And Then There Were Eight -- Carpe Diem Out

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12:04 pm EDT

By Dick Downey
@Downey Profile

Updated 12:28 p.m. ET

Elliott Walden announced Monday morning that Carpe Diem won't be entered in the Belmont Stakes. The defection followed that of The Truth or Else earlier in the day.

"We have decided not to run Carpe Diem in Belmont.To (sic) good a horse to run at 90%," tweeted Walden, CEO of WinStar Farm.

Carpe Diem, winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby after stalking the pace into the far turn. He skipped the Preakness.

Walden said Carpe Diem will be pointed to either the Jim Dandy Stakes or the Haskell Invitational. Those races are run the first weekend of August.

With the defection, eight are left confirmed for the Belmont Stakes: American Pharoah, Frammento, Frosted, Keen Ice, Madefromlucky, Materiality, Mubtaajij and Tale of Verve.

Trainer Todd Pletcher no longer needing a third jockey, he announced that John Velazquez will ride Materiality and Javier Castellano will be aboard Madefromlucky.