Here are Wednesday’s post positions and the opening Morning Line odds for the marathon 1½-mile gallop along with some picks on a winner and a couple Trifectas and Superfectas for your consideration.
Introduction: Favorite Exaggerator, Desormeaux Brothers Look Too Hard to Beat in This Spot
The 148th running of the Belmont Stakes will be run at Belmont Racetrack in Elmont, New York on a potentially rainy Saturday afternoon and it seems much of the entertainment luster has been taken of of the grueling 1½-mile (12 furlongs) trot with Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist out of the race with a fever and heavy odds-favorite Exaggerator without that theoretical forced nemesis it seems needed to thicken the plot. But we’re looking at this from a betting perspective and not from a Horse Racing or Historical perspective, so trying to figure out if any of the other thoroughbreds in this 13-horse field can bet Exaggerator (+180), and if they can’t, who might have the Stamina and Energy left to close hard in the so-called “Test of the Champions.”
And both oddsmakers and those heavily following the Equine industry seem to think that the Kent Desormeaux-trained Exaggerator—jocked by Keith’s brother Kent—may be the only real champion in this field when Father Time looks back and judges the three races in Horse Racing’s Triple Crown from the year 2016. Exaggerator—the sophomore son of Curlin—is still the No. 7 Horse in the world in the Longines Best Horse Rankings and had he maybe had a different trip at the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, we may actually be talking about a second straight Triple Crown winner this weekend. Here is Wednesday’s Draw for The Run For The Carnations along with the Opening odds for the big race from the Empire State, which like the Preakness Stakes—won by Exaggerator—may be run in come pretty sloppy, muddy and wet conditions if The Weather Channel forecast four days out end up ringing true.
2016 Belmont Stakes Draw, Post Positions, Opening Odds—(Trainer in parenthesis)
1—Governor Malibu +1200 (Christophe Clement)
2—Destin +600 (Todd Pletcher)
3—Cherry Wine +800 (Dale L. Romans)
4—Suddenbreakngnews +1000 (Donnie K. Von Hemel) +1000
5—Stradivari +500 (Todd Pletcher)
6—Gettysburg +3000 (Steven Asmussen)
7—Seeking The Soul +3000 (Dallas Stewart)
8—Forever d’Oro +3000 (Dallas Stewart)
9—Trojan Nation +3000 (Patrick Gallagher)
10—Lani +2000 (Miko Matsunaga)
11—Exaggerator +180 (Keith Desormeaux)
12—Brody’s Cause +2000 (Dale L. Romans)
13—Creator +1000 (Steven Asmussen)
2016 Belmont Stakes Information
What: 148th Belmont Stakes
Where: Belmont Race Track, Elmont
Distance: 1 1/2 miles (12 furlongs)
When: Saturday, June 12, 2016
TV Coverage: NBC
TV Coverage Start Time: 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT
Race Post Time: 6:32 p.m. EDT/5:32 CST/3:32 p.m. PDT (approximate)
Draw: Wednesday, June 8 (Rockefeller Center, NYC)
Belmont Stakes Handicappers Preview: Friday, June 10—TVG, 11 p.m., 12 a.m.
Purse: $1,500,000 (Winner: $800,000)
Track Record: Secretariat, 1973 (2:24.00)
Belmont Stakes 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).
Elmont Weather Channel Forecast Saturday: Scattered Clouds with a possibility of isolated Thunderstorms in the afternoon, High of 76°. Chance of Rain 30%. Winds SSW 10 to 15 mph. Humidity 50%.
Last Year’s Belmont Stakes Results and Basic Payout Schedule
W—American Pharoah (5): $3.50 Win, $2.80 Place, $2.50 Show
P—Frosted (6): $3.50 Place, $2.90 Show
S—Keen Ice (7): $4.60 Show
$2 Exacta (5/6): $13.60
$2 Trifecta (5/6/7): $109.50
$1 Superfecta (5/6/7/1): $285.00
Conclusions and Weeding Out the Favorites
Like the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, it seems the really good 3-year-olds drew odd-numbered posts on Wednesday at the Draw at Rockefeller Center, with heavy chalk Exaggerator getting the No. 11 post, second odds-favorite and the Todd Pletcher-trained Stradivari (+500) drawing the No. 5 spot, Cherry Wine (+800) landing the No. 3 spot and the Steve Asmussen-trained Creator (+1000) drawing the outside, No. 13 post position for Saturday’s race.
With the highest average Beyer Speed Figure this year for 3-year-olds, Exaggerator (103 Beyer in Santa Anita Derby in April, 101 Beyer in Kentucky Derby) and only two other horses in this race posting a Beyer of 100 or more this year—Stradivari (+500) with a 100 at Keeneland on April 17 at 1 1/8 miles and Destin (+600) with a 100 at Tampa Bay Downs on at 1 1/16 miles on March 12—and Exaggerator proving that he can run well, pass and hold the lead in Sloppy conditions as he did at Pimlico three weeks ago, backing the chalk is the obvious start here as probably only Stradivari and Cherry Wine have real shots of edging Exaggerator over this long slog.
And with Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard Exaggerator and expectations high, this horse seems well-rested enough, has had his shoes changed and seems to already proven he may have the stamina to not only win but possibly pull away from the pack down the homestretch if not clogged, stuck or involved in a bad trip. But with just 13 horses and those fresh Memories of success at the Preakness Stakes, Desormeaux shouldn’t let his horse get into any of this potential trouble and the problem may end up being having enough to close hard—as it has been at this 1½-mile race forever. In a Tuesday morning (8:45 a.m.) workout at Belmont, Exaggerator reportedly covered 5 furlongs in 1:00 4/5 on a Fast Track and looked good in the workout.
So if Exaggerator is our presumed winner, then it’s a matter of trying to fit the other perceived talent in this field of 13 into some kind of Place, Show and 4th-place order which at least sort of makes some sense. And with the aforementioned Stradivaria and Destin the only two posting 100 Beyer figures this year, using them along with Cherry Wine and Creator seems like the most logical approach. So we’re working with the 2, 3, 5 and 11—and the 13 for those who either believe in Creator or who might like the outside position the colt drew—saddle cloth numbers and hoping that other horses like the No. 4 Suddenbreakingnews (+1000), the No. 10 Lani (+2000) and the No. 12 Brody’s Cause (+2000) all fail to hit the board and that the strange odd-numbered Horses continue their Grade 1 success this Spring.
BELMONT STAKES WINNER PICK: 11—Exaggerator +180
BELMONT STAKES TRIFECTA PICKS: 11-3-5 and 11-5-3
BELMONT STAKES SUPERFECTA PICKS: 11-3-5-2 and 11-5-3-2