Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

June 4, 2014

HORSE RACING: California Chrome favored in Belmont

(Continued)

Wicked Strong was a distant second choice at 6-1 and drew post No. 9. The colt is based at Belmont, and has one win in two previous races at the sprawling track.

"I'm pretty confident; as confident as I can be," Wicked Strong trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. "I really like how he's doing. It's a big, prestigious race and people are going to take a shot, especially with the distance being a big question for everybody."

None of the horses has run as far as they will on Saturday, and few will ever be asked to do it again in their careers. Since most U.S. horses are trained for speed, the distance is unfamiliar and they aren't regularly trained to run that far. The Belmont is the longest of the Triple Crown races.

Four newcomers to the Triple Crown trail will try to derail California Chrome's bid for history.

Tonalist was made the third betting choice at 8-1 odds and will break from the No. 11 post. The colt has experience over the track, having won the Peter Pan Stakes on May 10.

So are Commissioner and Matterhorn, both trained by Todd Pletcher, and Matuszak.

Commissioner, listed at 20-1, finished second in the Peter Pan, and 30-1 shot Matterhorn was fourth.

"We're in the Belmont because we feel like they're horses that want to stay the distance," Pletcher said. "They both need to improve and they both need to run their best races to be a part of it."

Matuszak was second in the Federico Tesio at Pimlico on April 19, making him the most well-rested colt in the race. The 30-1 shot is trained and ridden by Hall of Famers Bill Mott and Mike Smith, respectively. Smith won last year's Belmont aboard Palice Malice.

Ride On Curlin and General a Rod are the only other horses besides California Chrome that will run in all three legs of the Triple Crown. Ride On Curlin was seventh in the Derby and second in the Preakness, while 20-1 shot General a Rod was 11th at Churchill Downs and fourth at Pimlico.

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Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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