“It’s a long way home. A mile and a half is farther than you think.” – Kent Desormeaux.

Desormeaux has won three Kentucky Derbies, but not a single Belmont in six tries. The Louisiana native has learned some hard lessons in the third jewel having to pull up Big Brown last year and having a four length lead in mid-stretch with Real Quiet only to be nailed at the wire by Victory Gallop.

Desormeaux called Mine That Bird’s Calin Borel’s guarantee of a victory on Saturday “naive.”
Borel has never ridden in the Belmont Stakes and has been ridden in seven races over the giant Elmont, NY oval.

His mount Mine That Bird is the likely favorite for the race, but only four favorites have won the Belmont in the past 20 years. The past 10 runnings have included win mutual payoffs of $61.50 (Lemon Drop Kid, 1999), $39.60 (Commendable, 2000), $142.50 (Sarava, 2002), $74 (Birdstone, 2004) and $79 (Da’ Tara, last year).