War of Will is preparing to become the only horse to start in all three legs of the 2019 Triple Crown, and he will leave the Belmont Stakes starting gate from post position nine in the 10-horse field. Drawn on the rail in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, the 3-year-old son of War Front will get a chance to leave from the outside in Saturday's 1 1/2-mile “Test of the Champion.”
Winner of the Preakness Stakes for trainer Mark Casse, War of Will has been installed as the 2-1 second choice on the Belmont Stakes morning line. He will retain the skills of jockey Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle, and takes owner Gary Barber on a quest for his second American Classic victory.
Tacitus, the royally-bred Tapit colt trained by Bill Mott, drew post 10 on the far outside and is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. He finished fourth and was moved up to third in the Kentucky Derby, and skipped the Preakness in favor of the stamina-requiring Belmont test. Jose Ortiz will be back aboard the Wood Memorial and Tampa Bay Derby winner owned by Juddmonte Farms.
The only other colt with single-digit odds on the Belmont morning line is Master Fencer, the Japanese-bred colt who finished a fast-closing seventh (moved up to sixth) in the Kentucky Derby. He will again be ridden by Julien Leparoux, and has been given an 8-1 chance in the field of 10 3-year-old colts.
Preakness runner-up Everfast returns in the Belmont for the ebullient Dale Romans, as does fellow Preakness runner Bourbon War (eighth). The latter will remove blinkers for trainer Mark Hennig and draws the services of Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.
Tax is another seeking to rebound from the Derby, in which he crossed the wire in 15th position. Irad Ortiz has picked up the mount on the gelding trained by Danny Gargan.
Newcomers to the Triple Crown scene include Sir Winston, Intrepid Heart, Spinoff, and Joevia.
- Joevia (Greg Sacco, Jose Lezcano) 30-1
- Everfast (Dale Romans, Luis Saez) 12-1
- Master Fencer (Koichi Tsunoda, Julien Leparoux) 8-1
- Tax (Danny Gargan, Irad Ortiz) 15-1
- Bourbon War** (Mark Hennig, Mike Smith) 12-1
- Spinoff (Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano) 15-1
- Sir Winston (Mark Casse, Joel Rosario) 12-1
- Intrepid Heart* (Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez) 10-1
- War of Will (Mark Casse, Tyler Gaffalione) 2-1
- Tacitus (Bill Mott, Jose Ortiz) 9-5
*Intrepid Heart blinkers on
**Bourbon War blinkers off
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