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Liane Crossley: Belmont features rematch between morning line favorite Orb, Oxbow

A field of 14 has been entered for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in the New York City suburbs. Kentucky Derby winner Orb is the 3-to-1 morning line favorite in the third jewel of the Triple Crown.

Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow and Derby runner-up Golden Soul are among his rivals in the 1 ½-mile race that will be televised on NBC starting at 5 p.m. Post time is 6:20 p.m.

One of the entrants is a filly Unlimited Budget who will be trying to become the fourth female to win the Belmont. She will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who could become the second woman jockey to win the Belmont Stakes.

Here is a look at the entrants in post position order:

1. Frac Daddy (Ky.)

Frac Daddy is trained by Kenny McPeek, who won the 2002 Belmont Stakes with Sarava whose winning payoff of $142.50 was the highest in the race’s long history. Frac Daddy finished 16th in the Derby in his most recent start. His name is derived from his sire Scat Daddy and for the slang term “frac” relating to oil drilling. Kentucky connections: His trainer grew up in Lexington. Frac Daddy was purchased for $50,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale.

2. Freedom Child (Ky.)

Freedom Child did not race in the Derby or the Preakness Stakes. He proved he could win at Belmont Park when he was the Peter Pan Stakes on May 11 by more than 13 lengths. He and Orb have the same sire, Malibu Moon. Their paternal grandsire A.P. Indy won the Belmont Stakes in 1992 and paternal great grandsire Seattle Slew won the 1977 Triple Crown. Kentucky connection: Freedom Child is owned in part by the Lexington-based Spendthrift Farm.

3. Overanalyze (Ky.)

Overanalyze returns to action after not racing since his 11th place effort in the Kentucky Derby. Earlier in the year he won the Arkansas Derby. He is one of five entrants trained by Todd Pletcher who won the Belmont Stakes in 2007 with Rags to Riches. Overanalyze’s owner Mike Repole made his fortune by creating Vitamin Water and Smart Water and selling his company to Coca-Cola. Kentucky connection: He was purchased for $380,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale.

4. Giant Finish (N.Y.)

Giant Finish was a surprise last-minute entry into the Kentucky Derby but he has not raced since that 10th-place effort. Kentucky connection: He finished third in an important Derby prep race at Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky in March.

5. Orb (Ky.)

After winning the Kentucky Derby, Orb was widely viewed as a possible Triple Crown winner but he finished fourth in the Preakness Stakes. H s paternal grandsire A.P. Indy and paternal great grandsire Seattle Slew both won the Belmont Stakes. His trainer, Lexington native Shug McGaughey, won the race in 1989 with Easy Goer. Kentucky connection: Orb’s sire Malibu Moon resides at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington. His jockey Joel Rosario was the leading rider at Keeneland’s spring meeting. Orb was born and raised in Bourbon County.

6. Incognito (Ky.)

Incognito tuned up for the Belmont Stakes by finishing fifth in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park on May 11. Although he was fifth, he was only a few inches away from being third. Kentucky connections: His trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is a Lexington native. Incognito was bred by and races for Darley Stable a global operation with several farms in Central Kentucky.

7. Oxbow (Ky.)

Oxbow proved why his 77-year-old Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas is a specialist in Triple Crown races when won the Preakness Stakes as a longshot after checking in sixth in the Kentucky Derby. Lukas has won the Belmont Stakes four times, most recently in 2000 with Commendable. Oxbow races for Lexington’s legendary Calumet Farm now owned by Brad Kelley. Kentucky connections: His sire, Awesome Again, resides at Adena Springs in Paris. Oxbow was sold for $250,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale

8. Midnight Taboo (Ky.)

Midnight Taboo will be making just his fourth career start and his first in a major race. Kentucky connection: He has been sold twice at Keeneland—as a weanling for $45,000 and as a yearling for $240,000. His sire Langfuhr resides at Lane’s End in Woodford County.

9. Revolutionary (Ky.)

Revolutionary will be racing for the first time since finishing third in the Kentucky Derby as the second betting choice. The remarkably consistent colt has never been worse than third in seven career starts. Revoltionary’s name is derived from both his sire, War Pass, and dam, Runup the Colors. Kentucky connection: He races for the Versailles-based WinStar Farm which purchased him for $80,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale.

10. Will Take Charge (Ky.)

Will Take Charge was eighth in the Derby and seventh in the Preakness Stakes for D. Wayne Lukas who also trains Oxbow. Kentucky connection: He was sold as a yearling for $425,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale.

11. Vyjack (Ky.)

Vyjack has not raced since finishing 18th in the Kentucky Derby. He will try to become the third gelding to win the Belmont Stakes following Ruler on Ice in 2011 and Crème Fraiche in 1985. His trainer, Rudy Rodriguez is a relative newcomer to the training ranks but he has vast experience as a jockey and exercise rider. Kentucky connections: His sire Into Mischief resides at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington. Vyjack was sold for $45,000 at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale in Lexington.

12. Palace Malice (Ky.)

Palace Malice races for the first time since his 12th place finish in the Derby. His sire Curlin was second in the 2007 Belmont Stakes. Palace Malice campaigns for Dogwood Stable, which is headed by octogenarian Cot Campbell. Kentucky connections: Palace Malice nearly won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 13. He has been sold twice at Keeneland—for $25,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale and for $200,000 to Dogwood as a 2-year-old the following April.

13. Unlimited Budget (Fla.)

Unlimited Budget is a filly trained Todd Pletcher, who won the Belmont Stakes in 2007 with the filly Rags to Riches, the third female winner from a total of 22 starters. Unlimited Budget won her first four races before finishing third in the Kentucky Oaks on May 3 in her most recent start. She will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik who is trying to become the second woman jockey to win the Belmont Stakes following Julie Krone’s win in 1993. Kentucky connection: Her sire Street Sense resides at Darley in Lexington.

14. Golden Soul (Ky.)

Golden Soul has been targeting the Belmont Stakes ever since he finished second in the Derby as a longshot. His trainer Dallas Stewart has had only one Belmont starter but he was a longtime assistant D. Wayne Lukas who has won the race four times. Kentucky connection: His owner and breeder Charles Fipke owns about 75 broodmares that he keeps on his 400-acre farm near Paris. Golden Soul’s sire, Perfect Soul, resides at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington.


Lexington-based freelance writer Liane Crossley is a lifelong lover of Thoroughbred racing who has held a variety of jobs in both barns and offices. Her favorite part of the industry is being with the horses and the people who share her passion for them. She can be reached at crossleyliane@yahoo.com

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