The race offers 50-20-10-5 Road to the Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers. That 50-point bonanza to the winner means whoever crosses the wire first is virtually guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky […]
Tonalist Could be a Factor in The Belmont Stakes
One of the new shooters to take aim at a Triple Crown jewel, Tonalist will go into the Belmont Stakes off an impressive win over the same track in the Peter Pan Stakes.
For the most part, California Chrome will be quite familiar with the horses he’ll face when they go to the starting gate for the Belmont Stakes on June 7. Of the 19 starters for the Kentucky Derby, only two others came back to challenge him in the Preakness Stakes, Ride On Curlin, who was seventh in the Derby and a game second in the Preakness, and General A Rod, who was eleventh in the Derby, before coming on late to grab fourth at Pimlico. While it looks like General A Rod is out of the Belmont, Ride On Curlin will be there, along with a handful of colts that ran at Churchill but skipped the Preakness.
Favorite took control early in the Peter Pan
In addition to those, it’s expected there will be at least two “new shooters” joining the field, Tonalist and Commissioner, who hooked up a month ago to battle in the Grade II Peter Pan Stakes at 1 1/8 miles over a sloppy Belmont track. Breaking from the #4 post in the seven-horse field, Tonalist, the favorite at 6-5, slipped a bit coming out of the gate, and then moved forward to take the lead. Down the backstretch it appeared jockey Joel Rosario was having some trouble settling his horse, as the lead fluctuated between one and three lengths.
Open-lengths win had a familiar look to it
Coming into the stretch, Commissioner (7-2) emerged from the field to challenge along the rail, but in a move not all that different from what we’ve seen from California Chrome, Tonalist kicked clear quickly once they turned for home, and from there cruised to the win. Despite the slop, Tonalist set quick fractions and a final time of 1:48.30, less than a second slower than California Chrome had won the Santa Anita Derby over a much faster surface. A Kentucky-bred colt out of Tapit, the lightly raced Tonalist now has two wins and a second in four career starts.
The field is set for the 2019 Preakness Stakes, and looking at the 13 rivals on paper is enough to make any serious handicapper's mouth water. There's simply a ton of betting value here.
Post positions have been drawn, and the oddsmakers have instilled Omaha Beach as the morning line favorite for the running of the 145th Kentucky Derby. The race goes Saturday, May 4th, with 20 runners set to battle 1 1/4 miles on the Churchill Downs dirt track, chasing a purse of $3 million and the first leg of the US Triple Crown.
The defending champ is back in the field for the 2016 Arlington Million on Saturday, but he's being overshadowed by a strong group of foreign invaders.