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Jun 07, 2013

Connections happy with Belmont Stakes post positions


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - The first important activity for the 145th Belmont Stakes has been completed. The post position draw for the 1 1/2-mile Test of the Champion went off Wednesday morning with most, if not all, the connections pleased with the outcome.

"I think we overanalyze (the post position draw) a lot," said Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas who will saddle Preakness winner Oxbow for post 7 and Will Take Charge from post 10. "It's nice for the press to have something to write about today, but, really, at a mile and a half with that long run and the sweeping turns, we have a tendency to overanalyze the post position draw. I'm more concerned about who is around me and what they're going to do than what gate we got."

Trainer Shug McGaughey was most happy with the post 5 that Kentucky Derby champ Orb drew.

"I just didn't want to get down on the inside where maybe we might get stuck around the first turn, like we sort of did in the Preakness. I said middle, and that's pretty much the middle," McGaughey said.

Orb had the inside post for the Preakness which did not suit the colt who finished fourth.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has five set to start Saturday, including 9-2 second pick Revolutionary from post 9.

"We were kind of hoping Unlimited Budget (post 13) would draw toward the outside. I think Palace Malice (post 12), maybe, will show some speed, so we're happy to be outside of Freedom Child and Oxbow," Pletcher said.

"I think (the 1 1/2-mile distance) will suit (Revolutionary) well," Pletcher added. "He's a horse who turns off really easily. I think he'll settle in the first part of the race. That's important if you're going to get the mile and a half."

Three of Pletcher's horses are owned by Mike Repole, the filly Unlimited Budget (8-1), post 13; Overanalyze (12-1), post 3 and Midnight Taboo (30-1), post 8.

"Todd and I spoke about Unlimited Budget being on the outside. She got the 13 post. I actually like Palace Malice is on the inside (of her). I think he'll go and she'll follow him," Repole noted. "We wanted Midnight Taboo and Overanalyze inside the top eight, and (Overanalyze drew post 3 and Midnight Taboo drew post 8)."

Frac Daddy (30-1) drew the inside post with Peter Pan Stakes winner Freedom Child (8-1) next to him.

"I think we were hoping to get a little farther toward the middle, but we dealt with post 1 in the Peter Pan, so we'll just deal with post 2 in the Belmont," Freedom Child's trainer Tom Albertrani said. "I don't know if he's the kind of horse that wants to be behind horses, because he's got a free- running style. He'll probably want to find himself clear into the first turn, whether he has to use himself a little bit into the turn like he did in the Peter Pan when he broke real slow and worked his way to the front. It just depends on how he leaves there. He'll just have to work his way on the inside there and see where he ends up."

Giant Finish (30-1), 10th in the Kentucky Derby, will start from post 4. He finished second in the John Battaglia Memorial from post 4.

"That's fine with me. I don't see it being a factor anywhere from (post) 4 through post 12," trainer Tony Dutrow said.

Incognito (20-1) continued his streak of draw into the first half of the starting gate with post 6.

"I'm just happy there's 14 in there, and I'm one of them," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "I don't have any worries about the post. He's battle-tested, so we'll hope for the best, and hope that his pedigree kicks in at the quarter pole."

Vyjack (20-1), based in New York, will break from post 11 which pleases trainer Rudy Rodriguez and owner David Wilkenfeld.

"I think for a mile and a half, it's fine. The key is that he relaxes, more than anything," Wilkenfeld said.

Breaking from the far outside post in the 14-horse field will be Kentucky Derby runner-up Golden Soul. The colt (10-1) had post 15 in the Run for the Roses.

"He's a colt that handles everything that's thrown at him," said trainer Dallas Stewart. "We'll just see. Hopefully, he'll be able to save some ground somehow, some way, and we'll see what happens. It's a bit of a challenge from post 14, but he's the type of horse that's met a lot of challenges."

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