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I'll Have Another gets No. 11 post
The post-position draw for Saturday's Belmont Stakes featured some good-natured posturing at Belmont Park on Wednesday, when I'll Have Another...
NEW YORK — The post-position draw for Saturday's Belmont Stakes featured some good-natured posturing at Belmont Park on Wednesday, when I'll Have Another was installed as the 4-5 morning-line favorite in his coming bid for the Triple Crown.
Many believe that I'll Have Another, this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, could be beaten in the 1 ½-mile test by Dullahan, who finished third in the May 5 Derby and skipped the May 19 Preakness with a calculated plan to win the Belmont. Dullahan's owner, Jerry Crawford, had some parallels to draw between the name of his starter's sire and Dullahan's position coming off the Derby loss.
"He's by Even the Score, Paul," Crawford said to I'll Have Another's owner, J. Paul Reddam. "That's kind of catchy. Don't you think?"
"Not as catchy as I'll Have Another," Reddam said in return.
Dullahan, trained by Dale Romans, drew post No. 5 and was made the 5-1 second choice in a 12-horse field drawn by Eric Donovan, oddsmaker for the New York Racing Association. I'll Have Another will start from post No. 11 under Mario Gutierrez, the 25-year-old rookie who piloted him to victory at Churchill Downs in Louisville and at Pimlico in Baltimore two weeks later.
According to trainer Doug O'Neill, the post position is perfect for his versatile runner.
"Being in the 11 hole, we'll be able to see how the pace sets up," O'Neill said. "If they're crawling we'll be hopefully leading the crawl, and if they're flying we'll be sitting in behind horses. Mario's just a confident rider and very confident in I'll Have Another. We couldn't ask to be coming into this any better."
Just two Belmont winners have come out of the No. 11 post since 1905. The last was Sarava, a 70-1 shot who ended War Emblem's Triple Crown bid in 2002. I'll Have Another bucked history in the Derby as the first horse to win from the 19th post.
Union Rags was the third betting choice at 6-1 and will break from post No. 3 under new jockey John Velazquez. Union Rags was seventh in the Derby after getting bumped early.
Paynter is the fourth betting choice at 8-1 and drew the No. 9 post for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.