American Pharoah will start his run for the Triple Crown right beside his toughest competition, Frosted, in the 147th Belmont Stakes Saturday in New York. American Pharoah drew the No. 5 post and Frosted the No. 6 during Wednesday’s draw at Rockefeller Center in midtown New York.
In the first set of official odds released by Belmont, American Pharoah also remains the heavy favorite at 3/5 morning line odds, followed by Frosted at 5/1, and Materiality at 6/1 from the No. 8 post.
In its history, 13 thoroughbreds have won the Belmont from the No. 5 post. Unlike the Preakness Stakes, where he drew the unfortunate and difficult No. 1 position, the three-year-old bay colt from Zayat Stables will begin the final leg of the Triple Crown in the middle of the track with well-tested jockey Victor Espinoza aboard.
Now in his fourth attempt at the Triple Crown, trainer Bob Baffert downplayed the impact it would have on his career and instead focused on American Pharoah.
“I don’t really think there’s a horrible post position, but I’ve also liked the five,” Baffert said after the draw. “More important is that the horse is doing well. He looks like he’s doing great.
“I think we don’t know until it happens. A mile and a half is a very rare race for most three year olds, and we’re just going to get him ready.”
But drawing perhaps an enviable position doesn’t necessarily translate into a victory. Last year Tonalist started from the No. 11 post and upended California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid from the No. 2. Oddly enough the most victories (23) at the 1 1/2-mile Belmont dirt track have started at No. 1.
Frosted, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and owned by Goldolphin Racing, saw his odds hold steady when compared to early predictions from Las Vegas odds makers. The Tapit colt wound up fourth at the Kentucky Derby to American Pharoah and is one of four of the eight total contenders to skip the Preakness in preparation for the Belmont.
Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Materiality is another top horse who sidestepped the Preakness, and he’ll try to work over from the wide right No. 8 post after a disappointing sixth-place run at the Derby. However, the Afleet Alex colt won the first three races of his career, including the 1 1/8 mile Grade 1 Florida Derby in March.
The full list of morning line odds and post positions is below.
Post Draw Results and Morning Line Odds
1. Mubtaajihi 10/1
2. Tale of Verve 15/1
3. Madefromlucky 12/1
4. Frammento 30/1
5. American Pharoah 3/5
6. Frosted 5/1
7. Keen Ice 20/1
8. Materiality 6/1