Breaking it down

A complete, horse-by-horse look at the Belmont Stakes field

A complete, horse-by-horse look at the Belmont Stakes field

Preakness winner War of Will looks to take the Belmont. Getty Images.

Saturday is the last of the Triple Crown races for 2019 with the Belmont Stakes. There is no shot at a Triple Crown, so basically it is just another nice stakes race. Here is a look at the 10 horses in the field.

No. 1 Joevia (30-1)

Trainer: Greg Sacco

Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Why he can win: He has one weapon in his arsenal - speed. He will be the early pacesetter, and if he is not, he has no shot. The Belmont - despite being the longest of the Triple Crown races, tends to favor early foot, so he will gun and hope. Probably not good enough to hold on all the way but could hang around for a piece late.

No. 2 Everfast (12-1)

Trainer: Dale Romans

Jockey: Luis Saez

Why he can win: He did run second in the Preakness at a monster price. But horses that did not run in the Derby, then fared well in the Preakness historically struggle at Belmont. Plus he is a deep closer, and that style rarely wins here. Might clunk up for a piece late.

No. 3 Master Fencer (8-1)

Trainer: Koichi Tsunoda

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Why he can win: Was surprisingly beaten just four lengths in the Derby and was moving well at the end. Japan based horses win a lot of races around the world and while this guy is second tier there, he should love the distance and could be a live long shot in a field lacking quality. Would not be shocked if he is in it at the end.

No. 4 Tax (15-1)

Trainer: Danny Gargan

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Why he can win: He has some nice races on his resume, but was no match for Tacitus in the Wood Memorial and was no threat in the Derby. Plus he has a horrible name. Would need significant improvement in this spot, but I think we have seen his best and it does not appear to be good enough.

No. 5 Bourbon War (12-1)

Trainer: Mark Hennig

Jockey: Mike Smith

Why he can win: We loved him in the Preakness, and he simply did not fire at all. Horses skipping the Derby and doing the Preakness/Belmont double rarely do well, but he might have needed the last race off a layoff, he should handle the distance and not ready to give up on him. Will be a long shot play.

No. 6 Spinoff (15-1)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Why he can win: He was a strong second in the Louisiana Derby, is lightly raced and should improve. Still, he was no factor whatsoever in the Kentucky Derby and probably does not want any part of the distance here. Pass.

No. 7 Sir Winston (12-1)

Trainer: Mark Casse

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Why he can win: He doesn't very often - just twice in nine starts - but he was a good closing second in the prep for this and tends to hit the board at big prices. A classic grinder, would not be surprised if he picked up some pieces late and helped blow up the trifecta price.

No. 8 Intrepid Heart (10-1)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

Why he can win: He has only raced three times, so there is room for improvement. He finished behind Sir Winston in his first stakes try, running third. But he is bred to go farther, and they spent $750,000 on him. A big step up but won't be surprised if he is a small factor.

No. 9 War of Will (2-1)

Trainer: Mark Casse

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Why he can win: His Preakness was a thing of beauty after the rodeo that was the Derby. At his best, he generally stalks the pace and takes control late. Expect him to be in the front tier of horses and try to employ that strategy again. Could win, but could also find himself off the board if he throws in one of his occasional clunkers.

No. 10 Tacitus (9-5)

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Why he can win: The morning line favorite was probably the second best horse in the Derby. He hated the surface, was unsettled, and still managed to finish fourth, beaten less than four lengths. (He was placed second). He is bred to love the distance, should get a better track today and will be very tough to beat if he brings his A game.

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Twins defeat Astros, 6-1. Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images.

Pablo López pitched seven strong innings and Trevor Larnach hit a two-run homer to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 6-1 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

Carlos Santana added a solo home run and Willi Castro tripled to help the Twins to their fourth victory in five games.

López (5-5) allowed six hits and a run with six strikeouts as he tied his longest start of the season.

Alex Bregman went deep in the third inning for his third home run in four games, but the Astros couldn’t do much else on offense in their fourth loss in five games.

Castro’s triple opened the third before Jose Miranda walked. There was one out in the inning when Carlos Correa’s double to right field scored Castro to make it 1-0. Miranda scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Kirilloff to leave Minnesota up 2-0.

Bregman cut the lead to 1 when he sent Lopez’s first pitch of the fourth inning off the foul pole in left field.

Castro walked with no outs in the fifth before Larnach made it 4-1 with his shot to left-center field off Ronel Blanco (5-1) with one out.

Max Kepler was hit by a pitch to start the sixth and moved to third on a double by Ryan Jeffers. Kepler scored on a groundout by Manuel Margot to extend the lead to 5-1.

Santana’s home run off Alex Speas made it 6-1 in the eighth.

Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut, allowed three hits and four runs while walking three in 4 2/3 innings for his first loss.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: 3B Royce Lewis (severe quadriceps strain) went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his fifth rehabilitation start for Triple-A St. Paul on Friday. Manager Rocco Baldelli wouldn’t say when he expected him to come off the injured list, but said it wouldn’t be this weekend.

Astros: RHP Luis Garcia (Tommy John surgery) threw 20 pitches in a live batting practice session Friday. Garcia will go to Houston’s spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, next week to throw a couple more live batting practice sessions before beginning a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

UP NEXT Houston LHP Framber Valdez (3-3, 4.34 ERA) opposes Joe Ryan (4-3, 2.96) when the series continues Saturday.

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