St. Leger Stakes 2012: Camelot Goes For The English Triple Crown

Camelot will attempt to become the first winner of the English Triple Crown since 1970 when he faces eight rivals in the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday, September 15th.

Camelot is the heavy favorite to win the 2012 St. Leger Stakes on Saturday to become the first winner of the English Triple Crown since Nijinsky in 1970.

On Saturday in England, Camelot (GB), winner of the 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby, will attempt to become the first winner of the English Triple Crown in over 40 years when he takes on eight rivals in the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster. Camelot is a heavy favorite by U.K. bookmakers (approximately 2/5) and appears to have very few rivals that can match his talent.

The St Leger will go to post at 3:40pm British Standard Time / 10:40am Eastern and will be televised in the United States on TVG.

Below are the entries, post positions and approximate odds for Saturday's St. Leger Stakes

# PP Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
3 1 Encke M. Barzalona M. Al Zarooni 33/1
7 2 Thomas Chippendale (IRE) T. Queally H. Cecil 25/1
8 3 Thought Worthy W. Buick J. Gosden 11/1
6 4 Michelangelo (GB) F. Dettori J. Gosden 12/1
9 5 Ursa Major (IRE) J. Murtagh T. Carmody 20/1
5 6 Main Sequence T. Duncan D. Lanigan 8/1
1 7 Camelot (GB) J. O'Brien A. O'Brien 2/5
2 8 Dartford R. Havlin J. Gosden 300/1
4 9 Guarantee (GB) P. Makin W. Haggas 16/1


WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

The St. Leger is not a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup, and it's questionable as to whether the connections of Camelot will send this colt to the U.S. this fall, regardless of how he performs on Saturday. However, several of the other horses in the field could potentially point towards the Breeders' Cup Turf (or possibly the Marathon) should they run well in this race.

It's tough to see any other horse stopping Camelot's coronation on Saturday but, as is typical in horse racing, anything can happen. The biggest obstacle to a Camelot victory appears to be the condition of the ground; there are several colts in this field that have the ability to run a big race against the favorite but only if the ground is to their liking. With a current rating of "Good, Good to Soft in places", horses like Ursa Major (IRE) or Thomas Chippendale (IRE) could be in line to turn in a top level effort. Ursa Major sports a sparkling 4-3-1-0 record over ground rated Yielding or worse. Sir Henry Cecil's Thomas Chippendale (IRE) is 5-3-0-0 over ground rated Good or worse.

Another horse to keep an eye on is Thought Worthy, an American-bred colt that shouldn't have any trouble with the mile and three-quarters distance. He's run well on firm and soft ground and comes into the race off a nice effort at York on August 22nd.

Given the microscopic odds on Camelot, there is little money to be made betting on the favorite, but perhaps there will be some opportunities in the North American exacta pools. If the ground continues to be on the firm side, it might be smart to toss the soft turf horses and look for value with the horses proven over firmer footing. But if Saturday's conditions remain at Good to Soft (or worse), then Ursa Major and/or Thomas Chippendale might be the value play in an exotic bet with Camelot.

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