TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders


4) Rombauer (Twirling Candy-Cashmere, by Cowboy Cal)
O/B-John & Diane Fradkin (Ky); T-Michael W. McCarthy; J-John Velazquez. Equineline PPs

A bet on Rombauer to win the Belmont is essentially a vote of confidence that his 11-1 Preakness victory was a career-defining turning point that elevated him to A-level status within the 3-year-old division. Turning point? Yes, most definitely–that was an efficient, sustained run he uncorked in Baltimore. But I'm not quite ready to commit to the “A-level status” part of that argument. This Twirling Candy homebred's Preakness score resonates more as a well-executed mid-pack stalking move that enabled Rombauer to collar two spent leaders 1 ½ furlongs from the wire while nobody else was firing with a fresh, serious challenge. The 102 Beyer that Rombauer earned for the effort looks sharp at face value, but it also represents a sizable 14-point jump above this colt's previous best, and improving upon that type of rating while stretching out to 12 furlongs against a deeper Belmont crew is going to be a much more difficult task. Having said all that, it's always worth respecting multi-surface stayers at any level of the game, and Rombauer has now won on grass, Tapeta, and dirt. John Velazquez gets the call because Flavien Prat had committed before the Preakness to ride Hot Rod Charlie in the Belmont–not a bad pickup for the Rombauer team considering the vast Belmont Park oval is the Hall-of-Fame rider's home track.


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