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What you need to know for 10/20/2017

California Chrome 3-5 in Belmont for Triple Crown bid

California Chrome 3-5 in Belmont for Triple Crown bid

Faces 10 in 146th Belmont Stakes

ELMONT -- California Chrome drew the No. 2 post in an 11-horse field and was assigned morning-line odds of 3-5 as he pursues the Triple Crown in Saturday's 146th Belmont Stakes.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is trying to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978.

Post time at Belmont Park is scheduled for 6:52 p.m., and the Belmont will be part of a live NBC broadcast from 4:30-7:30.

"It's sinking in pretty quick right now," co-owner Steve Coburn said. "It's been a tremendous ride, and it's all because of this horse.

"It's all coming to the point at the top of the pyramid," he said, referring to the elegant tri-corner Triple Crown trophy on display at the post-position draw."

California Chrome will again be ridden by Victor Espinoza, who will break from the gate between Medal Count on the rail and long shot Matterhorn in the No. 3 stall.

"He should be able to save some ground," trainer Art Sherman said. "It's going to be a jockey's race. He'll get a chance to see who uses their speed early and where he wants to be going into the first turn."

Schenectady native Don Lucarelli has a horse in the Belmont field, General a Rod, who was fourth in the Preakness and 11th in the Derby.

Lucarelli is co-managing partner of Starlight Racing.

Another Schenectady native has a horse in what the New York Racing Association has turned into a blockbuster card. Ed Stanco owns Princess of Sylmar, who is entered in a star-studded Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares against two-time champion Beholder and Close Hatches.

Last year's Belmont Stakes winner, Palace Malice, is the 8-5 favorite in the Met Mile, one of six Grade I stakes on the card.

The Belmont field, in post-position order, with jockey and odds:

1 Medal Count (Robby Albarado) 20-1

2 California Chrome (Victor Espinoza) 3-5

3 Matterhorn (Joe Bravo) 30-1

4 Commanding Curve (Shaun Bridgmohan) 15-1

5 Ride On Curlin (John Velazquez) 12-1

6 Matuszak (Mike Smith) 30-1

7 Samraat (Jose Ortiz) 20-1

8 Commissioner (Javier Castellano) 20-1

9 Wicked Strong (Rajiv Maragh) 6-1

10 General a Rod (Rosie Napravnik) 20-1

11 Tonalist (Joel Rosario) 8-1

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