TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Known Agenda

9) KNOWN AGENDA (c, Curlin–Byrama {GB}, by Byron {GB}) (predicted finish 3rd) O/B-St Elias Stable (KY); T-Todd Pletcher; Irad Ortiz, Jr. Sales History: $135,000 RNA Ylg '19 FTSAUG. Equineline PPs

The narrative surrounding Known Agenda has always been that he's a longer-the-better colt who's cut out to be of Triple Crown caliber. And then there's the longer-term metric that shows trainer Todd Pletcher consistently knows how to spot Belmont-capable horses, with three wins and nine other in-the-money finishes in this race. But you have to buy into both of those lines of reasoning to forecast a Belmont win for this Curlin homebred for St. Elias Stable ($135,000 RNA at FTSAUG), because Known Agenda's ninth in the Derby doesn't yield many cogent clues that point to an obvious form reversal. Perhaps it's best to treat his blah Derby as a throwout—Known Agenda caught a super-clean gate break despite drawing the dreaded one hole in a 19-horse field, but jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. couldn't get him to settle, and the colt appeared uncomfortable parked inside while well back before passing only stragglers late. Known Agenda's GI Florida Derby win suggests he's capable of enduring a covered-up trip and finishing with gusto, but the difference in that race was that he nailed every single hole that opened with rail-skimming precision in what equated to a gift-trip type of run. Maybe in that respect the shorter field in the Belmont will work to Known Agenda's advantage. He should be able to establish a behind-the-speed position anywhere Ortiz wants him placed in the eight-horse pack, and Known Agenda's three wins already at nine furlongs provide a solid enough stamina base to build upon.

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