Belmont Stakes: How I'll Have Another's post position compares with those of past winners
(CBS News) Triple Crown contender I'll Have Another will set out on his quest to win the Belmont Stakes from a place in the starting gate with a historically poor track record.
The colt was assigned post position No. 11 in a drawing Wednesday. Since 1905, two horses have won the race from that post, according to records kept by the New York Racing Association. I'll Have Another was also listed as the odds-on favorite for the Belmont at 4-5 in the morning line.
Of course, the post-position statistic comes with an asterisk: not every Belmont features a double-digit field. Indeed, Secretariat only ran against four other horses in his record-setting Triple Crown win in 1973.
As for Saturday's race, Street Life, listed at 12-1 odds, drew post No. 1, from which 23 of the last 106 Belmont winners have started their race, the most of any other post position. Post Nos. 3 and 5, each being the starting point for 14 victors, the second most, were assigned to Union Rags (6-1) and Dullahan (5-1) respectively. Thirteen winners have set out from post No. 7, which was assigned to Five Sixteen (50-1).
(Scroll down for all post positions and odds)
The state racing association's data on all of the race's 143 winners also show that while I'll Have Another has a winner's color, he doesn't really have the name of one.
If the chestnut colt crosses the wire first in the Belmont, he'd be the 55th horse of that color to do so, the most of any of the six colors describing the winners. Of course, I'll Have Another's not the only chestnut horse in the race, with Dullahan, Guyana Star Dweej and Ravelo's Boy also having the same coat, according to BloodHorse.com.
Six of this year's contenders - Atigun, Five Sixteen, My Adonis, Optimizer, Paynter and Union Rags - have bay coats, the second most successful color with 53 winners.
While I'll Have Another shares his color with a majority of the Belmont's winners, he'd be only the third horse whose name begins with the letter "I" to win the race and the first in more than a century.
In 1900, Ildrim won by a head over Petruchio when the Belmont was run on a 1 3/8-mile track called Morris Park that was then located not far from The Bronx. Inspector B won the 1886 Belmont, defeating The Bard by a length.
None of the 2012 contenders' names start with the most popular letter among winners. Twenty horses whose names begin with "C" have taken the race, the most recent being Commendable in 2000.
Street Life, the brown colt who finished third in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park May 12, shares a first letter with 18 Belmont winners, the second most in the alphabet, with Summer Bird as the most recent victor in 2009.
Paynter, the colt tapped by trainer Bob Baffert to replace Bodemeister in the Belmont after he finished behind I'll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, has a first letter in common with 11 Belmont champs, the third most in the alphabet, of which 2001's Point Given is the most recent.
Below are the post positions announced Wednesday for all of the Belmont Stakes' contenders along with the jockeys' names and odds:
- 1. Street Life -- Jose Lezcano -- 12-1
- 2. Unstoppable U -- Junior Alvarado -- 30-1
- 3. Union Rags -- John Velazquez -- 6-1
- 4. Atigun -- Julien Leparoux -- 30-1
- 5. Dullahan -- Javier Castellano -- 5-1
- 6. Ravelo's Boy -- Alex Solis -- 50-1
- 7. Five Sixteen -- Rosie Napravnik -- 50-1
- 8. Guyana Star Dweej -- Kent Desormeaux -- 50-1
- 9. Paynter -- Mike Smith -- 8-1
- 10. Optimizer -- Corney Nakatani -- 20-1
- 11. I'll Have Another -- Mario Gutierrez -- 4-5
- 12. My Adonis -- Ramon Dominguez -- 20-1