Belmont Stakes: Ethereal Road and Howling Time Withdraw
In a surprising turn of events, both Ethereal Road and Howling Time have withdrawn from the upcoming Belmont Stakes, just a day before the post position draw for the 154th running of the race. This leaves the field with eight probable contenders vying for the final jewel of the Triple Crown.
Ethereal Road’s Injury
Ethereal Road, ridden by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, had his chances dashed due to a quarter crack in his right front hoof. This unfortunate injury forced Lukas to withdraw the promising colt from his second intended Triple Crown race. Notably, Ethereal Road’s scratch from the Kentucky Derby field resulted in the second-biggest upset in the Derby’s history, with Rich Strike taking his spot and winning the race at 80/1 odds.
Lukas expressed his disappointment, stating, “I really wanted to run him in the Belmont Stakes. I thought thatâ€™s the one he really fit. But the horse has the final say, so weâ€™ll have to skip it.” With Ethereal Road’s recovery in mind, Lukas mentioned potential future races such as the Grade 3 Ohio Derby on June 25 or Saratoga’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Travers, held on July 30 and August 27, respectively.
Howling Time’s Change of Plans
Trainer Dale Romans also faced a setback when he made the decision to keep Howling Time out of the Belmont Stakes. Instead, Romans opted to run the colt in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on Sunday.
Howling Time recently showcased his capabilities in a Churchill Downs allowance optional claiming race, where he triumphed by a commanding five lengths against his competitors. Romans aims to capitalize on this momentum and sees the Matt Winn Stakes as a more suitable opportunity for his charge. Furthermore, Rattle N Roll, who also participated in the May 21 race, is expected to compete in the Matt Winn Stakes as well.
While Howling Time didn’t have the chance to prove himself in the Triple Crown races, he did participate in three Derby preps, including a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club as a two-year-old. Unfortunately, this year’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and Grade 3 Lexington Stakes resulted in disappointing ninth and eighth-place finishes, respectively.
The sudden withdrawals of Ethereal Road and Howling Time have undoubtedly affected the lineup for the Belmont Stakes. As post positions are drawn, the remaining eight probable contenders will take center stage, each hoping to seize victory in the highly anticipated race. Ethereal Road’s future looks promising, with Lukas considering races such as the Grade 3 Ohio Derby and Saratoga’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Travers. Meanwhile, Howling Time sets his sights on the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs, aiming to continue his winning streak.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When is the Belmont Stakes scheduled to take place?
The Belmont Stakes is set to be held on [Insert Date].
2. Who are some of the top contenders in the Belmont Stakes field?
While Ethereal Road and Howling Time have withdrawn, the remaining probable contenders include [List names of remaining contenders].
3. What is a quarter crack injury?
A quarter crack injury refers to a hoof condition where a vertical crack develops on the hoof wall. It can be painful and requires proper care and treatment for the horse’s wellbeing.
4. Are there any other notable races after the Belmont Stakes?
Yes, some notable races following the Belmont Stakes include the Grade 3 Ohio Derby, Saratoga’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy, and Grade 1 Travers.
5. What are some previous unexpected upsets in the Kentucky Derby?
Past surprising upsets in the Kentucky Derby include [Provide examples of notable upsets in Derby history].