Belmont Stakes Profile: Pneumatic

Note: One of a series of profiles on contenders for the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes on June 20. Updates will be provided after morning-line odds and post positions are set on Wednesday, June 17.

By Richard Rosenblatt

With a whole lot of shuffling going in the past 10 days, the $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) has a new look, and Pneumatic is in the picture.

With Bob Baffert’s dynamic duo of Nadal and Charlatan sidelined, along with unbeaten Maxfield, the owners of Pneumatic figured ‘why not?

Horse Running – Courtesy of Churchill Downs

Listen to David Fiske, bloodstock manager for the 3-year-old colt’s owner Winchell Thoroughbreds:

“A couple of things went into the decision. In addition to the fact that he’s been training really well and worked well last week, the changes that have been made in terms of defections and horses going to other races also are reasons why we’re going. It was either this or Ohio (Derby on June 27) and the Belmont is an American classic. To have some Grade 1 black type in a Triple Crown race would be highly beneficial.”

This year’s Triple Crown races have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the Belmont is now the first leg of the series, set for Saturday, June 20.

Pneumatic, who won his first two races at Oaklawn Park, finished third in the Kentucky Derby-points qualifier Matt Winn Stakes (G3) in his last start, and worked 5 furlongs in 59.80 at Churchill Downs on June 8. A son of Uncle Mo, Pneumatic gives trainer Steve Asmussen a second Belmont starter (he’s also entering Jungle Runner).

He broke his maiden on Feb. 15 at Oaklawn, winning at 6 furlongs by a neck. On April 11, he won around two turns in an allowance optional claimer, defeating Captain Bombastic by 2 ½ lengths. In the Matt Winn on May 23, Pneumatic led the field near the 5/16ths pole, moved off the rail but still fought down before yielding to Maxfield and Ny Trafffic.

Belmont Stakes Probable: Pneumatic

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds

Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.

Career record: 3 2-0-01

Career earnings: $101,850

Pedigree: Uncle Mo–Teardrop, by Tapit

Running style: Front-runner

Handicapping insights:

“Strong third to Maxfield in Matt Winn; late bloomer can contend with forward move.” — Ed McNamara

“Lightly-raced, but has speed and certainly belongs versus this year’s Belmont field.’’ – Noel Michaels.

Notes: Hall of Famer Asmussen, still looking for his first Kentucky Derby  win, has one Belmont victory to his credit — Creator in 2016 … Winchell Thorougbreds has started one Belmont runner previously, Tenfold, who finished fifth in 2018 to Triple Crown winner Justify.

Belmont Stakes Odds

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Tap It To Win 6-1 John R. Velazquez Mark E. Casse
2 Sole Volante 9-2 Luca Panici Patrick L. Biancone
3 Max Player 15-1 Joel Rosario Linda Rice
4 Modernist 15-1 Junior Alvarado William I. Mott
5 Farmington Road 15-1 Javier Castellano Todd A. Pletcher
6 Fore Left 30-1 Jose Ortiz Doug O’Neill
7 Jungle Runner 50-1 Reylu Gutierrez Steven M. Asmussen
8 Tiz The Law 6-5 Manny Franco Barclay Tagg
9 Dr Post 5-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr. Todd A. Pletcher
10 Pneumatic 8-1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. Steven M. Asmussen
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