Lani, the Mercurial Colt, Has One More Chance to Shine in Belmont


Lani, ridden by exercise rider Eishu Maruuchi at Belmont Racetrack. The colt drew the 10 post for Saturday’s race.

Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

ELMONT, N.Y. — Lani is running out of time to display the talent that appears to lurk within one of the most volatile, headstrong and quirky thoroughbreds to compete in the Triple Crown races in many a generation.

Keita Tanaka, the agent for the owner Koji Maeda, said the mercurial colt will make his last scheduled start in the United States when he competes in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday before returning to his home base in Japan.

Lani’s odyssey began March 15, when he traveled almost 5,000 miles from Japan to Dubai, where he won the U.A.E. Derby 11 days later to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. On April 1, he flew approximately 7,200 miles from Dubai to Chicago. He was driven to Louisville two days later to prepare for the Derby, where he finished ninth before improving to fifth in the Preakness.

With the exception of a brief stay at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore for the Preakness, Lani has been based…

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