American Pharoah won the second leg of Horse Racing’s Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes and will now look to win Horse Racing’s most prestigious honor on Saturday when the three-year-old attempts to emerge victorious at the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Racetrack, in Elmont, New York.
When three-year-old colt American Pharoah attempts to win the grueling 1½-mile Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on Saturday afternoon and capture that elusive third jewel in Horse Racing’s Triple Crown and become the first to achieve that now seemingly impossible feat in the last 37 years, the odds—at least the figurative ones—will be heavily stacked against him, while the literal betting odds strongly support trainer Bob Baffert’s little bay horse making a little bit of history. Yesterday morning, the Draw was held at Rockefeller Center in New York City for Saturday’s 147th running of these Belmont Stakes, with American Pharoah nabbing the No. 5 post in the paltry 8-horse field, the smallest in the prestigious race since 2007. A big potential challenger to American Pharoah (W6), Dortmund—also trained by Baffert—will not be racing in the Belmont Stakes. American Pharoah held off Firing Line—another very talented horse not participating in Saturday’s race—in the Kentucky Derby (May 2) and the completely smoked the entire field in the Preakness Stakes three weeks ago (May 16), pulling away from rest of the field with jockey Victor Espinoza again onboard and ultimately winning by a very impressive 7 lengths.
Here is yesterday’s Draw along with the opening odds from Bovada.
2015 Belmont Stakes Draw, Post Positions and Opening Odds—(Bovada)
2—Tale Of Verve 20/1
5—American Pharoah 3/5
7—Keen Ice 25/1
Updated Odds on Some Futures Bets Out There Involving American Pharoah
Will American Pharoah Win the 2015 Triple Crown? Yes -150, No +120 (Bovada)
Will American Pharoah Win the 2015 Triple Crown? Yes -120, No Even (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
American Pharoah To Win the 2015 Triple Crown: -137, Stan James
Will American Pharoah Win the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic? Yes +350, No -500 (Bovada, October 31, Keeneland, Lexington, Kentucky)
Will American Pharoah Win the 2016 Dubai World Cup? Yes +300, No -500 (Bovada, Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
2015 Belmont Stakes Information
What: 147th Belmont Stakes
Where: Belmont Race Track, Elmont, New York
Distance: 1 1/2 miles (12 furlongs)
When: Saturday, June 5, 2015
TV Coverage: NBC
TV Coverage Start Time: 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 .m. PT
Race Post Time: 6:50 p.m. ET/5:50 CT/3:50 p.m. PT (approximate)
Radio: SiriusXM Channel SIRI 92 (Internet 92)—(Broadcast starts 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT)
Draw: Wednesday, June 3
Purse: $1,500,000 (Winner: $800,000)
Track Record: Secretariat, 1973 (2:24.00)
Free Fun Fact: Trainer Woody Stephens won the Belmont Stakes five straight years with Conquistador Cielo (1982), Caveat (1983), Swale (1984), Creme Fraiche (1985) and Danzig Connection (1986).
Belmont Stakes Handicappers Preview: Friday, June 5—TVG, 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT
Elmont Weather Channel Forecast Saturday: High—79°
Cloudy skies early, will become Partly Cloudy later in the day. 10% chance of Precipitation. Winds NNE 10-15 mph. Humidity 57%.
Conclusions and Some Simple Betting Approaches
With so few horses (8) in this race (with Carpe Diem and The Truth Or Else both pulling out of this race earlier in the week)—just like the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in the second leg of the renowned Triple Crown—this Belmont Stakes—Race 11 on the card—may be easy to pick the winner in and maybe the top three or four finishers in, but this should be a pretty hard Horse Race in which to bet with our sports picks in terms of how to make some money with almost everyone having almost the same exact idea—Trifectas and Superfectas and Boxed wagers of both—heading in. (Of note, a $1 Superfecta Box of all possible winning combinations in a Horse Race with 8 horses in the field costs $1,680). And there’s been much made out of the fact that no horse has won this wicked, marathon-like third leg—nicknamed The Test Of The Champion—since Affirmed did so with jockey Steve Cauthen aboard back in 1978, when A Taste Of Honey had a hit with the song ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie”.
The 13 horses which have won the Kentucky Derby (Churchill Downs) and the Preakness Stakes (Pimlico Race Track) but failed here at the Belmont Stakes since 1979 are Spectacular Bid (1979, 3rd); Pleasant Colony (1981, 3rd); Alysheba (1987; 4th); Sunday Silence (1989, 2nd); Silver Charm (1997, 2nd); Real Quiet (1998, 2nd); Charismatic (1999, 3rd); War Emblem (2002, 8th); Funny Cide (2003, 3rd); Smarty Jones (2004, 2nd); Big Brown (2008, DNF), I’ll Have Another (2012, Did Not Start) and California Chrome (2014, 4th). There have been a total of 23 horses who have failed in this regard in Triple Crown history and there have been eight horses who have finished 2nd at Belmont, just missing that elusive Triple Crown, including Tim Tam (1958) and Real Quiet (1998).
So, this Belmont Stakes deserves its reputation as a Triple Crown Killer, but the competition is so darn weak here and American Pharoah has won 6 straight and 6 of his 7 lifetime races, and with a confident and familiar jockey like Espinoza on his back—a guy willing to use the whip down the homestretch if he has to—look for this horse to be the first since Affirmed in 1978 to win Horse Racing’s Triple Crown. With American Pharoah’s Speed and ability to pull away from the pack as well as slide out of jams and tight spots being assets and Stamina potentially being the big liability with Frosted (6/1, Bovada) or maybe Materiality (13/2) possibly pulling off the theoretical big upset because of the 1½-mile distance. Look for American Pharoah to beat the field by 5-10 lengths and make a little equine history on Saturday at Belmont Park and for the Sports and Mainstream Media to go crazy about it. But honestly, against this very weak Field and with just 7 other horses in the race, a Triple Crown here should be seen as one earned via Preakness and Belmonts with below average competition and 8-horse Fields. Everything has its context. But still, it could be quite the story should American Pharoah win by 10 or more lengths and/or come close to Horse Racing legend Secretariat’s track record of 2:24.00 in this race set back in 1973. We’ll see soon enough.
Belmont Stakes Winner Pick: American Pharoah 3/5 (Bovada)
Belmont Stakes Trifecta Pick: 5-6-8
Belmont Stakes Superfecta Pick: 5-6-8-1
Belmont Stakes Prop Bet: Will American Pharoah Win the 2015 Triple Crown? Yes -150 (Bovada)