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Heavy Handle On 2013 Belmont Stakes

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2013 Belmont StakesThe morning after winning the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, legendary thoroughbred horse trainer D. Wayne Lukas loaded his horses into their trailers and started off for his home stables at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Lukas is now 77 years old and still rides with his horses… where ever they go. He is a different kind of horse trainer, he is old school but not traditional. Every year, from 1983 to 1992, Wayne Lukas led all U.S. trainers by purse earnings… the man dominated the sport back then.

He won the 1980 Preakness Stakes with Codex and emerged as the dominant force in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. In just13 racing seasons, Lukas became the first trainer to ever surpass the $100 million mark in career earnings.

When D. Wayne Lukas and his 50 year old jockey, Gary Stevens, won the Preakness, they sent the handicappers back to their scratch pads trying to figure out the new odds to win the upcoming Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Orb took the Kentucky Derby and was heavily favored to win the Preakness, but then… Oxbow and Stevens went out into the lead very early on and just never relinquished it… Orb finished a disappointing fourth.

So now the odds are changing once again and bettors across the country are anxious to get in on the exciting action that always accompanies the Belmont Stakes race. Gary Stevens had been retired from racing for seven years and was doing commentary on a local TV station when Lukas called him back to duty.

Last years’ Belmont Stakes race was won by Union Rags, ridden by John Velazquez who finished just behind Oxbow at the Preakness on Itsmyluckyday.  Belmont Park is the longest race of the Triple Crown at 1.5 miles.  The Belmont Stakes carries a winners’ purse of $600,000.

The track record still stands a 2:24 set by the legendary Secretariat in 1973 as part of his Triple Crown victory. The big red horse finished 31 lengths ahead of the field!

Orb is already back at Belmont getting ready for the big race on his home track. Oxbow verses Orb running at Belmont will mark only the first time since 2001 that the winners of the Derby and the Preakness have squared off for the final leg of the Triple Crown.

So, lots of variables to be pondered before placing your Belmont wagers. Do your homework… and, most of all… Have Fun!

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