With just days to go before the third jewel of the Triple Crown, a number of Belmont Stakes contenders were on the track putting in some final preparation work, and on Sunday, Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom arrived at the backstretch from the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. His main rival, Preakness winner Shackleford, shipped to Belmont early and has been at the oval for a week. This will be the 22nd time the Derby and Preakness winners have settled the score in the Belmont, but the first since 2005. It is also expected that the first 7 finishers of the Kentucky Derby will be in the Belmont Stakes.
AnimalKingdom arrived at Belmont Park on Sunday morning, and then worked a bullet 1/2 mile in 47.76 on Monday under jockey John Velazquez, the fastest of 32 at the distance. He galloped out 5/8 in 1:00.06 and 3/4 in 1:14.38. Trainer Graham Motion said, "John didn't ask him at all. He did it all on his own. That's why I only wanted to go a 1/2 with him because I figured he'd gallop out pretty strong. He just hasn't changed. He's remarkable. He's taking everything in his stride and he hasn't gotten worked up about it. You saw how he was today. He couldn't have been more laid back. That's what's impressed me."
Analyzing the top Belmont Stakes contenders - trying to select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Belmont Stakes winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends.