As it turned out, Riva Ridge floundered on a sloppy surface and finished fourth as a 3-10 favorite.
Good: A dirt track that is nearly fast.
"That rain made me sick", Ron Turcotte, Riva Ridge's regular jockey, said in a 2012 interview. I watched him all week.
The eight-horse field matches the 2015 race, when American Pharoah memorably romped to a seven-length win in the slop, as the smallest since 2000.
"I think it's less pressure for us because the Kentucky Derby, for me, it was so special", Baffert said. He won't let Quip beat him. Demling also correctly predicted that Afleet Alex, Curlin, Rachel Alexandra and Looking at Lucky would spoil Triple Crown bids. "Where some of us will have to have a little help, he has the ability to do it when he wants to".
Demling is at his best in the biggest horse races in the world.
Baffert joked, "He's going to wear me out!" "We're all in here together in the same barn so we get to hang out together".
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Starlight Racing managing partner and CEO Jack Wolf and Head of Plains majority owner Sol Kumin, who do not have a stake in Quip, echoed Walden's comments about giving the son of Distorted Humor the opportunity to race this week in Maryland.
An elephant in the room remains.
Wolf was philosophical and did not immediately rule it out.
His chances in the Belmont are much more challenging than this Saturday's field at Pimlico, which is probably going to be slippery because there is an 80 percent chance of rain.
"No. 7 is an awesome spot for Justify", Amoss said.
"It seems to be that the horse isn't able to relax because it's right on the corner and you have lookie-loos all day long and they're snapping the click of the cameras", he said.
The Federico Tesio victor has been known to jump up and hit the board in the Preakness and Diamond King is good enough to pull that off. If a horse or horses do go, Smith has the option of parking Justify just to their outside out of trouble, exactly like he did in the Derby. "As a jockey, you open your mouth, say what you think, and then drop it".
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