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Kentucky Derby Runner-Up Nehro Prepares to Claim His Triple Crown Glory

Nehro is well rested and should have a strong run in the Belmont Stakes. (AP Images)

As the Belmont Stakes nears debate heats up on who will win the 2011 “Run for the Carnations”. Nehro is back after skipping the Preakness and promises to be a runner to watch. Nehro was profiled here at the Beat prior to the Kentucky Derby where he finished a strong second.

Now that he is considered one of the three horses to beat in the Belmont it might be illuminating to review what the thinking was on him prior to running at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Derby Notes
”¢  Ranked third in most handicappers’ lists until the withdrawal of Uncle Mo when he moved to second
”¢  Time and form had been better in each race leading up to the Kentucky Derby
”¢  Strong finisher
”¢  Mineshaft pedigree well suited to the Derby
”¢  Concerns however were that the Derby would mark his fourth race in five weeks and would he be rested enough

Kentucky Derby Performance
It looks like the handicappers had it right with Nehro finishing a strong second to Animal Kingdom instead of Dialed In. Nehro looked good in the finish as expected and seemed to be fine from an energy and stamina point of view particularly considering that he started from the 19th stall. All in all an excellent performance.

Belmont Prospects
The decision to not run in the Preakness was much debated. Ultimately it was felt that given the amount of recent work Nehro had seen that it might be too much to expect him to win at Pimlico. Some of the thinking here also might have been around his speed given the shorter Preakness track in which he would face new, rested, and potentially faster challengers.

The above seems to point towards the decision to rest Nehro for the longer Belmont Park which would suit his strengths and finishing skills. The expectation is that Nehro has the stamina and the power of Animal Kingdom and as such should outlast the likes of Shackleford. Saturday will tell the true mettle of Nehro but by all logic he should be a strong contender.

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