The final leg of the Triple Crown is just around the corner. The 2018 Belmont Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, June 9. For more information on the race and how to bet on the event, check out our Belmont betting guide.
Known as the “The Test of Champions” for its grueling distance of 1.5 miles, is often the most difficult of the three legs to predict. For the casual fan, the excitement of this race comes down to whether or not there is a threat to win the Triple Crown. For handicappers and those that like to bet on horse racing, it’s an opportunity to make money.
Who Will Win the Belmont Stakes According to Experts
The favorite to win according to the experts in Vegas is Justify. Which comes as no surprise after Justify won each of the first two legs of the Triple Crown at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Justify and Bravazo are the only two horses in the field that raced in each of the first two legs at Churchill Downs and Pimlico.
Hofburg, Vino Rosso, Noble Indy and Free Drop Billy all took part at the Kentucky Derby, but decided to skip the Preakness Stakes.
Tenfold is the only horse in the field that ran at the Preakness that didn’t race at the Derby.
There also two new additions to the mix in Blended Citizen and Gronkowski.
For those of you looking for some advice on who to wager on, I’ve provided my win/place/show predictions below. You can check how I did and see if you were a winner with our Belmont payouts page.
Expert Handicapper Picks on Belmont Stakes: Win/Place/Show Predictions
Win: Vino Russo (9/1)
Picking the favorite to win the Derby and Preakness isn’t a bad move, as they often win the race. That’s not the case in the third and final leg. In fact, the odds on favorite has won this event just 7 times in the last 39 years. Another big key to winning this race is rest. There have only been 5 horses who have run at Pimlico and won here in the last 18 years.
That’s why I’m passing on Justify and taking a shot on Vino Russo, who I believe is much better than the 9th place finish he had at the Kentucky Derby. Vino Russo really made a name for himself at the Wood Memorial in April, where he put together an impressive finish that suggest he’s more than capable of handling this 1.5-mile track. Not a big surprise given this horse was sired by Curlin, who is regarded as one of the best distance runners of our time.
Couple other things I like is that trainer Todd Pletcher has won this race 3 times over the last 3 decades and there’s belief that Pletcher’s other horse in the field, Noble Indy, is only in the field to help Vino Russo get the win. Many assume that Pletcher will have Noble Indy push the pace early in hopes that Justify tries to keep up and use up some of that energy that he will need for the stretch run.
Place: Bravazo (7/1)
My favorite horse in the field outside of Vino Russo is Bravazo, who I was really impressed with at the Preakness Stakes in his near victory over Justify. It certainly looked like if that race had been run at a longer distance that Bravazo would have been able to pass Justify in the stretch run.
Show: Justify (4/5)
While I’m not picking Justify to win this race and the Triple Crown, it certainly wouldn’t come as a surprise if this horse proved me wrong. I think that with the relatively small field and just how good this horse has looked in the first two legs, that he’s going to be in the mix. In fact, I actually think we could see Justify in the lead late in the race, but my belief is that he will ultimately run out of gas and end up in 3rd behind Vino Russo and Bravazo.
*While I’m confident with my 1-2-3 prediction, I will be placing a trifecta box on these three horses. I’ll also be placing a superfecta wager with Gronkowski (25/1) to finish 4th.