In the days leading up to the 153rd running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on Saturday (June 5), usracing.com is profiling the contenders. The 1 ½-mile race at Belmont Park is the final leg of the Triple Crown.
By Richard Rosenblatt
A third-place finish in the Peter Pan (G3) managed to earn Overtook a thumb’s up for a start in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (G1).
Then again, with recently elected Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher making the call, it might not be wise to overlook Overtook. So what if the son of Curlin is 20-1 and the least accomplished of Pletcher’s three entries (Florida Derby winner Known Agenda and Wood Memorial winner Bourbonic are the others)?
Pletcher, of course, is upbeat about all his contenders as he shoots for his fourth Belmont win.
“He’s actually been training a little more enthusiastically than he normally does,’’ Pletcher said of Overtook, who posted a 4-furlong work in 48.20 at Belmont on May 28. “He can be a little bit lazy in the mornings and I thought his last couple of works since the Peter Pan have been an improvement and we feel like he’ll handle the distance.”
A maiden winner in his third career start, he ran second to Risk Taking in the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct on Feb. 6, before running an uninspiring third in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan, a traditional prep for the Belmont.
“I feel like he ran pretty well in the Peter Pan, considering there wasn’t much pace in there, so he’d definitely benefit from a good, solid pace up front,’’ Pletcher said.
And that could happen in the 1 ½-mile Belmont, with Rock Your World, Hot Rod Charlie, and Essential Quality expected to be at the front.
Post position: 8
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Manny Franco
Owners: Repole Stable (Mike Repole), St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola), Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith
Career record: 5-1-1-2
Career earnings: $131,380
Best Equibase speed rating: 99
Pedigree: Curlin-Got Lucky, by A.P. Indy
Running style: Closer
Notes: Pletcher’s three Belmont Stakes winners are Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013, and Tapwrit in 2017 … Overtook was purchased for $1 million at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale … Missed first two Triple Crown races, but seven of the last 20 Belmont winners did not run in the Derby or Preakness … Manny Franco, who rode Tiz the Law to victory in the 2020 Belmont, is looking to become the first jockey to repeat since Laffit Pincay, Jr., won three in a row from 1982-84.
|1||Bourbonic||15-1||Kendrick Carmouche||Todd Pletcher|
|2||Essential Quality||2-1||Luis Saez||Brad Cox|
|3||Rombauer||3-1||John Velazquez||Michael McCarthy|
|4||Hot Rod Charlie||7-2||Flavien Pratt||WDoug O’Neill|
|5||France Go de Ina||30-1||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Hideyuki Mori|
|6||Known Agenda||6-1||Jose Ortiz||Todd Pletcher|
|7||Rock Your World||9-2||Joel Rosario||John W. Sadler|
|8||Overtook||20-1||Manny Franco||Todd Pletcher|
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.