While there's no Triple Crown at stake, the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes is an intriguing race with its share of compelling storylines.
And none is more powerful than the rags-to-riches tale of Rich Strike, who stunned the Kentucky Derby field at 81-1 with an epic late surge. After bypassing the Preakness, Rich Strike, a talented closer, who is the third choice in the morning line heading into the grueling 1-1/2 mile test.
In all, three of the top six finishers in the Kentucky Derby are running, along with several other talented 3-year-olds with a chance to annex the Triple Crown's final jewel.
Coverage from Belmont Park Saturday begins from 3-5 p.m. on CNBC, before moving to NBC from 5-7 p.m. Post time for the Belmont Stakes is set for approximately 6:49 p.m.
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Here are the eight entrants for this year's Belmont Stakes, with post positions and morning line odds:
1. We the People 2-1
Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset.
Jockey: Flavien Prat.
Turned in a sizzling performance in the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Belmont on May 14, winning by 10 1/4 lengths, with a Beyer Speed Figure of 103, best of any contender and second fastest among 3-year-olds this year. That came after disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.
2. Skippylongstocking 20-1
Trainer: Saffie Joseph.
Jockey: Junior Alvarado.
Battled wide the entire trip in the Preakness before finishing fifth. Placed third in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Mo Donegal. A son of Exagerator, who won the Preakness and Haskell in the slop. So if it’s an off track, look out.
3. Nest 8-1
Trainer: Todd Pletcher.
Jockey: Jose Ortiz.
This late-charging filly rallied for second behind Secret Oak in the Kentucky Oaks. That came after a dominating performance in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland, drawing off to win by 8 1/4 lengths. Has never missed the board in six career starts. A daughter of Curling, who finished second in the 2007 Belmont, and won a pair of Grade 1 races at Belmont.
— Belmont Stakes (@BelmontStakes) June 7, 2022
4. Rich Strike 7/2
Trainer: Eric Reed.
Jockey: Sonny Leon.
Pulled off one of the biggest upsets in racing history by winning the Kentucky Derby at 81-1. A colt that was claimed for $30,000 last September at Churchill Downs, breaking its maiden by 17 1/4 lengths, rallied from far back to nail Epicenter with a dramatic move along the inside. Closed for third in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park two starts back. Should benefit from the added distance.
5. Creative Minister 6-1
Trainer: Ken McPeek.
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
Ran third in the Preakness, beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Early Voting, tabbed with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure at 10-1. That came after an allowance win at Churchill Down on Derby Day for the closer, bred to go distances.
6. Mo Donegal 5/2
Trainer: Todd Pletcher.
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
Had a terrible trip in the Kentucky Derby, battling wide the entire race before digging in late to grab fifth. Had never been off the board in five previous career starts, including a win over Preakness winner Early Voting in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, and a win over Zandon, third in the Derby, in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct.
7. Golden Glider 20-1
Trainer: Mark Casse.
Jockey: Dylan Davis.
Secured a spot in the starting gate with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Belmont on May 14, although that was 10 1/4 lengths behind We the People. Ran fourth in the Grade 2 Blue Grass at Keeneland two starts back after pressing the pace. Golden Glider’s sire, Ghostzapper, was 5-for-5 at Belmont Park, closing his career with a win in the Metropolitan Handicap.
8. Barber Road 10-1
Trainer: John Ortiz.
Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez.
Finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby at 60-1, beaten less than five lengths by Rich Strike, one of a host of closers who benefitted from a torrid early pace. Ran second behind Cyberknife in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, and ran a close third, a nose behind Ethereal Road, in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Belmont Stakes 2022: Post positions for final jewel of Triple Crown