It has taken a while but finally it has been confirmed that an owner and trainer actually want to run their horse in the Belmont Stakes this Saturday rather than hold them back for a tilt at the Kentucky Derby in September.
Sole Volante raced just last Wednesday at Gulfstream and a good showing beating out other Derby Prep horses Shivaree and Ete Indien gave trainer Patrick Biancone and the owners something to think about. It was the owners who said last week that if he recovered well after his run that they would like to point him towards Belmont Park this weekend.
Clearly that has happened as news came out on Monday that he’s being shipped northwards and will enter the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes, over the shorter nine furlong distance that has been especially brought in this year.
The decision will undoubtedly have been made easier by the plethora of horses who are injured and/or been taken out of consideration as to focus on the Kentucky Derby Prep Trail. It would not be a surprise to see Sole Volante go off as one of the favorites behind Tiz the Law, who will surely be odds-on.
Entries for the Belmont close at Noon Eastern on Wednesday and at this point eight horses have been confirmed as running in the opening race of the 2020 Triple Crown season.
Tiz the Law will be the favorite with the likes of Dr Post, Tap It to Win, Pneumatic and Sole Volante expected to be in the next pack of the betting market. Farmington Road, Jungle Runner and Max Player are likely to be the outsiders come Post time.
Modernist is another possibility but no decision has yet been made on whether he’ll run on Saturday or at the Ohio Derby later this month. Mischievous Alex would be a contender but is expected to run in the Grade I Woody Stephens Stakes on the Belmont undercard.