The mystery surrounding the Japanese horse that is the early 4-1 second choice to win the Belmont Stakes has gotten deeper.
He had been training well up to the Belmont before trainer Mark Casse found the abscess on Wednesday.
What we are left with is a perplexing, but entertaining field of 12, any one of whom can win this race without people gasping in shock. That was 11 weeks ago and the last time Epicharis raced.
"It looks like it is getting better and I think there is no problem with him running in the race". I think so too, especially this year with no Derby victor, no Preakness victor. Newcomers Twisted Tom (18-1), Hollywood Handsome (40-1), Meantime (15-1) and Epicharis (7-2) round out the field of 12.
Lookin at Lee has had an impressive stretch of racing. He finished second in the Derby and fourth in the Preakness. Even that sire is out of a dam by a Belmont victor. "I'm looking toward it as a bright spot, that he showed it three days out and not the day after". He also has defeated O Dionysus in the Private Terms and Federico Tesio Stakes, and O Dionysus was beaten a nose by Irish War Cry in the Marylander Stakes.
"She's very good, she never questions what I do", Motion said. His Beyers have increased each race, and Kenny McPeek is one of the most unsafe trainers in the country, having already won the Belmont with 70-1 shot Sarava and finished third with 20-1 shot Atigun. Panza said Epicharis would be monitored over the next 24 hours, and that "if something occurs where he goes the wrong way", the situation could change, but as of now he is scheduled to race.
Finally, we come to J Boys Echo, my big win bet at 47-1 in the Kentucky Derby. If bettors are going to throw out Irish War Cry's and Gormley's and Tapwrit's and Patch's performances at Churchill Downs, there is no reason not to throw out J Boys Echo's. The Belmont will be these horses' longest race yet, but it remains to be seen if he can muster a third strong race in a five-week span.
And I have little concern about the distance, as his dam is inbred to the classy stayer Tatan, victor of the Argentine Triple Crown, as well as the Carlos Pellegrini and Gran Premio Ramirez, Argentina's and Uruguay's versions of the Arc de Triomphe.
The Belmont Stakes, the final and the oldest of the three Triple Crown events, is set to take place on Saturday at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. If they chose to bring the horse, it's because they think he's able to win.
"I felt he needed to be here", Motion said. I'll box a trifecta with Gormley, Lookin at Lee and Senior Investment too.
So, basically, it's the four-horse exacta box and the win bet on J Boys Echo, and putting an end to this year's freaky Triple Crown season.