(USA Today) California Chrome, a victory away from the first Triple Crown in 36 years, drew the No. 2 starting gate Wednesday in the 11-horse field for Saturday's running of the Belmont Stakes.
California Chrome, a 3-5 favorite on the morning line, was the first California-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby. Now, he's bidding to become the first California bred to win the Triple Crown.
Wicked Strong, who placed fourth in the Kentucky Derby and sat out the Preakness, is the No. 2 choice at 6-1. He drew the No. 9 post.
Affirmed became the 11th winner of the Triple Crown in 1978. No horse has won the triple (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont) since then. A dozen horses have won the first two legs since 1979, but all have come up short in the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes.
California Chrome is one of just three horses in the Belmont Stakes set to run in all three Triple Crown races this year. Also in the Belmont are Ride On Curlin (7th in the Derby, 2nd in the Preakness) and General a Rod (11th in the Derby, 4th in the Preakness).
Ride On Curlin, 12-1, drew the No. 5 post. General a Rod, 20-1, drew the No. 10 post.
The Belmont field also includes Commanding Curve, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby and then sat out the Preakness. At 15-1 on the morning line, he will start from the No. 4 post.
The field from the rail out: Medal Count (20-1); California Chrome (3-5); Matterhorn (30-1); Commanding Curve (15-1); Ride On Curlin (12-1); Matuszak (30-1); Samraat (20-1); Commissioner (20-1); Wicked Strong (6-1); General a Rod (20-1); Tonalist (8-1)