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We the People made morning-line favorite to win Saturday’s Belmont Stakes

The post position draw in the Belmont Stakes is not even close to being as critical as in the Kentucky Derby. The 1½-mile distance combined with the wide sweeping turns at Belmont Park and a much smaller field gives racehorses plenty of time to recover from breaking a step slow.

It’s with those forgiving factors in mind that We the People, one of two colts in the eight-horse field who does not have a Triple Crown start, was made the 2-1 morning-line favorite after Tuesday’s post position draw for Saturday’s race.

And, he drew the one hole, at that.

Once again, there remains mild skepticism in Rich Strike (Post 4), the Kentucky Derby winner, who was made the third favorite at 7-2. Mo Donegal (Post 6), who finished fifth in the derby after winning the Wood Memorial, is the 5-2 second choice. Both horses skipped the Preakness Stakes.

We the People last ran May 14, winning the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park by 10¼ lengths. It was his third win in four starts.

“We decided to stay here [at Belmont Park] after the Peter Pan,” trainer Rodolphe Brisset said. “It looks like he’s enjoyed being around here and I am too.”

Normally a horse on the very inside has to break quickly to avoid being trapped against the rail. But the starting gate at Belmont gives the horse some room to maneuver. Justify was in the one when he completed the Triple Crown sweep in 2018.

“He doesn’t have to [go to the front], you’ve got to play the break and go from there. [Jockey] Flavien [Prat] knows what to do,” Brisset said.

Prat, who like Brisset is from France, spent the bulk of his U.S. jockey career in Southern California but in late March moved east and has been riding in Kentucky and New York, where there is an opportunity to ride more races and win more money.

The Belmont distance of 1½ miles is likely the farthest that any of these horses will ever run on the dirt. And it’s the first time for all of them. So, there is the normal anxiety, usually tempered, to see if the horse can go that far.

“It’s always a question mark, but based on what we saw last time and what Flavien said to me after the race, we are hoping he’s going to be OK at a mile and a half,” Brisset said.

In addition to Mo Donegal, trainer Todd Pletcher has another horse in the race, a filly named Nest (Post 3, 8-1).

Her last race was a second in the Kentucky Oaks after winning four of her previous five starts.

“She’s a filly that’s really well bred for this race,” Pletcher said. “I think she’s got the right kind of disposition for it. She’s given us every indication she’s doing really well. … With this filly everything has gone perfectly since the Oaks.”

The race field dropped to eight Monday when Ethereal Road, owned by Aaron Sones of Los Angeles, and Howling Time withdrew.

Rich Strike (21), with Sonny Leon aboard, wins the Kentucky Derby on May 7 in Louisville, Ky.

(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

Belmont draw

PP Horse Odds

1 We the People 2-1

2 Skippylongstocking 20-1

3 Nest 8-1

4 Rich Strike 7-2

5 Creative Minister 6-1

6 Mo Donegal 5-2

7 Golden Glider 20-1

8 Barber Road 10-1



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