Triple Crown 2015 winner American Pharoah makes his first start since turning the racing world upside down in the Belmont Stakes on June 6.
American Pharoah, trained by Bob Baffert, owned by Zayat Stables, and ridden by Victor Espinoza, puts his 7-race win streak on the line in Sunday’s Haskell at Monmouth Park.
Which horse has the best pedigree to handle twelve furlongs in the final leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday, June 9 at Belmont Park? My Belmont Stakes alphabetical list continues with Paynter
Paynter’s sire Awesome Again (by Deputy Minister) won 9 of 12 races from 1997-98. He captured such prestigious events as the Queen’s Plate, G2 Stephen Foster, G1 Whitney, and G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. He earned more than $4.3 million in his career and has sired 11 grade one winners including Awesome Gem, Game On Dude, Ghostzapper, and Ginger Punch.
Awesome Again’s sire Deputy Minister (by Vice Regent) went 12-for-22 from 1981-83 and won multiple stakes races including the GP Sprint Championship, Donn Handicap, and Tom Fool. He sired more than 80 stakes winners including Dehere, Deputy Commander, Go For Wand, Open Mind, and Belmont Stakes hero Touch Gold.
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After sweeping moves in both the Arkansas Derby and the Kentucky Derby, Nehro has become a buzz horse for the 2011 Belmont Stakes. Trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Ahmed Zayat elected to skip the Preakness with the 3-year-old son of Mineshaft to prep specifically for the Test of Champions at Big Sandy.
Nehro is ready for Belmont Stakes - photo by Eclipse Sportswire
Nehro disappointed in his first two outings before a breakthrough maiden performance at Oaklawn Park under late jockey Michael Baze, who also rode him to a runner-up effort in the Louisiana Derby.
He needed earnings to make the starting gate on the first Saturday in May and got them in a second place finish in the Arkansas Derby under new pilot Corey Nakatani.
Speaking of Nakatani, he sensed the slow pace in the Kentucky Derby and made a wide early move aboard Nehro, which resulted in yet another runner-up finish.
The Preakness was seriously considered but the Kentucky Derby was Nehro’s third start in six weeks so his connections are left with a fresh horse making his first start in five weeks at Belmont Park.
Nehro’s sire Mineshaft, out of ’92 Belmont Stakes hero A. P. Indy, is responsible for last year’s Belmont Stakes runner-up Fly Down.
On June 6, Nehro completed his Belmont Stakes preparations with a four furlong work in :50.88 and his brash owner is confident in his colt’s chances in the Test of Champions.
Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro might skip the 2011 Preakness and wait for the Belmont Stakes but he figures to take plenty of wagering action if his connections opt to run him in Baltimore.
Trained by Steve Asmussen and owned by Zayat Stables, Nehro was slow to develop. After back-to-back unplaced efforts, the 3-year-old son of Mineshaft graduated nicely in a flat mile special weight affair at Oaklawn Park on Feb 21.
The aforementioned maiden win seemed to light a fire under Nehro because he returned to just miss in the Louisiana Derby at 36-1. He returned three weeks later to lose another photo in the Arkansas Derby and he headed to Churchill Downs as the wise guy horse.
Surprisingly, the Derby had no pace and Nehro’s rider Corey Nakatani sensed the slow fractions and made a smart early move. He was run down by Animal Kingdom and landed the place once again.
The Kentucky Derby was his third start in six weeks and it might be asking too much to come back in two weeks on the third Saturday in May. If he waits for the Belmont Stakes he would be running on five weeks rest. He breezed four furlongs in :50.80 at Churchill Downs on May 16.