Market Overview

A Wide-Open Belmont Stakes

A Wide-Open Belmont Stakes

Instead of producing a Triple Crown winner, this year's Belmont will be void of the winner of the Kentucky Derby (Always Dreaming) and the Preakness Stakes (Cloud Computing), as well as the runner-up of the Preakness (Classic Empire).

In just another testament to the grueling nature and timing of these races, with nothing historic on the line, the aforementioned horses will be resting up for the lucrative summer racing season.

While it will lack some intrigue from the perspective of a Triple Crown, the Belmont is invariably a choice wager. In fact, with the prospective favorite Classic Empire being a late scratch, money will spread out across the board, which is likely to yield a nice payout.

Keep in mind, the Belmont Stakes has a history of victorious longshots. Just last year, Creator, at odds of 14–1, was the victor; Exaggerator, at odds of 6–5, finished at the back of the pack.

Over the years, the winner of the Peter Pan Stakes, also run at Belmont Park, has been a primer to produce a winner for the Belmont. However, this year's winner, Timeline, has opted to sit out the treacherous 1 ½ mile race.

A Slated Favorite And Other Mentionables

At this time, Epicharis, a Japanese-bred colt who is a multi-stakes winner, is slated to be a favorite. He was undefeated as a 2-year-old, and his only loss was a close-fought battle with Thunder Snow in the UAE Derby on March 25. However, the question remains as to how he will fare after his long journey, as well as how the competition in Japan stacks up against U.S. thoroughbreds.

Another horse that will garner some bettors' attention is the winner of the Holy Bull and Wood Memorial Stakes, Irish War Cry. After an unimpressive 10th place showing in the Kentucky Derby, he skipped the Preakness Stakes. Which version of this horse will show up in Queens? That's why they call it gambling! At the likelihood of such low odds, it may best be to include him in a few Perfecta wagers with longshots.

If you base your wager on pedigree, along with the quality of the trainer, the horse for you is Tapwrit. He is the son of leading sire, Tapit, who has already sired two Belmont Stakes winners, Tonalist in 2014 and Creator in 2016. Under the tutelage of Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Todd Pletcher, this sixth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby (who also skipped the Preakness) looms as somewhat attractive, at 6–1 in the morning line.

Based on past performance of the first two legs of the Triple Crown, Lookin' At Lee gets the nod. After a come from behind second place finish in the Derby, he followed up that performance with a fourth-place finish in the Preakness. In order to wager on this colt, one must be confident that the toll of participating in the other legs will not be a factor in his performance in the Belmont.

Beyond The Equine: Betting On The Jockey

So, who is the proven Stakes winner in the race, one who will be well-rested and primed to win the Belmont Stakes? Gormley. The winner of the Santa Anita Stakes never really had a chance in the Kentucky Derby (post position 18), and skipped the Preakness. He had to be used hard early, and as a result, he faded in the stretch on the off-track and finished ninth.

With a morning-line of 8–1, Gormley gets my nod to win the Belmont Stakes. The other determining factor for the wager is that he will be ridden by future Hall of Fame jockey, Victor Espinoza. Just as he guided American Pharoah to his Belmont and Triple Crown clinching victory, his familiarity with the oval could very well propel Gormley into the winner's circle.

Good luck with your bets, and if you finish out of the money, you can always sit back and enjoy the drink of the Belmont Stakes, the Belmont Jewel.

Belmont Jewel

  • 1.5 ounces of bourbon (the race track recommends Knob Creek, but use what you like) 2 ounces of lemonade 1 ounce of pomegranate juice
  • Shake that all together with ice, pour it into a rocks glass, and garnish with a cherry or lemon.


Image Credit: "Amen Halleluja," Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes day, June 5, 2010, By nakashi from Chofu, Tokyo, JAPAN - Amen Hallelujah, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: Always DreamingNews Previews Sports Events Opinion Trading Ideas General Best of Benzinga


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