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As the excitement builds for the 2024 Belmont Stakes at Saratoga, the field of contenders promises a thrilling and competitive race. This year’s entries include a mix of seasoned stakes winners and emerging talents, each with a unique story and a compelling case for victory. Here’s a closer look at the horses to watch in this prestigious race:

Seize the Grey

Seize the Grey comes into the Belmont Stakes with an impressive resume, having won the 2024 Preakness Stakes and the Pat Day Mile Stakes. Trained by a veteran handler D. Wayne Lukas, Seize the Grey’s blend of speed and stamina makes him a formidable competitor. His Preakness victory showcased his ability to handle pressure and deliver in clutch moments, positioning him as a top contender for the Belmont title.

Resilience

Resilience, a notable participant in the Triple Crown trail, won the Wood Memorial Stakes but bounced back to finished 6th in the Kentucky Derby. This colt’s tenacity and capability to recover from setbacks exemplify his name. Trained by Bill Mott to peak at the right moments, Resilience’s strategic racing style could see him thrive in the extended distance of the Belmont Stakes.

Mystik Dan

The 2024 Kentucky Derby winner, Mystik Dan, also claimed a strong 2nd place finish in the Preakness. His performances in these marquee races have proven his class and consistency. Trained by a skilled team lead by Kenny McPeek that has kept him in top form, Mystik Dan is likely to be one of the favorites, with a balanced approach that combines speed and endurance.

The Wine Steward

With second-place finishes in both the Peter Pan Stakes and Lexington Stakes, The Wine Steward has demonstrated a high level of competitiveness in graded stakes races. While he hasn’t yet secured a victory in these key prep races, his consistent performances suggest that he could be on the verge of a breakthrough, particularly if the race pace suits his stalking style.

Antiquarian

Antiquarian, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, as the winner of the Peter Pan Stakes, enters the Belmont Stakes with momentum. This colt has shown an aptitude for longer distances, and his Peter Pan victory is a clear indicator of his potential to handle the Saratoga’s demanding track. His ability to finish strongly will be crucial in the final furlongs at Saratoga. A longshot with potential.

Dornoch

Despite a 10th place finish in the Kentucky Derby and a 4th place finish in the Blue Grass Stakes, Dornoch remains a contender worth watching. His connections of Danny Gargan and jockey Luis Saez believe in his potential, and with the right trip and pace, he could surprise the field. This races longer distance might play to his strengths, allowing him to settle early and make a late charge.

Protective

Protective owned by Repole Stables, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione has had a solid season, with a 3rd place finish in both the Peter Pan Stakes and the Wood Memorial Stakes. His consistent form in these important prep races indicates he has the ability to compete at a high level. His tactical speed and racing experience make him a dangerous contender in the Belmont Stakes, but has yet to break his maiden.

Honor Marie

Honor Marie, who finished 8th in the Kentucky Derby, has shown flashes of talent that could make him a factor in the Belmont. His connections of D. Whitworth Beckman and jockey Florent Geroux have been working to refine his approach, aiming to maximize his potential over the longer distance. A strong showing at Saratoga could validate their efforts.

Sierra Leone

Trained by Chad Brown, Sierra Leone has an impressive record, finishing 2nd in the Kentucky Derby and winning the Blue Grass Stakes. His strong performances in these high-stakes races demonstrate his capability to compete with the best. With Brown’s expert training, Sierra Leone is expected to be a major contender in the Belmont Stakes. His only issue is can he run in a straight line without interfering with other horses.

Mindframe

Also C0-Owned by Repole Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher, Mindframe is an exciting prospect with two wins in two lifetime starts. Although relatively inexperienced compared to some of his rivals, his perfect record and strong connections suggest he could be a rising star. The Belmont Stakes will be a significant test, but his potential is undeniable.

The 2024 Belmont Stakes at Saratoga is shaping up to be a captivating race with a diverse field of accomplished horses. From seasoned stakes winners to promising newcomers, each contender brings a unique blend of speed, stamina, and strategy to the track. As they prepare to compete for the final jewel of the Triple Crown, racing fans can expect an unforgettable showdown at Saratoga.

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