The addition of Fore Left at the last moment to the field for the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday is testament to the fact the qualify is down this year and so now is the time to try and hit the three-run Home Run to use a baseball parlance.
With top contenders injured or skipping the race to concentrate on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, the late additions of Sole Volante and Fore Left certainly add a bit more interest in what should be one of the biggest races of the year.
Fore Left is coming off a four-month layoff due to the Coronavirus outbreak that stilted Horse Racing across the country with only a handful of tracks running. Last time out he took home the Grade III UAE 2,000 Guineas at Meydan as a 12/1 shot, which was undoubtedly his best win yet.
He was being pointed towards the UAE Derby before the shutdown and following his return to the States, it looked like the seven furlong Group I Woody Stephens was going to be his next outing but the opportunity to run at the Belmont over the shorter distance was just too tempting.
His results in Grade I races haven’t been anything to write home about having failed to place at either the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity at Del Mar or the American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Still the added speed dynamic that he adds to the race should at least stop Tap It to Win from breezing out of the gate and opening up a big gap. Look for Fore Left to start fast and whether he can hold on or not, at least Doug O’Neill went for it and that is certainly something you can appreciate and at 30/1 on the Morning Line, it doesn’t look like the linemakers are expecting too much with only Jungle Runner at 50/1 opening at a longer price.