NEW YORK -- Sloppy track or not, here comes Todd Pletcher with another squad of 3-year-olds for a Triple Crown race.
The trainer is taking aim on the Belmont Stakes this time, sending out a record five horses for Saturday's final leg of the Triple Crown.
Pletcher saddled a record-equaling five colts in the Kentucky Derby last month, with the best of the bunch over a wet track being third-place finisher Revolutionary.
After sitting out the Preakness, Pletcher is back with Revolutionary, two other Derby runners in Palace Malice and Overanalyze and two fresh faces in Midnight Taboo and the filly Unlimited Budget.
A sloppy track could be back as well. The National Weather Service is calling for heavy rains Friday into Saturday with a chance of showers after 2 p.m. Post time for the Belmont is 6:36 p.m.
"It doesn't really matter whether it's sloppy or fast, you just don't want it to be sticky or heavy," Pletcher said, referring to the track condition. He added that his horses "all have enough pedigree on wet tracks so it won't compromise them too much."
That includes Unlimited Budget, who will try to make a little history. She can become the fourth filly to win the Belmont - Pletcher's Rags to Riches was the most recent in 2007 - and could make Rosie Napravnik the second female jockey to win a Triple Crown race and first to win one with a filly.
"I think this is one year the fillies are as good as the colts, and the numbers show it," said Mike Repole, who owns Unlimited Budget as well as Overanalyze and Midnight Taboo.
"She's a big filly, and she's bigger than half the colts in the race."
Derby winner Orb is the 3-1 morning-line favorite, with Revolutionary the second choice at 9-2 and Preakness winner Oxbow third at 5-1. Unlimited Budget and Freedom Child are co-fourth choices at 8-1.
The possibility of an off-track bodes well for Freedom Child and a few Derby runners in the field of 14 - matching the largest since 1996 and one shy of the record in 1983.
Freedom Child, like Orb a son of Malibu Moon, flourished on a wet track at Belmont four weeks ago, winning the Peter Pan by a stunning 13 1/4 lengths.
"If it's wet, we'll certainly take it," said Freedom Child's trainer Tom Albertrani.
Orb handled the sloppy track at Churchill Downs. Under Joel Rosario, the colt passed 16 horses in the final half mile for a 2 1/2-length win over Golden Soul, who skipped the Preakness but is back for the Belmont.