The final leg of the Triple Crown is just four days away. The 2016 Belmont Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, June 11.
Known as the “The Test of Champions” for it’s grueling distance of 1.5 miles. Last year, American Pharoah became the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.
The excitement coming into that race was as big as it’s been in years. Unfortunately that same buzz doesn’t surround the event this time around. That’s because Derby winner, Nyquist, finished 3rd in the Preakness.
Still, there’s money to be made betting. For those of you looking for some advice on who to wager on, I’ve provided my win/place/show predictions below.
The official field for the Belmont won’t be known until Wednesday’s deadline. However, we have a good idea of who is going to be racing on Saturday.
Preakness winner, Exaggerator, will be the favorite. He an Lani are the only two horses in the field that have raced at both the Derby and Preakness.
Several Derby horses that skipped running at Pimlico will be back in action. Those horses are Suddenbreakingnews, Destin, Brody’s Cause, Creator and Trojan Nation.
Cherry Wine and Stradivari will be in the field after racing in Preakness Stakes and not the Derby. The newcomers are Governor Malibu, Forever d’Oro, Seeking The Soul and Gettysburg.
Win: Suddenbreakingnews (7/1)
This might come as a bit of a surprise to some, as most will have Exaggerator pegged to win this race. However, history tells us to avoid the favorite. Only 7 times in the last 10 years has the favorite won this event. Suddenbreaking news finished 5th at the Derby, but was closing ground at the finish line. Had he had another 1/4 mile to work with, he would have easily come in 3rd. In my opinion he’s the best horse in the field not name Exaggerator. The key here is he’s going to fresh after not racing at Pimlico, which is a big advantage.
This horse also has the pedigree to tackle the 1.5 mile track at Belmont Park. He’s also got an experienced and proven jockey on his back in Mike Smith. Smith has won the Belmont twice in the last 6 years. He guided Drosselmeyer to victory in 2010 and Palace Malice in 2013.
Place: Brody’s Cause (18/1)
Here’s another Derby horse that skipped the Preakness. Like Suddenbreakingnews, I’m expecting big things out of Brody’s Cause. He finished a disappointing 7th at the Derby, but he too closed very strong. Brody’s Cause made up 5 1/2 lengths during the final stretch run. Only two times in his career has he not made up ground in the stretch. The extra distance at this race should work to his advantage.
Pedigree is something that I really look for in this race. Brody’s Cause definitely fits the bill. His sire is Giant’s Causeway, who won 9 of his 13 races, finishing runner-up in the other 4.
Show: Exaggerator (5/6)
I’ll admit that it’s difficult to not have Exaggerator in the top two, but history is hard to go against. It’s not as easy as people think to run well after racing in both the Derby and Preakness. In fact, just one horse has won this race after running in each of the first two legs. You also have to go back to 1955 to find the last horse to finish runner-up at the Derby and win both Belmont and Preakness.
*This is the order I’m predicting for the race. However, I will be placing a trifecta box on these three horses. I’ll also be placing a few superfecta wagers with Cherry Wine, Governor Malibu and Lani to finish 4th.