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Continuing a trend we’ve seen in recent weeks of graded stakes that typically draw solid fields instead drawing spectacular fields because of the lack of opportunities in recent months, eight graded stakes winners were entered for Saturday’s Grade 3 Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes at Churchill Downs.

This year’s Belmont Stakes is not the Belmont as we know it – far from it, by being run around one turn at a mile and an eighth with a testing pace likely down that long straightaway. Still, this version of the Belmont may actually be more attractive to breeders than the traditional Belmont Stakes, as it should resemble the Met Mile more than it resembles your typical two-turn classic race going longer.

Making the Grade, which will run through the 2020 Triple Crown races, focuses on the winners or top performers of the key races, usually from the previous weekend, who could make an impact on the Triple Crown. We’ll be taking a close look at impressive winners and evaluating their chances to win classic races based upon ability, running style, connections (owner, trainer, jockey), and pedigree.

As the connections of Maxfield weigh their options, a field of at least nine is taking shape for the $1 million Belmont Stakes, which will open the delayed 2020 Triple Crown season June 20 at Belmont Park.

Each week members of the media around the country vote on the nation's top contenders on the Triple Crown trail in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Find out the latest 2020 top 3-year-old rankings below.


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