmithBill Mott 30-1
A winner of only one career race; bred to be great but has never proven it; highly doubtful
7SamraatJose OrtizRick Violette20-1
Interesting New York-bred; won first five, was second in Wood; didn’t run horribly in Derby.
8CommissionerJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher20-1
He hasn’t won a race since Jan. 4 but did have decent second in last (Peter Pan at Belmont).
9Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJimmy Jerkins6-1
After traffic trouble in Derby, still finished fourth; is working great; a big threat.
10General a RodRosie NapravnikMike Maker20-1
His speed figures and results don’t foretell an upset victory.
11TonalistJoel RosarioChristophe Clement8-1
Might have sore feet, but otherwise is in position for huge effort following win in Peter Pan

Selections: 1. Tonalist; 2. Wicked Strong; 3. Medal Count.

More coverage:

Continue reading below

Why the third time is rarely the charm

Which horses could upset California Chrome in Belmont?

Wicked Strong may have healthy shot in Belmont

California Chrome made 3-5 favorite in Belmont

How does a horse’s equipment help it race?

Joe Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @globesullivan
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