We are just four days away from the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes, which is scheduled to start at 6:52 pm EST on Saturday, June 6. The excitement surrounding the Belmont Stakes largely depends on whether or not there’s a horse in the field with a chance to win the Triple Crown. Luckily, that’s exactly what will be at stake in 2015, as American Pharoah looks to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to pull off the historic feat.
If American Pharoah can win the 2014 Belmont Stakes, it has the potential to put horse racing back in the spotlight. However, as many of you who follow the sport closely know, it’s a lot harder to win this race than you think. American Pharoah is the 14th horse to have won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes since Affirmed last won the Triple Crown and none of them have been able to get the job done.
This race has also not been kind to the favorite. Over the last 36 years, the odds on favorite at the start of the race has won just 6 times. What makes the Belmont Stakes so challenging to predict, is that it’s hard to know whether or not a horse has the endurance for the grueling 1 1/2 mile race.
You also have to take into consideration the rest of each horse coming into the race. Many horses will sit out the Preakness Stakes to save up for the Belmont, while others will pass on both the Derby and Preakness. It’s a big factor that can easily get overlooked, especially when you have a horse like American Pharoah going for the Triple Crown.
Win: American Pharoah (4 to 5)
Even after watching California Chrome come up short in his Triple Crown attempt last year, I believe history will be made at Belmont Park this Saturday. American Pharoah may have only won the Kentucky Derby by a length, but you could tell he had a lot more left in the tank. He then went on to put on a dazzling display in the rain-soaked track at Pimlico to win the Preakness Stakes by 7 lengths. I’m not worried about endurance playing a role. Keep in mind that American Pharoah’s grandsire was 2002 Belmont Stakes winner Point Given.
I think the fact that only 7 other horses are willing to run this race, really says a lot about how scared the competition of American Pharoah. Keep in mind that he’s beat all 7 horses at some point in his career. This will be an especially joyous moment for jockey Victor Espinoza, who has failed twice at winning the Triple Crown.
Place: Madefromlucky (12 to 1)
It wasn’t easy narrowing down which two other horses to include in the top 3, but I think there’s a lot to like about Madefromlucky, who has taken a near identical path to that of 2014 Belmont winner Tonalist. Like Tonalist, Madefromlucky passed on both the Derby and Preakness an instead prepped for this race by running in the G2 Peter Pan at Belmont Park, which he won by a length over Conquest Curlinate.
I wouldn’t be shocked at all if this was the horse that spoiled the dreams of seeing a Triple Crown winner, but keep in mind that Madefromlucky finished 9 lengths back of American Pharoah at the Arkansas Derby. The extra rest should allow him to close the gap, but I don’t believe it will be enough for the upset.
Show: Frosted (5 to 1)
Here’s another horse that I think has the potential to win this race. Those who watched the Kentucky Derby will remember seeing Frosted make an impressive stretch run to finish 4th. Had that race been ran on 1 1/2 mile track, I think Frosted would have surpassed both Dortmund and Firing Line for a runner-up finish.
There’s a reason this horse has the second best odds in the field. This is clearly the strongest horse of the five derby contenders who sat out the Preakness Stakes. If American Pharoah shows some signs of fatigue, that could be just enough to allow Frosted to secure the win.
I’ve placed a $2 exacta box with American Pharoah and both Madefromlucky and Frosted and a $2 trifecta box on my projected finish, but it’s not the only bets I will be making for the race. While I’m confident with my selections, I don’t like to have all my eggs in one basket when it comes to the big payouts.
Additional Win Bets ($2 Wager)
- Keen Ice
Additional Exacta Bets ($2 Wager)
- Madefromlucky, Frosted
- Frosted, Keen Ice
- Madefromlucky, Keen Ice
Additional Trifecta Bets ($2 Wager)
- American Pharoah, Frosted, Keen Ice
- American Pharoah, Madefromlucky, Keen Ice
- American Pharoah, Materiality, Frosted
- American Pharoah, Madefromluck, Materiality
- Frosted, Keen Ice, Madefromlucky
- Frosted, Madefromlucky, Materiality
- Madefromlucky, Frosted, Keen Ice
- Madefromlucky, Frosted, Materiality
Superfecata Bets ($1 Wager Each)
- American Pharoah, Frosted, Keen Ice, Madefromlucky (Box)
- American Pharoah, Frosted, Madefromlucky, Materiality (Box)
- Materiality, Frosted, American Pharoah, Keen Ice (Box)