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Belmont Stakes At A Glance

June 06, 1998|BOB MIESZERSKI | Times Staff Writer

Staff writer Bob Mieszerski takes a look at the 12 3-year-olds entered in today's 130th running of the Belmont Stakes. The horses will carry 126 pounds:

POST 1: HANUMAN HIGHWAY

* Odds: 30-1.

* Jockey: Jose Santos.

* Trainer: Kathy Walsh.

* Owner: Budget Stable.

* Record: 6 starts, 2-1-0 (1-2-3).

* Earnings: $133,920.

COMMENT: After finishing a troubled second in the Arkansas Derby, some thought he had a longshot chance in the Kentucky Derby, but he never threatened, finishing seventh. He is the most lightly raced horse in the field, but he has trained fast at Belmont. He worked six furlongs in 1:11 May 19 and on Wednesday, went a half-mile in 45 3/5, galloping out five furlongs in 58 flat.

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POST 2: THOMAS JO

* Odds: 30-1.

* Jockey: Chris McCarron.

* Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens.

* Owner: Team Valor and Earle Mack.

* Record: 14 starts, 7-1-2.

* Earnings: $254,707.

COMMENT: A Texas-bred son of the little-known sire, Strong Performance, he has won four in a row, but this will be his first outing in a graded stakes. Chris McCarron, who will ride him for the first time, will be trying for his second consecutive Belmont victory. He was aboard Touch Gold in 1997. . . . Thomas Jo won for $25,000 and $30,000 claiming tags in two of his final three starts as a 2-year-old.

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POST 3: BASIC TRAINEE

* Odds: 99-1.

* Jockey: Joe Bravo.

* Trainer: Jorge Romero.

* Owner: Luis Gambotto, Enrique Ocejo.

* Record: 10 starts, 3-2-1.

* Earnings: $146,591.

COMMENT: Had no business being in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and has no business here. He will start as the longest price in the field. He was 15th, beaten by 73 lengths in the Derby, then checked in eighth, beaten by 24 lengths, at Pimlico. Has won twice in New York, but both victories came at Aqueduct. Figures only to get in the way when he starts to fade after a half-mile or so.

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POST 4: CHILITO

* Odds: 30-1.

* Jockey: Robbie Davis.

* Trainer: H. Graham Motion.

* Owner: Lazy Lane Farms.

* Record: 10 starts, 4-0-2.

* Earnings: $203,445.

COMMENT: Trained poorly leading up to the Kentucky Derby and ran accordingly, finishing 11th, 27 1/2 lengths behind Real Quiet. He didn't distinguish himself in the Jersey Derby, either, winding up fifth at 2-1 in his second start on the turf. His entry Thursday morning was a surprise. His sire, Strawberry Road, could run all day, so the 12 furlongs won't be a problem.

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POST 5: PARADE GROUND

* Odds: 20-1.

* Jockey: Pat Day.

* Trainer: Neil Howard.

* Owner: Will Farish, Stephen Hilbert.

* Record: 11 starts, 3-4-3.

* Earnings: $231,820.

COMMENT: Will race with Lasix for the first time today. Impressed some observers with his 1:02 work Monday as he finished strong the last quarter of a mile. Finished sixth, beaten by 12 lengths, in the Kentucky Derby, then was third in the Peter Pan at Belmont on May 24. He broke his maiden here as a 2-year-old last Sept. 24. His two victories since came at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs.

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POST 6: CLASSIC CAT

* Odds: 15-1.

* Jockey: John Velazquez.

* Trainer: David Cross.

* Owner: Gary M. Garber.

* Record: 9 starts, 2-2-3.

* Earnings: $404,560.

COMMENT: Finished third with a good trip in the Preakness, beaten by three lengths. Wouldn't mind rain. He won the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on a muddy track as a 9-1 outsider on April 19. He has finished ahead of Real Quiet before. He was seventh in the Golden Gate Derby on Jan. 18 while Real Quiet was eighth and last in the slop. Jockey John Velazquez is replacing Robby Albarado.

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POST 7: LIMIT OUT

* Odds: 10-1.

* Jockey: Jean-Luc Samyn.

* Trainer: Allen Jerkens.

* Owner: Joseph Shields Jr.

* Record: 5 starts, 4-0-1.

* Earnings: $139,560.

COMMENT: Has won four of five, including a maiden win in his debut, at Belmont Park last Oct. 5. Trained by Allen Jerkens, who has scored major upsets in stakes before, but the biggest happened 25 years ago. Jerkens beat Secretariat twice in 1973, winning with Onion at Saratoga and Prove Out at Belmont Park. Limit Out seems to have distinct distance limitations.

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POST 8: REAL QUIET

* Odds: 6-5.

* Jockey: Kent Desormeaux.

* Trainer: Bob Baffert.

* Owner: Mike Pegram.

* Record: 14 starts, 4-2-5.

* Earnings: $1,969,923.

COMMENT: He will try to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978. If he does win, he would be only the fourth Triple Crown winner to finish the three races with more career losses (10) than victories (5). The other three were Sir Barton, Omaha and Assault. Since adding blinkers last Oct. 18, he has four victories in eight starts and has been worse than third only once.

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POST 9: HOT WELLS

* Odds: 30-1.

* Jockey: Calvin Borel.

* Trainer: Tom Amoss.

* Owner: So What's Nu Stable.

* Record: 12 starts, 3-3-1.

* Earnings: $169,590.

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