We the People made morning-line favorite in Belmont Stakes

The tie at the post position in the Belmont Stakes isn’t nearly as critical as it was in the Kentucky Derby. The 1½ mile distance combined with the wide corners at Belmont Park and a much smaller field gives the racehorses plenty of time to recover from a slow pace.

Taking those forgiving factors into account, We the People, one of two stallions in the eight-horse field who does not have a Triple Crown start, became a 2-1 favorite for Saturday’s race after Tuesday’s post position draw at the made morning line.

And in doing so he drew the one hole.

Once again, a little skepticism remains about Rich Strike (Post 4), the winner of the Kentucky Derby, who was named third favorite with a score of 7-2. Mo Donegal (post 6), who finished fifth after winning the Wood Memorial in the Derby, is second pick at 5-2. Both horses cleared the Preakness Stakes.

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

“We have decided to stay here [at Belmont Park] after Peter Pan,” said coach Rodolphe Brisset. “It looks like he enjoyed being here and so did I.”

Normally, a horse has to brake quickly on the inside to avoid being pinched by the railing. But the starting gate at Belmont gives the horse some leeway. Justify was there when he completed the Triple Crown sweep in 2018.

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

Prat, who, like Brisset, is from France, spent most of his US jockeying career in Southern California but moved east in late March and raced in Kentucky and New York where there is an opportunity to race more and win more money.

The Belmont distance of 1½ miles is probably the furthest any of these horses will ever walk on earth. And it’s the first time for everyone. So there’s the normal fear, 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, let’s hope he’s fine after a mile and a half,” Brisset said.

Besides Mo Donegal, trainer Todd Pletcher has another horse in the running, a filly named Nest (Post 3, 8-1).

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

“She’s a filly that’s bred really well for this race,” said Pletcher. “I think she has the right disposition for it. She has given us all the signs that she is really doing well. … Everything has been perfect for this filly since the Oaks.”

The field for the race fell to eight on Monday as Ethereal Road, owned by Los Angeles-based Aaron Sones, and Howling Time withdrew.

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

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

(Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

Belmont draw

PP horse quotas

1 We the People 2-1

2 Hopper Longstocking 20-1

3 nests 8-1

4 Rich Strike 7-2

5 creative ministers 6-1

6 Mo Donegal 5-2

7 Golden Glider 20-1

8 Barber Street 10-1

https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2022-06-07/we-the-people-morning-line-favorite-win-belmont-stakes We the People made morning-line favorite in Belmont Stakes

Emma Bowman

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