Joel Rosario Masters Barber Road for Belmont Stakes Crown

Eclipse Award-Winning Jockey Joel Rosario to Pilot Barber Road in Belmont Stakes


In an exciting development for the upcoming Belmont Stakes, it has been confirmed that Eclipse Award-winning jockey Joel Rosario will be riding Barber Road. This news was verified by Rosario’s agent, Ron Anderson. Rosario, a two-time Belmont Stakes victor, will transition from his previous mount, Epicenter, to take the reins on Barber Road for the prestigious 154th edition of the Belmont Stakes. Let’s explore the details of this thrilling partnership.

Joel Rosario Steps into the Spotlight

Reylu Gutierrez, who had been the jockey for Barber Road in his three previous races, will be replaced by the seasoned and talented Joel Rosario. Gutierrez had ridden Barber Road to a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, followed by a commendable second-place showing in the Arkansas Derby and a respectable third-place finish in the Rebel Stakes. Rosario, with his wealth of experience and remarkable track record, is expected to elevate Barber Road’s performance to new heights.

Barber Road’s Close Call in the Kentucky Derby

Barber Road’s presence in the 147th Kentucky Derby made a lasting impression. Despite starting in unfavorable position, the colt showcased his true potential as a closer during the race. Initially positioned at the back of the pack amidst a crowded field of 20 contenders, Barber Road gradually made his presence felt, steadily overtaking other horses throughout the grueling mile-long race. In an impressive display of skill and determination, the colt navigated wide turns, making an audacious 11-wide swing upon reaching the home stretch. Ultimately, Barber Road finished just 4 ¾ lengths behind the winner, Rich Strike, and a mere length behind fifth-place finisher Mo Donegal. This remarkable performance earned Barber Road a career-best 94 Beyer Speed Figure, as well as his first triple-digit Equibase Speed Figure of 100.

New Strategies for the Belmont Stakes

In preparation for the demanding Belmont Stakes, Barber Road’s trainer, John Ortiz, has decided to make a significant adjustment to the colt’s equipment. In a bid to optimize his chances of success, the decision has been made to remove Barber Road’s blinkers for the race. Ortiz, aware of Rosario’s expertise at Belmont Park, is optimistic about their combined efforts. Rosario’s familiarity with the track, having claimed victory in the Belmont Stakes in both 2014 aboard Tonalist and 2019 aboard Sir Winston, will undoubtedly enhance Barber Road’s chances on race day.

Final Preparations for the Belmont Stakes

As anticipation builds for the Belmont Stakes, Barber Road recently completed his final workout under Ortiz’s guidance. On a Saturday morning, the talented colt displayed his prowess by breezing five furlongs from the starting gate in an impressive time of 1:00.80. Out of 33 contenders at that distance, Barber Road secured the 15th spot, instilling further confidence in his abilities.


With the inclusion of Eclipse Award-winning jockey Joel Rosario and the careful preparations undertaken by trainer John Ortiz, the stage is set for an exhilarating Belmont Stakes. Barber Road’s remarkable performance in the Kentucky Derby, coupled with his trainer’s decision to remove blinkers and Rosario’s experience and success in previous Belmont Stakes, instill a sense of excitement and anticipation. All eyes will be on this dynamic duo as they strive for victory on race day.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Has Joel Rosario won the Belmont Stakes before?

Yes, Joel Rosario has emerged victorious in the Belmont Stakes on two occasions. He claimed victory in 2014 aboard Tonalist and in 2019 aboard Sir Winston.

2. How did Barber Road perform in the Kentucky Derby?

Barber Road showcased his closers’ abilities in the Kentucky Derby, finishing sixth in a highly competitive field of 20 horses. Despite starting from an unfavorable position, the colt steadily overtook his rivals, ultimately finishing just 4 ¾ lengths behind the winner.

3. What adjustments are being made for Barber Road in the Belmont Stakes?

In a strategic move to optimize Barber Road’s performance, trainer John Ortiz has decided to remove the colt’s blinkers for the Belmont Stakes.

4. How did Barber Road’s recent workout go?

During his final workout before the Belmont Stakes, Barber Road breezed five furlongs from the starting gate in an impressive time of 1:00.80. This display of skill and speed positioned him 15th among 33 contenders at the same distance.

5. What are the expectations for Barber Road and Joel Rosario in the Belmont Stakes?

With Joel Rosario’s expertise and past success in the Belmont Stakes, combined with Barber Road’s impressive performance in the Kentucky Derby, there is a sense of optimism surrounding their partnership. The removal of blinkers and the duo’s familiarity with the track are anticipated to enhance their chances of securing victory in the 154th Belmont Stakes.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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