Advertisement

Belmont Stakes 2024: Early contenders after Seize the Grey wins Preakness

May 17, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; A general view of the 149th running of the Preakness Stakes finish line before the first race of the Black-Eyed Susan day at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; A general view of the 149th running of the Preakness Stakes finish line before the first race of the Black-Eyed Susan day at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2024, with Mystik Dan’s quest to become the 14th ending in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico as the colt was unable to run down Seize the Grey.

Now Seize the Grey is one of a collection of compelling storylines expected to converge at this year’s Belmont Stakes to be run at Saratoga due to the construction of a new grandstand at Belmont Park, resulting in the race being shortened from the traditional 1½-mile distance to 1¼ miles due to the configuration of the Saratoga oval, more contenders are likely to take a shot at winning one of racing’s classics.

More: Seize the Grey wins Preakness Stakes, denying Mystik Dan a shot at the Triple Crown

The Belmont Stakes was run at 1⅛ miles in 2020, when the order of the Triple Crown races was scrambled because of the pandemic.

Here’s a look at some of the possible contenders for the 2024 Belmont Stakes at Saratoga on June 8:

May 18, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Jamie Torres aboard Seize the Grey (6) during the running of the 149th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
May 18, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Jamie Torres aboard Seize the Grey (6) during the running of the 149th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

SEIZE THE GREY

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Jockey: Jamie Torres

Owner: MyRaceHorse

The 88-year-old Lukas won his seventh Preakness and 15th Triple Crown race, with Seize the Grey carrying his speed the distance to wire the field. Earned a spot in the field by winning the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile on Derby Day, which was the colt's first stakes win and the first graded stakes win of Torres' career. Ran seventh in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, and was third in the Jeff Ruby Steaks.

SIERRA LEONE

Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione on Sierra Leone, left, puts his hand and whip on Forever Young with jockey Ryusei Sakai aboard as the two drive down the stretch trying to catch Mystik Dan with jockey Brian J. Hernandez. Mystik Dan won the 2024 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione on Sierra Leone, left, puts his hand and whip on Forever Young with jockey Ryusei Sakai aboard as the two drive down the stretch trying to catch Mystik Dan with jockey Brian J. Hernandez. Mystik Dan won the 2024 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Owners: Peter M. Brant & others.

The Kentucky Derby runner-up was a nose away from heading to the Preakness to keep the Triple Crown dream alive. But the rally from 18th fell just short, as the  Gun Runner colt, a $2.3 million yearling purchase, drifted in badly during the stretch drive alongside Forever Young. Credited with 98 and 99 Beyer Speed Figures in last two races, including the Grade 1 Blue Grass two starts ago.

FIERCENESS

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

Owner: Repole Stable

No contender has more to prove than the Derby favorite, battling for the lead with Track Phantom and Just Steel through six furlongs before fading to 15th. It came five weeks after the greatest performance by a 3-year-old this season, winning the Grade 1 Florida Derby by 13½ lengths, credited with a 110 gaudy Beyer Speed Figure. Can the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner bounce back after five weeks off?

ANTIQUARIAN

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: TBD

Owner: Centennial Farms

An improving colt who could join the Triple Crown fray off a victory in the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Aqueduct on May 11, catching The Wine Steward in the final 1/16-mile after stalking the pace. Never challenged in finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby two starts back.

THE WINE STEWARD

Trainer: Mike Maker

Jockey: Luis Saez

Owners: Paradise Farms, David Staudacher

Had the lead in the stretch in the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Aqueduct, but was unable to hold off Antiquairan, finishing second by ¾-length. It was the latest in a series of near misses that resulted in second place finishes after challenging late, including in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity, both at Keeneland

HONOR MARIE

Trainer: Whit Beckman

Jockey: Ben Curtis

Owners: Ribble Farms & others.

Last in the Kentucky Derby after a half-mile thanks to a rough start, but rallied late to finish eighth. Came from far back in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby but got out-closed by Catching Freedom, losing by a length.

WEST SARATOGA

Trainer: Larry Demeritte

Jockey: Jesus Lopez Castanon

Owner: Harry L. Veruchi

Has not won since the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs last September. Had a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby, sitting in a stalking position before getting pushed wide entering the stretch.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Belmont Stakes 2024 contenders after Seize the Grey wins Preakness