The hype for this year’s race is alreadythrough the roof with California Chrome’s attempt to become the first TripleCrown winner since 1978. Adding even more excitement to the Belmont Stakes is afull set of prop bets and matchups that have been released by Sportsbook. Thefollowing is a look at a few of my best bets that you can take to the bank.
BelmontStakes Winning Time
The prop bet for the winning time of thisyear’s Belmont Stakes has been listed at 2:29 with the moneyline on the OVERset at -300 and at +240 for the UNDER.
Looking back at the recent winning timesfor this 1 ½ mile race, the total has gone OVER in five of the last six years.It has crossed the 2:30 mark in the last four Belmont Stakes and despite thefact that they are expecting a fast track for this Saturday’s race, the bestplay for this prop is to stick with the recent trends and go OVER the 2:29total time.
BelmontStakes Margin of Victory
The odds for the margin of victory forSaturday are set as follows:
1 to 2 ¾ lengths +200
3 to 5 ¾ lengths +300
½ to ¾ length +400
6 to 7 ¾ lengths +700
8 to 10 ¾ lengths +800
11 to 14 ¾ lengths +1000
15 + lengths +1200
Dead Heat +3000
Last year Palace Malice cruised to a 3 ¼length victory in the Belmont after Union Rags won in 2012 by a neck. If you goback over the last 12 Belmont Stakes the margin of victory has been less thantwo lengths in eight of the races.
This year California Chrome began hisamazing ride with a 1 ¼ length victory in the Kentucky Derby and he followedthat up with a thrilling 1 ½ length win in the Preakness Stakes. Win or lose, Iwould expect another tight race in the Belmont. You can try and squeeze someadditional value at +400 for a ½ to ¾ length victory, but I am happy doublingmy money with a play on 1 to 2 ¾ lengths at +200.
There are a number of great head-to-headmatchups with a solid entry list of 11 horses, but this race really comes downto California Chrome verse the rest of the field. Sportsbook has set the oddsthat this chestnut colt breaks a 36 year drought by finally coming through witha Triple Crown title at -120 for yes. It has set the odds at -110 that he willbecome the 13th horse since Affirmed last won the Triple Crown towin both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but come up short in theBelmont.
Looking at the rest of the field, thesecond favorite at +600 is Wicked Strong and Ride On Curlin in thethird-favorite at +700 so there is quite a gap in value between the favoriteand even the next two best two horses in this race.
Betting the head-to-head matchup betweenCalifornia Chrome and the rest of the field all comes down to a matter ofconfidence. If you believe that this horse is the real deal and the stars havealigned for him to win this race, then risk the 120 to win the $100. The realvalue in this matchup is the -110 on the field by betting that he will not winthe Triple Crown. You now have 10 horses on your side trying to beat one.Personally I am going with California Chrome to get it done. He is the mostsolid contender to come around in years and nothing last forever, even a36-year run that goes directly against my pick.