Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah is Belmont favorite

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American Pharoah Gets 1st Look at Belmont Park


NEW YORK (AP) -- American Pharoah was made the early 3-5 favorite Wednesday to win the Belmont Stakes and become horse racing's first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner drew the No. 5 post position for Saturday's 1 1/2-mile race at Belmont Park. Fourteen horses have won from there, including 1977 Triple Crown champion Seattle Slew.

"I've always liked the five. It's a number I always do well with," said Bob Baffert, who trains American Pharoah. "More important is the horse is doing well."

The colt took his first steps on the dirt at Belmont Park earlier in the day, jogging counterclockwise before being walked off.

"He went the wrong way, so he really didn't learn a lot," said Baffert, who is taking his fourth shot at one of the sporting world's toughest feats.

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Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah is Belmont favorite
Jockey Victor Espinoza celebrates aboard American Pharoah after winning the 140th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
American Pharoah, ridden by Victor Espinoza, wins the 140th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert rubs the face of American Pharoah as the Preakness-winning colt gets a bath outside the stakes barn Sunday, May 17, 2015, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Jockey Victor Espinoza pats American Pharoah after winning the $750,000 Rebel Stakes horse race at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., Saturday, March 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah stops his morning walk to check out the crowd around the stakes barn, Sunday, May 17, 2015 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza (6) run down the stretch to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby horse race at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., Saturday, April 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
American Pharoah, ridden by Victor Espinoza, center, wins the 140th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah, ridden by jockey Martin Garcia, powers through his final timed workout in a steady, light rain at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Monday, June 1, 2015. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner will head to New York for Saturday's Belmont Stakes on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 02: American Pharoah #18, ridden by Victor Espinoza, crosses the finish line to win the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Groom Eduardo Garcia, left, washes Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah after a morning gallop at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Monday, May 11, 2015, while Juan Rameriez, right, holds the colt. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Exercise rider Jorge Alvarez gallops Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Monday, May 11, 2015. The colt is preparing for a start in the 140th Preakness Stakes in Baltimore on May 16. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Victor Espinoza rides American Pharoah to victory in the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 2, 2015, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Exercise rider Jorge Alvarez rides Kentucky Derby hopeful American Pharoah during a workout at Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Victor Espinoza rides American Pharoah to victory in the141st running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 2, 2015, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 13: Trainer Bob Baffert walks Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah in the barn after arriving in preparation for the 140th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 13, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 15: Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah trains on the track for the 140th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 15, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 15: American Pharoah is bathed at the barn after training for the 140th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 15, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza (4) win the $750,000 Rebel Stakes horse race at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., Saturday, March 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Exercise rider George Alverez gallops Kentucky Derby hopeful American Pharaoh over the track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, April 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah watches activity outside Barn 33 after a morning jog at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, May 7, 2015. American Pharoah is continuing his training at Churchill Downs before going to Baltimore for next weekend's Preakness Stakes horse race. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
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Frosted drew the No. 6 post and was installed as the 5-1 second choice during the draw outdoors at Rockefeller Plaza, where people hung on railings watching the draw unfold. Frosted finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby and is based at Belmont Park, where he has run one race.

Materiality is the 6-1 third choice and will break from the No. 8 post on the far outside. He was sixth in the Derby and has never run at Belmont, but trains there for Todd Pletcher.

Mubtaahij ended up on the rail in the No. 1 post at 10-1 odds. He was eighth in the Derby and skipped the Preakness, like several of the other Belmont contenders.

The top three wagering choices were the only ones listed at single-digit odds. Tale of Verve, a surprise second-place finisher in the Preakness, is 15-1. Madefromlucky, Pletcher's other entry, is 12-1; Keen Ice, seventh in the Derby, is 20-1; and Frammento, 11th in the Derby, is the longest shot in the eight-horse field at 30-1.

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