Leading up to the 153rd running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on Saturday (June 5), usracing.com is publishing profiles of each of the contenders. The 1 1/2-mile race at Belmont Park is the final leg of the Triple Crown. Profiles will be updated with post positions and odds following the draw on Tuesday (June 1).
By Margaret Ransom
Florida Derby (G1) winner Known Agenda finished ninth after a fairly-even performance in the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1). After the race, Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher decided the St. Elias Stable homebred would sit out the Preakness (G1) in favor of the final jewel in the Triple Crown.
A son of Curlin, Known Agenda has posted three strong works over Belmont’s main track since the Derby, including a nice 5 furlongs in 1:01.12 on Friday.
With Irad Ortiz, Jr. up, Known Agenda worked outside of Metropolitan Handicap (G1) contender Dr Post (with Hall of Famer John Velazquez up).
“I thought it was a good progressive breeze that should bring them both forward,” Pletcher said. “In particular, I liked the way they galloped out. I had them out in 1:14.4, 1:27.1 and 1:41 for the mile. I thought we accomplished what we were hoping to.”
Known Agenda worked with blinkers off. Pletcher added them on Known Agenda for his optional/claiming score at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 26 and he’s worn them since.
“Sometimes he breezes with them, but we’re saving them for the race,” said Pletcher. “Sometimes, you get a little more bang for your buck if you don’t overuse them.”
Known Agenda is one of several Pletcher-trained Belmont runners. Others include Bourbonic and Overtook. Promise Keeper is a possible.
Pletcher has won the Belmont three times — Rags to Riches (2007), Palace Malice (2013), and Tapwrit (2017).
2021 Belmont Stakes Picks: Known Agenda
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Owner: St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola)
Career record: 7-3-1-1
Career earnings: $541,700
Top Equibase speed figure: 112
Pedigree: Curlin—Byrama, by Byron
Running style: Mid-pack
Notes: Known Agenda’s dam, Byrama, won the Vanity Stakes (G1) at Hollywood Park in 2013 over the synthetic and was subsequently sold to St. Elias Stable for $725,000 that November at Keeneland, but never won another race though she did pick up three more graded stakes placings … Viola’s St. Elias Stable, who seeks a first win in the Belmont Stakes, tried to sell Known Agenda as a yearling but kept him after the colt failed to meet his reserve when bidding halted at $135,000 at Keeneland in September of 2019 … St. Elias Stable was a partner in 2017 Florida Derby/Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.