Jockey: Calvin Borel<br>Trainer: Bennie Woolley Jr.<br><br>Much like trainer Richard Dutrow did last year with Big Brown, the Bird's jockey has already guaranteed victory. For some reason, I don't see that sparking as much vitriol around the backstretch this time around -- perhaps because Borel is riding a peculiar wave of goodwill right now. It was somewhat stunning that Mine That Bird's connections came back to him so quickly after he ditched them in Baltimore for the eventual race winner. But business is business, I suppose, and the man does know how to ride. His considerable skills figure to get a major test on Saturday in a race that looks to have no early pacesetters.
2 of 10AP
Charitable Man (3-1)
Jockey: Alan Garcia<br>Trainer: Kieran McLaughlin<br><br>The son of 1999 Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid, Charitable Man looked impressive winning the Peter Pan at Belmont on May 9. He ran up near a fast pace in that start, which means that he might be one of the few contenders able to flash some early speed in the Belmont. Will he be able to keep up with Mine That Bird at the end? Charitable Man has yet to run even one race as good as the Derby winner's last two, but he will be fresh. It wouldn't be surprising to see him go off as the favorite.
3 of 10Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Jockey: John Velazquez<br>Trainer: Todd Pletcher<br><br>Dunkirk is another Derby contender (he finished 11th) who skipped the Preakness to get ready for the Belmont. Perhaps he didn't care for all the mud at Churchill Downs during his listless Derby, because, on paper, the big gray colt might be the best horse in this field. He's run the fastest race, he has a regal pedigree and his connections -- owner, trainer and jockey -- are all first rate horsemen.
4 of 10Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Chocolate Candy (10-1)
Jockey: Garrett Gomez<br>Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer<br><br> Candy was fifth in the Kentucky Derby his first time out on dirt, so he can be expected to move forward in the Belmont. But even with two-time Eclipse-Award winner Garrett Gomez in the irons, the colt has obstacles to overcome. He's never run as fast over dirt as Mine That Bird or some of the other contenders here. And like the Bird, Chocolate Candy is a late-running specialist in a race that doesn't have much early speed.
5 of 10Bill Frakes/SI
Flying Private (12-1)
Jockey: Julien Leparoux<br>Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas<br><br>Lukas was roundly criticized for running Flying Private in the Preakness. But the trainer earned a good measure of vindication when his last-place Derby finisher was the fourth horse under the wire in Baltimore. Of course, that may be an indicator that the field for the Preakness was not that strong. D. Wayne Lukas has won this race four times, and with Julien Leparoux in the saddle, Flying Private should get a very good ride. Leave him off your trifecta tickets at your own peril.
6 of 10AP
Summer Bird (12-1)
Jockey: Kent Desormeaux<br>Trainer: Tim Ice<br><br>A son of Birdstone, who spoiled the Triple-Crown bid of Smarty Jones in 2004, Summer Bird is another late-running specialist who needs a hot pace to run into. But even if he gets it, it's hard to imagine him outrunning some of the other more talented runners here, especially Mine That Bird, who outran him badly in Kentucky.
7 of 10Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Mr. Hot Stuff (15-1)
Jockey: Edgar Prado<br>Trainer: Eoin Harty<br><br>Two things may have contributed to his 15th-place showing in Kentucky: the mud and the surface of the track. If it's the former, a dry day could help him immensely. If it's the latter -- the Derby was his only lifetime race on dirt -- then Belmont Park will offer no relief. He's a talented colt with a pedigree that would seem to indicate a willingness to stay for 1 1/2 miles. But he's also a stone closer in a race that's already full of them..
8 of 10AP
Miner's Escape (15-1)
Jockey: Jose Lezcano<br>Trainer: Nick Zito<br><br>It took Miner's Escape six tries to break his maiden, which he did at Gulfstream Park on March 14. Seven weeks later, on Derby day, he won the Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico, where he pressed a slow pace and won going away. Having not shown the speed of some of his Belmont rivals, he'll probably post some of the longer odds on the board this Saturday. That doesn't mean that the son of the great Mineshaft won't be running at the end.
9 of 10AP
Brave Victory (15-1)
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh<br>Trainer: Nick Zito<br><br>His late-running finish in the Peter Pan (where he was third) has railbirds thinking that he will like the extra distance on Saturday. But he has yet to flash the kind of speed shown by the Belmont's top contenders. It's almost impossible to pick him to win, but it's also not hard to imagine him getting up for a piece of the prize.
10 of 10AP
Luv Gov (20-1)
Jockey: Miguel Mena<br>Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas<br><br>Luv Gov could only manage an eighth-place finish in the Preakness despite running the best race of his career. The Belmont will be the colt's third start in a little more than a month, and it seems fair to wonder if, after showing steady improvement over his last four races, he might start to regress on Saturday.
You May Like
More More Sports
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!