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June 1, 2011

Animal Kingdom remains Belmont choice in Triple Crown poll


In the second of three weekly polls leading up to the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 11 Animal Kingdom continues to lead the way in the Thoroughbred Times Road to the Triple Crown poll of editors, reporters, and correspondents.

But challengers of the Leroidesanimaux (Brz) colt are beginning to narrow the gap a bit.

Voters rank their top ten selections each week through the Triple Crown with a first-place vote earning ten points, a second-place vote nine points, descending to one point for a tenth-place vote.

Nehro, a traditional deep closer, is doing just that as the Belmont draws nearer, moving past Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Shackleford to secure second place behind the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner.

Nehro, who finished a game second to Animal Kingdom in the Derby and may benefit from passing on the Preakness, posted a six-furlong 1:12.20 workout on Monday at Churchill Downs certainly seems to have been noticed by voters.

Working in company with Grade 3-placed stablemate Dominus, Nehro confirmed for trainer Steve Asmussen that Belmont Park was the place to be a week from Saturday.

"Obviously, we stuck Nehro in company and asked him for a good work," Asmussen said. "It was the best work I've seen him lay down."

There also is growing support for Master of Hounds, who moved up from fifth to third in this week's poll, narrowly nudging Shackleford into fourth position. The Kingmambo colt finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby but was held out of the Preakness because trainer Aidan O'Brien felt the two-week turnaround was too short.

Santiva, seventh in last week's poll, rounds out this week's top five as the connections of Pin Oak Stable's homebred Alternation, fourth in last week's poll, decided to pass on the Belmont.

Source: http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/racing-news/2011/06/01/belmont-stakes-poll-animal-kingdom.aspx

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