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May 22, 2015

'Pharoah' challengers now total 10


Elmont, NY ( - A commanding seven-length Preakness victory by American Pharoah has not scared off as many challengers as one may have thought for the upcoming Belmont Stakes.

The latest information from around thoroughbred racing has 10 3-year-olds being readied for an upset in the 1 1/2-mile "Test of the Champion" on Saturday, June 6 at Belmont Park.

Preakness runner-up Tale of Verve, already at Belmont Park, heads the list of probable challengers in the final leg of racing's Triple Crown. Others listed for the race are Illinois Derby runner-up Conquest Curlinate, Blue Grass Stakes winner Carpe Diem, Wood Memorial champ Frosted, UAE Derby winner Mubtaahij, Louisiana Derby third-place horse War Story, Florida Derby champ Materiality, Peter Pan Stakes winner Madefromlucky, Frammento and Keen Ice.

Materiality, Carpe Diem and Madefromlucky are all trained by Todd Pletcher.

"We're very happy to be running. He's doing well," said Kiaran McLaughlin, Frosted's trainer.

American Pharoah is the second straight 3-year-old to win the first two legs of racing's Triple Crown and did so with jockey Victor Espinoza who accomplished the feat last year with California Chrome.

Espinoza is the first jockey to have a third chance to win the Triple Crown. In 2002, the Mexico native won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness aboard War Emblem but finished eighth in the Belmont Stakes. Last year the jockey and colt finished in a dead heat for fourth in the 1 1/2-mile "Test of the Champion."

American Pharoah is the 14th 3-year-old since Affirmed captured the Triple Crown in 1978 to have a chance at stopping the 37 year drought. Baffert has been in this situation three earlier times with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem.

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