Belmont Stakes Controversy

Long shot Restoring Hope’s run in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes is being questioned by some competitors, who suggest the horse might have been used to block other horses from catching stablemate Justify on his way to the Triple Crown. Bob Baffert trains both Justify and Restoring Hope, which went off at 37-1 and then broke fast to the front and settled into second place for much of the race, just off Justify’s shoulder, before falling to eighth at the finish. Mike Repole, who co-owns fourth-place finisher Vino Rosso and last-place finisher Noble Indy, and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez both found fault with the ride by Florent Geroux aboard Restoring Hope. “It baffled me,” Repole told the Daily Racing Form. “I would have thought Baffert would have wanted Restoring Hope nowhere close to the pace. We watched him rush up like he was a quarter horse, make a quick right-hand turn, then turn left, pinned [Bravazo] on the rail. He looked like a bodyguard making sure nobody got close to Justify.” Velazquez, who was riding Vino Rosso, added, “Why would you send a horse that breaks bad and take everybody out, then come back in? That’s his job, to protect the other horse, and it worked for them. You have to give it to them.”

Photo credit: horseracingnation.com

Posted in All Stories, Annoucer Blogs, Gary Gamble Tagged with: , , ,

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