Billings-owned Frac Daddy has received the green light to run in Saturday’s 145th Belmont Stakes in Elmont, N.Y.
Trainer Ken McPeek announced Monday morning from Louisville, Ky., that the 3-year-old gray thoroughbred will be competing in the third leg of the Triple Crown races at Belmont Park.
Carter Stewart, who owns Frac Daddy along with Ken Schlenker of Billings, also confirmed the news on Monday afternoon.
“I’m jacked,” Stewart said of McPeek’s announcement. “That’s great. I just think if Kenny says this horse is doing well and is ready, I believe it. He’s ready to take a shot.”
As many as 15 horses could end up competing in the 1 ½-mile Belmont. The field for the $1 million race is expected to include Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Preakness winner Oxbow.
Entries for Saturday’s race will be taken on Wednesday. The post positions will also be drawn that day.
The Kentucky-bred Frac Daddy placed 16th in the Kentucky Derby on May 4, and didn’t run in the Preakness. He is scheduled to fly to New York on Tuesday.
“We’re ecstatic to be back in the action,” Stewart said.
Frac Daddy did beat Oxbow in finishing second at the Arkansas Derby in April.
“I think what that’s telling us is that on any given day, with this crop of horses, one can beat the other,” Stewart said.
Trainer McPeek won the 2002 Belmont Stakes with 70-1 shot Sarava.
“That’s great that he’s already won there,” Stewart said. “He knows the track. He knows what to expect. He’s not going to run a horse if he doesn’t think it has a chance.”
Frac Daddy, with one win in seven career starts, has put together a string of strong workouts at Churchill Downs recently after getting bogged down by the sloppy track at the Derby.
“It should be a good race,” Stewart said. “Hopefully we’ll get dry conditions. We’re hoping this (rain in Billings) doesn’t meet us back east.”
McPeek also announced that jockey Alan Garcia would be riding Frac Daddy in the Belmont.
“I do believe the horse will run well,” McPeek said in a story posted on the Belmont Stakes website. “I think the pace in the Belmont will suit him well, too. He drew outside in the Derby and couldn’t get position, and I don’t think he handled the slop.
“He’s worked on a dry track a couple of times recently and worked freaky good. I think he’s got a big shot at it.’’