The DRF headline says it all, “Gomez to ride Hard Spin in Belmont”. I think we all saw that coming. Hard Spun is obviously a speedy, talented colt who may be able to break through and demonstrate his full potential with a change in rider. Maybe, maybe not. But, if I could get the best jockey in the country, Garrett Gomez, to agree to ride my horse, believe me, I take the chance and make the change. I think this answers the question about Rags to Riches going in the Belmont, too. As her regular rider, I hardly think Gomez would jump off her for Hard Spun (no offense). Moreover, Pletcher’s number one rider John Velazquez now has the mount on Slew’s Tizzy. So, where does that leave Todd Pletcher’s horses? Will we actually see a major stakes race this year without a Pletcher entry? My God, is the world ending? (I’m being sarcastic here).
It was announced earlier in the week that Nobiz Like Shobiz would pass on the Belmont, but now Great Hunter is out for at least 90 days, with a bone chip in his right front ankle. That leaves five starters for the Belmont: Hard Spun, Curlin, Slew’s Tizzy, Imawildandcrazyguy and Tiago. We should know early in the week if Street Sense makes six.