Belmont Stakes favorite Essential Quality draws No. 2 position in final event of horse racing’s Triple Crown

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Post positions for the field of eight horses competing in the Belmont Stakes were drawn on Tuesday, with 2-1 favorite Essential Quality drawing the No. 2 position.

The race is slated to go off without a horse from legendary trainer Bob Baffert, after the New York Racing Association suspended him in the wake of a positive drug test from his horse Medina Spirit at the Kentucky Derby.

In Baffert’s absence, Essential Quality and Preakness winner Rombauer are the two headliners. Essential Quality was the favorite to win the Derby, before finishing in fourth place. The horse did not run in the Preakness.

Rombauer opened with 3-1 morning line odds. Jockey Flavian Prat, who rode the colt to victory in the Preakness, has left Rombauer to honor a commitment to ride Hot Rod Charlie. That horse drawing the No. 4 position and 7-2 third choice odds.

Instead, Rombauer will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.

Post time for the Belmont Stakes, the third event in horse racing’s Triple Crown, is 6:47pm ET on June 5.

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