Rombauer’s new jockey stepped aboard for a work, Todd Pletcher has settled on three entrants, and a Kentucky Derby flub could discover Belmont gold. Check out the latest as we head into Belmont Stakes Week.
Belmont Stakes Update: Johnny V. and Rombauer Get to Know Each Other
2021 Belmont Stakes General Race Info
- Date: Saturday, June 5, 2021
- Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY
- Weather: Mostly Sunny
2021 Belmont Stakes Odds
- Essential Quality +270
- Rombauer +270
- Hot Rod Charlie +600
- Rock Your World +700
- Keepmeinmind +1000
- Known Agenda +800
- Weyburn +2500
- Rebel’s Romance +1100
- Bourbonic +1600
- Overtook +2500
- France Go de Ina +3000
Johnny V. climbs aboard Rombauer for the first time
Last Friday, Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby winning jockey John Velasquez got acquainted with Belmont Stakes mount Rombauer. The Preakness winner and Velasquez worked a half-mile in 50.32 seconds.
Rombauer is a co-favorite along with Essential Quality to win the 2021 Belmont Stakes. The Twirling Candy sired runner easily handled his foes in the Grade 1 Preakness. Plenty of horses have won the Preakness and Belmont. Below is a short list of the most famous horses to pull off the Preakness – Belmont double.
- Man o’ War – 1920
- Native Dancer – 1953
- Damascus – 1967
- Risen Star – 1988
- Tabasco Cat – 1994
- Point Given – 2001
- Afleet Alex – 2005
If Rombauer wins on Saturday, he’ll put his name next to a list of hall of fame greats. Don’t expect Johnny V. to provide the same ride he did aboard Medina Spirit to win the Derby.
Rombauer is a presser – closer type. Velasquez will track the pace about 4 to 5 lengths off. Then, like what Flavien Prat did aboard Rombauer in the Preakness, Velasquez will inch his way up so that he’s a length or two lengths off at the top of the stretch.
The Belmont Park stretch is one of the longest in the nation. Johnny V. won’t push the go button on Rombauer until about 100 to 200 yards in the stretch.
Todd Pletcher sends out three contenders
Todd Pletcher figures to enter three horses in Saturday’s race. The top runner based on the morning line odds is Known Agenda.
The Florida Derby runner showed nothing in the Kentucky Derby. Pletcher has laid off the second jewel, the Preakness, to ready his horse for the Test of Champions. Known Agenda should run much better in the Belmont than he did in the Derby.
Overtook and Bourbonic are both closing longshots. Rumor had it, Pletcher wanted to enter Promise Keeper to keep the pace honest. Promise Keeper won’t go, though, which means Overtook and Bourbonic will have a lot of work to do as they go around the final turn.
Cox won’t enter Caddo River leaving the lead Rock Your World
Brad Cox will keep Caddo River on the shelf, which means John Sadler trained Rock Your World will get the lead if jockey Joel Rosario wants it.
The monster Candy Ride sired horse lost all chance in the Kentucky Derby after getting squeezed from both sides. There’s no other speed in the race. So Rock Your World should get a dream trip on the lead.
RYW can rate, but Rosario is an aggressive rider. He’ll put Rock Your World on the lead. Don’t be surprised if the Santa Anita Derby winner goes gate-to-wire. Rock has the lungs to do it.
Biggest Belmont Question: Who will press Rock Your World?
The Belmont is a 1 ½ mile race. But like any horse race, an equine that gets an easy lead can often go gate to wire.
Distance doesn’t matter as much as pace. The faster the early pace, the more difficult it is to win from the gate to the finish line. Underdogs like Commendable in 2000 and D’Tara in 2008 took the lead from the gate and coasted to victory.
Heading into the 2021 Belmont, the most important question is will any horse push Rock Your World early? If no runner does, Rock has the talent to win the Belmont Stakes on the lead.
The best way to handicap this year’s Belmont is to start with the pace question. No matter how much you love Essential Quality or Rombauer, if you don’t believe any horse goes with Rock Your World early, RYW will be the overlay Belmont pick.