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Profiles of 2014 Belmont Stakes runners

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Profiles of runners in Saturday's 146th Belmont Stakes in New York.

1. MEDAL COUNT

Finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby and hasn't raced since. Jockey Robby Albarado has ridden more than 4,000 winners, including the 2007 Preakness Stakes on Curlin. Trainer Dale Romans prepared the 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford.

2. CALIFORNIA CHROME

The odds-on favorite to become just the 12th horse to complete the Triple Crown after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Jockey Victor Espinoza also won the first two legs in 2002 on War Emblem and is hoping for better luck in the final this time.

3. MATTERHORN

An outsider who has won just one of his four career starts. One of two horses in the race trained by Todd Pletcher, who won the 2007 Belmont Stakes with the filly Rags To Riches and last year's race with Palace Malice.

4. COMMANDING CURVE

Charged home late to finish runner-up in the Kentucky Derby as a longshot then skipped the Preakness to save energy for the Belmont. His jockey Shaun Bridgmohan and trainer Dallas Stewart are both chasing their first win in any Triple Crown race.

5. RIDE ON CURLIN

Finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby then runner-up in the Preakness for trainer Billy Gowan, who has just four horses in his stable. Jockey John Velazquez is one of the top riders in the United States having won the Belmont in 2007 and 2012 and the Kentucky Derby in 2011.

6. MATUSZAK

Another longshot who has won just one of eight career starts. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith won his second Belmont last year. His first came in 2010 when he teamed up with Matuszak's trainer Bill Mott on Drosselmeyer.

7. SAMRAAT

Won his first five career starts before finishing runner-up to Wicked Strong in the Wood Memorial then fifth in the Kentucky Derby. Jockey Jose Ortiz and his brother Irad both rode in last month's Kentucky Derby.

8. COMMISSIONER

A winner of two of his six career starts and a stablemate of Matterhorn. Jockey Javier Castellano won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Classic on Ghostzapper and the 2006 Preakness on Bernardini.

9. WICKED STRONG

Named in honor of the victims and survivors of last year's Boston Marathon bombing, Wicked Strong won the Wood Memorial in impressive fashion then finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby after a troubled run. Looms as the biggest threat to California Chrome after being rested for this race.

10. GENERAL A ROD

One of just three horses, along with California Chrome and Ride On Curlin, to have entered all three legs of this year's Triple Crown series, finishing 11th in Kentucky and fourth at the Preakness. Jockey Rosie Napravnik is bidding to become the second female rider to win the race.

11. TONALIST

Missed the first legs of the Triple Crown but earned a place in the Belmont with a runaway win in last month's Peter Pan Stakes. His jockey Joel Rosario, who won last year's Kentucky Derby on Orb and the Dubai World Cup on Animal Kingdom, jumped off General a Rod to stick with Tonalist for this race.

(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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