With I'll Have Another being scratched from the 144th running of the $1,000,000 Belmont Stakes, Dullahan and Union Rags will inherit the roles of the favorites. Union Rags had a troubled trip out of the gate in the Kentucky Derby and he does have the advantage of winning a Grade 1 over this Belmont surface in the Champagne last fall. Dullahan came flying late for third in the Kentucky Derby and he looks like he might relish the added distance. Paynter finished second in the Derby Trial and came back in an allowance race to win by 5 3/4 lengths, earning a best last race Beyer Speed Figure in this bunch. He will be prominently placed and may even be on the lead. It is hard for a horse to wire the field in the Belmont and though he is long on talent, he is short on experience. Keeping him company near the lead may be My Adonis who drew the far outside post, but he appears to have distance limitations. Street Life finished third in the Grade 2 Peter Pan, but needs the race of his life to get top honors today. Rounding out the field are longshots Optimizer, Guyana Star Dweej, Five Sixteen, Ravelos Boy, Atigun, and Unstoppable U, all of whom seem hopelessly outmatched.
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VIPs, the 2012 Belmont Stakes will provide great racing action for your weekend. Enjoy!