‘TDN Rising Star’ O/B-Calumet Farm (KY). T-Todd A. Pletcher. Lifetime Record: GSP, 4-1-2-0, $230,020.
Last Start: 14th, GI Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands., CD, May 6
Somewhere down the line, the racing gods will owe Patch a more favorable post position assignment. He got buried in the one hole for his stakes debut in the Louisiana Derby, drew the extreme outside 20 gate in the Kentucky Derby, and now gets the outermost post yet again in the Belmont S. (although you could argue that draw is not so much a disadvantage going 12 furlongs over the expansive Belmont main track). His 14th-place effort in Louisville was admirable considering how lightly raced Patch is (just three prior starts to the Derby) and because of the fact that he handled the muddy chaos despite a non-functioning left eye. For the third jewel of the Triple Crown, trainer Pletcher will partner Patch with go-to rider John Velazquez, who has won two previous runnings of the Belmont S. and was also the pilot for Patch’s lone lifetime win at Gulfstream. Pletcher noted that Patch’s bloodlines might portend a decent Belmont showing, as the colt is sired by “Union Rags [Dixie Union], a Belmont winner, out of an A.P. Indy mare, [so] there’s a lot of pedigree there to suggest that he’s bred to get the mile and a half, and I think his style should fit the race well.”