Will we see Lucky 13 on Saturday?
Belmont Stakes odds have Justify as the heavy favorite, as the Derby and Preakness winner looks to become just the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown. But given the poor conditions of the first two races, combined with the unique length of the Belmont, there are lots of challengers to block Justify’s run at history.
Belmont Stakes Odds
Here are the Saturday morning odds (post time 6:37 p.m. Eastern):
Vino Rosso +900
Blended Citizen +1800
Noble Indy +2800
Free Drop Billy +3000
Restoring Hope +3300
While it’s nice to see a Triple Crown winner, it’s hardly profitable for bettors. With lame odds on Justify, we’ll have to look elsewhere for a good payout.
Belmont Stakes Picks
Justify is a massive horse. He’s taller than Secretariat, and weighs 250 pounds more than the average thoroughbred. While that strength may come in handy when conditions are sloppy, the combination of Belmont distance and his recent workload could make Justify a shaky favorite to some. This will be the sixth race since February 18 for the three-year old, who took his entire second year off. Justify is also running on the inside post, where no horse has won the Belmont since 1997.
Those are the concerns, but for betting purposes, I truly think Justify is a freak of a horse and will contend in this race.
I also like Vino Rosso to contend on Saturday. This horse, who is jockeyed by two-time Stakes winner John Velasquez, skipped the Preakness to be fresh for the Belmont. I love horses that are fresh for this race, and Rosso finished ninth in the Derby after recovering from a rough and messy start. Vino Rosso is also owned by Todd Pletcher, who has three Belmont wins to his name. Vino Rosso is priced at +800.
With Justify getting favorites odds, expect smallest underdog Hofburg to be a popular bet. It starts at birth with Hofburg, as he was sired by a horse (Tapit) that has produced three of the last four Belmont winners. Where Justify has run a half-dozen races in four months, this will be Hofburg’s fifth race. He’s basically been bred for this race, and is fresh enough after finishing ninth in the Derby to draw lots of money at +450.
If none of those horses strike your fancy, another horse worth consideration is Tenfold. Owner Ron Winchell believes that on a clean track– unlike the Preakness, where Tenfold lost to Justify by a length- his horse can cruise to a victory. Tenfold would make for a nice cash at +1000.
Pick: Exacta box with Justify, Vino Rosso and Tenfold