Gomez to ride Macho Again

Macho Again, the runner-up behind Big Brown in the Preakness, will be ridden by Garrett Gomez in the June 7 Belmont Stakes, it was announced Saturday by the colt's owners, the West Point Thoroughbreds syndicate.

Gomez, the Eclipse Award-winning jockey of 2007, will replace Julien Leparoux, who had ridden Macho Again in four of his last five races, including the Preakness.

"Julien has done a great job with him," said trainer Dallas Stewart, adding the decision to change was "based more on a home-court advantage for the rider."

Gomez is based primarily in New York for much of the year.

Macho Again is one of as many as 11 3-year-olds under consideration for the 140th Belmont, in which the unbeaten Big Brown will attempt to become the first horse in 30 years to sweep the Triple Crown.

The other prospects for the Belmont are Anak Nakal, Behindatthebar, Casino Drive, Denis of Cork, Icabad Crane, Ready's Echo, Spark Candle, Tale of Ekati, and Tomcito.