While the speed and stamina of each horse is critical, it is equally important to have a jockey that understands how to guide a horse around the grueling 1.5 mile track at Belmont Park.

Experience for a jockey doesn’t guarantee sucess for the horse he’s riding, but it can definiltey help that horse win the race. Below is a list of the potential horses in the field and the jockeys who are expected to be on them at the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes this Saturday.

List of Expected Horses and Jockeys in the Field & Updated Odds to Win

HorseJockeyOdds
JustifyMike Smith 4/5
HofburgIrad Ortiz Jr. 4/1
BravazoLuis Saez 7/1
Vino RussoJohn Velazquez9/1
TenfoldRicardo Santana Jr. 10/1
Blended CitizenKyle Frey 12/1
GronkowskiJose Ortiz 25/1
Noble IndyJavier Castellano 33/1
Free Drop BillyRobby Albarado50/1

Top Jockeys Expected to Run at the 2018 Belmont Stakes

Mike Smith (Justify) – It’s been a remarkable career for Smith, who is still competing at the top of the game at age 52. With Smith’s victories at this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes on top Justify, he has now won each of the three Triple Crown events two times each. Both of his wins at the Belmont have come recently. He won in 2010 on top Drosselmeyer and in 2013 on Palace Malice.  Smith’s remarkable resume also includes a jockey-record of 26 wins at the Breeders’ Cup. He’ll be on the favorite once again, with a chance to add to his Hall of Fame career with an elusive Triple Crown win.

John Velazquez (Vino Russo) – Velazquez is the only other jockey in the field with multiple wins at the Belmont Stakes. His most recent victory came in 2012 on top of Union Rags, which came just 5 years after he first won the final leg of the Triple Crown on top Rags to Riches in 2007.

Irad Ortiz Jr (Hofburg) – Ortiz won this race in 2016 top of Creator at 10 to 1 odds (4 horses had better odds to win). According to oddsmakers he’s on top the biggest threat to Justify in Hofburg, who he rode to a 7th place finish at the Kentucky Derby.

Jose Ortiz (Gronkowski) – After winning this race last year on top of Tapwrit, Jose Ortiz has proven he’s capable of guiding a horse to victory on this grueling 1.5 mile track. He’ll be on Gronkowski, who figures to be a popular long-shot pick because of his affiliation with NFL star Rob Gronkowski.

Javier Castellano (Noble Indy) – While Castellano has never won the Belmont Stakes, he’s definitely one of the more respected jockeys you will find. Castellano has finished in the top 3 in national earnings for jockeys in each of the last 7 years. A stretch that saw him finish on top of the list 4 straight years from 2013-2016.

Triple Crown History: List of Jockeys That Have Won the Belmont

2017 – Jose Ortiz (Tapwrit)
2016 – Irad Ortiz Jr (Creator)
2015 – Victor Espinoza (American Pharoah)
2014 – Joel Rosario (Tonalist)
2013 – Mike Smith (Palace Malice)
2012 – John Velazquez (Union Rags)
2011 – Jose Valdivia Jr. (Ruler on Ice)
2010 – Mike Smith (Drosselmeyer)
2009 – Kent Desormeaux (Summer Bird)
2008 – Alan Garcia (Da’Tara)
2007 – John Velazquez (Rags to Riches)
2006 – Fernando Jara (Jazil)
2005 – Jeremy Rose (Afleet Alex)
2004 – Edgar Prado (Birdstone)
2003 – Jerry Bailey (Empire Maker)
2002 – Edgar Prado (Sarava)
2001 – Gary Stevens (Point Given)
2000 – Pat Day (Commendable)
1999 – Jose Santos (Lemon Drop Kid)
1998 – Gary Stevens (Victory Gallop)
1997 – Chris McCarron (Touch Gold)
1996 – Rene Douglas (Editor’s Note)
1995 – Gary Stevens (Thunder Gulch)
1994 – Pat Day (Tabasco Cat)
1993 – Julie Krone (Colonial Affair)
1992 – Ed Delahoussaye (A.P. Indy)
1991 – Jerry Bailey (Hansel)
1990 – Michael Kinane (Go and Go)
1989 – Pat Day (Easy Goer)
1988 – Ed Delahoussaye (Risen Star)
1987 – Craig Perret (Bet Twice)
1986 – Chris McCarron (Danzig Connection)
1985 – Eddie Maple (Creme Fraiche)
1984 – Laffit Pincay Jr. (Swale)
1983 – Laffit Pincay Jr. (Caveat)
1982 – Laffit Pincay Jr. (Conquistador Cielo)
1981 – George Martens (Summing)
1980 – Eddie Maple (Temperence Hill)
1979 – Ruben Hernandez (Coastal)
1978 – Steve Cauthen (Affirmed)
1977 – Jean Cruguet (Seattle Slew)
1976 – Angel Cordero Jr. (Bold Forbes)
1975 – Bill Shoemaker (Avatar)
1974 – Migueal Rivera (Little Current)
1973 – Ron Turcotte (Secretariat)
1972 – Ron Turcotte (Riva Ridge)
1971 – Walter Blum (Pass Catcher)
1970 – John L. Rotz (High Echelon)
1969 – Braulio Baeza (Arts and Letters)
1968 – Heliodoro Gustines (Stage Door Johnny)
1967 – Bill Shoemaker (Damascus)
1966 – William Boland (Amberoid)
1965 – Johnny Sellers (Hail To All)
1964 – Manuel Ycaza (Quadrangle)
1963 – Braulio Baeza (Chateaugay)
1962 – Bill Shoemaker (Jaipur)
1961 – Braulio Baeza (Sherluck)
1960 – Bill Hartack (Celtic Ash)
1959 – Bill Shoemaker (Sword Dancer)
1958 – Pete Anderson (Cavan)
1957 – Bill Shoemaker (Gallant Man)
1956 – David Erb (Needles)
1955 – Eddie Arcaro (Nashua)
1954 – Eric Guerin (High Gun)
1953 – Eric Guerin (Native Dancer)
1952 – Eddie Arcaro (One Count)
1951 – David Gorman (Couterpoint)
1950 – William Boland (Middleground)
1949 – Ted Atkinson (Capot)
1948 – Eddie Arcaro (Citation)
1947 – Ruperto Donoso (Phalanx)
1946 – Warren Mehrtens (Assault)
1945 – Eddie Arcaro (Pavot)
1944 – Gayle Smith (Bounding Home)
1943 – Johnny Longden (Count Fleet)
1942 – Eddie Arcaro (Shut Out)
1941 – Eddie Arcaro (Whirlaway)
1940 – Fred Smith (Bimelech)
1939 – James Stout (Johnstown)
1938 – James Stout (Pasteurized)
1937 – Charley Kurtsinger (War Admiral)
1936 – James Stout (Granville)
1935 – Willie Saunders (Omaha)
1934 – Wayne Wright (Peace Chance)
1933 – Mack Garner (Hurryoff)
1932 – Tommy Malley (Faireno)
1931 – Charley Kurtsinger (Twenty Grand)
1930 – Earl Sande (Gallant Fox)
1929 – Mack Garner (Blue Larkspur)
1928 – Clarence Kummer (Vito)
1927 – Earl Sande (Chance Shot)
1926 – Albert Johnson (Crusader)
1925 – Albert Johnson (American Flag)
1924 – Earl Sande (Mad Play)
1923 – Earl Sande (Zev)
1922 – C.H. Miller (Pillory)
1921 – Earl Sande (Grey Lag)
1920 – Clarence Kummer (Man o’ War)
1919 – Johnny Loftus (Sir Barton)
1918 – Frank Robinson (Johren)
1917 – James Butwell (Hourless)
1916 – Everett Haynes (Friar Rock)
1915 – George Byrne (The Finn)
1914 – Merritt Buxton (Luke McLuke)
1913 – Roscoe Troxler (Prince Eugene)
1910 – James Butwell (Sweep)
1909 – Eddie Dugan (Joe Madden)
1908 – Joe Notter (Colin)
1907 – George Mountain (Peter Pan)
1906 – Lucien Lyne (Burgomaster)
1905 – Gene Hildebrand (Tanya)
1904 – George Odom (Delhi)
1903 – John Bullman (Africander)
1902 – John Bullman (Masterman)
1901 – Henry Spencer (Commando)
1900 – Nash Turner (Ildrim)
1899 – Richard Clawson (Jean Bereaud)
1898 – Fred Littlefield (Bowling Brook)
1897 – Joe Scherrer (Scottish Chieftain)
1896 – Henry Griffin (Hastings)
1895 – Fred Taral (Belmar)
1894 – Willie Simms (Henry of Navarre)
1893 – Willie Simms (Comanche)
1892 – William Hayward (Patron)
1891 – Edward Garrison (Foxford)
1890 – Pike Barnes (Burlington)
1889 – William Hayward (Eric)
1888 – Jim McLaughlin (Sir Dixon)
1887 – Jim McLaughlin (Hanover)
1886 – Jim McLaughlin (Inspector B)
1885 – Paul Duffy (Tyrant)
1884 – Jim McLaughlin (Panique)
1883 – Jim McLaughlin (George Kinney)
1882 – Jim McLaughlin (Forester)
1881 – Tom Costello (Saunterer)
1880 – W. Hughes (Grenada)
1879 – George Evans (Spendthrift)
1878 – W. Hughes (Duke of Magenta)
1877 – C. Holloway (Cloverbrook)
1876 – Billy Donohue (Algerine)
1875 – Bobby Swim (Calvin)
1874 – George Barbee (Saxon)
1873 – James Rowe Sr. (Springbok)
1872 – James Rowe Sr. (Joe Daniels)
1871 – Walter Miller (Harry Bassett)
1870 – Edward D. Brown (Kingfisher)
1869 – C. Miller (Fenian)
1868 – Bobby Swim (General Duke)
1867 – Gilbert Patrick (Ruthless)