By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile
According to the press office of the New York Racing Association, there are 15 candidates taking a look at the Belmont Stakes. A couple of them look a lot more possible than probable.
--Alternation, winner of the Grade II Peter Pan; and the third-place finisher from that race.
--Animal Kingdom, second in the Preakness and winner of the Kentucky Derby.
--Anthony’s Cross, fifth in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby.
--Awesome Patriot, winner of the Alydar Stakes.
--Harlan’s Hello, winner of a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer at Belmont Park on May 13.
--Isn’t He Perfect, ninth in the Preakness.
--Jaycito, second in the Grade II San Felipe.
--Master of Hounds, fifth in the Kentucky Derby.
--Mucho Macho Man, sixth in the Preakness and third in the Kentucky Derby.
--Nehro, second in the Kentucky Derby.
--Prime Cut, third in the Peter Pan.
--Santiva, sixth in the Kentucky Derby.
--Shackleford, winner of the Preakness and fourth in the Kentucky Derby.
--Stay Thirsty, twelfth in the Kentucky Derby, who breezed yesterday Belmont Park.
--Uncle Sam, second in the Alydar Stakes.
Anthony's Cross hasn't put in a workout since April 18, and that was a three-furlong move. Jaycito still hasn't worked since April 2.
Another possibility could be Nacho Saint, who was a late Triple Crown nominee. He worked four furlongs at Monmouth Park yesterday in :47.80 (10/115), handily.
If Animal Kingdom and Shackleford face off in the Belmont, it would be the twentieth time two different Derby and Preakness winners have competed in the final leg of the Triple Crown. In the 19 previous rubber matches, the Derby winner has prevailed four times, the Preakness winner nine times.