Epicharis, the Japan-based horse who bypassed the Kentucky Derby (G1) to point toward the Belmont Stakes (G1), was scratched from the “Test of the Champion” on Saturday morning.
His defection leaves a field of 11 for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont. Irish War Cry was the 4-to-1 favorite through early betting with Epicharis at 12-to-1, which represents about 6.5% of the total pool. This suggests Irish War Cry could be about 3-to-1 or 7-to-2 when Epicharis’s money is redistributed (assuming it’s bet and not pocketed).
Epicharis did not train on the racetrack either Thursday or Friday after receiving treatment for lameness. His connections were bullish on still making the Belmont Stakes, but the scratch came Saturday morning.
Japan will still offer separate-pool wagering on the Belmont Stakes.