The likely field for the 2021 Belmont Stakes is narrowing with less than a week to go before Saturday's (June 7) race. Horse Racing Nation's list of potential starters stands at nine probables and one possible.
Three horses defected in the last week: Get Her Number, who will run in Monday's Texas Derby at Lone Star Park; Brooklyn Strong, whose next start has not been determined; and Promise Keeper, who trainer Todd Pletcher said will not pursue the Belmont "unless there is a major defection" and will aim instead for the June 26 Ohio Derby (G3).
The field for the US$1.5 million race will be drawn on Tuesday. Here is an update on each of the possible starters.
Essential Quality. The early favourite worked five furlongs in 59.4 seconds at Churchill Downs Saturday, with trainer Brad Cox saying, “we definitely got a good work under him.” He is expected to be vanned from Louisville to New York on Monday and will be ridden in the Belmont by Luis Saez.
Hot Rod Charlie. The third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby had his final work before the Belmont on Friday at Santa Anita, drilling five furlongs in 1:00.48 with Flavien Prat aboard. Prat will ride Hot Rod Charlie on Saturday after guiding Rombauer to a win in the Preakness Stakes.
Known Agenda. The Florida Derby (G1) winner worked five furlongs in 1:01.12 Friday at Belmont Park. He is one of three expected Belmont Stakes starters for Pletcher and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.
Rock Your World. The Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner worked five furlongs in 58.4 second Friday at Santa Anita. He was 3-for-3 before finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby after getting sandwiched at the start. “We hope to right the ship in the Belmont,” said trainer John Sadler. He will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Rombauer. The Preakness Stakes winner worked four furlongs in 50.01 at Belmont Friday under two-time Belmont Stakes winner John Velazquez, who will ride him on Saturday. "I'm very happy with what I saw today," trainer Michael McCarthy said after the work.
Rebel's Romance. The Ireland-bred winner of the UAE Derby (G2) breezed six furlongs in 1:14.29 Wednesday at Belmont Park, his third work in eight days. He will be ridden by Mike Smith on Saturday.
Bourbonic. The Wood Memorial (G2) winner worked in company with Pletcher stablemate and fellow Belmont starter Overtook on Friday at Belmont, breezing four furlongs in 48.49 seconds. Kendrick Carmouche will have the mount on Saturday.
Keepmeinmind. The Robertino Diodoro trainee, listed as possible for the Belmont, has not had a published work since his fourth-place finish in the Preakness. His jockey for the Belmont would be David Cohen.
Overtook. Todd Pletcher's third expected starter in the Belmont worked with four furlongs in 48.49 seconds with stablemate Bourbonic at Belmont Park on Friday. He is expected to be ridden by Manny Franco on Saturday.
France Go de Ina. The Japanese import has not had a published work since finishing seventh in the Preakness. He will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. on Saturday.