Triple Crown fever has been running high among horse bettors as American Pharoah continues to prepare to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and next Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.
The ten-horse field for this year’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY is pretty much set and while American Pharoah is the clear favorite at 5/6 betting odds on sportsbook's futures for the Belmon State's race, there are a trio of top contenders that are fixed on ending his run. The following is a brief look at each of these three horses as well as the Belmont Stakes betting odds for the entire field.
This three-year old has already been in a head-to-head duel with American Pharoah down the stretch of the Kentucky Derby after finishing just outside the money in fourth place. He went off from the 15th post in the Derby at closing betting odds of 15/1. What was so impressive about that run was the way he was able to make up ground with some serious closing speed.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Joel Rosario, Frosted closed-out his juvenile campaign with a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct in late November. He also placed second in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in his first race as a three-year old. Following a disappointing fourth-place run in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream in late February, Frosted cemented himself as a serious Kentucky Derby contender with a stunning victory in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 4. He skipped the Preakness Stakes to prepare for the grueling 1 ½ run in the Belmont.
This colt is one of three entries in the Belmont Stakes that are trained by Todd Pletcher, who has become notorious for holding some of his top contenders out of the 1 3/16 mile Preakness Stakes to gain an edge for the longer run in the Belmont. Materiality closed at 12/1 betting odds for the Kentucky Derby out of the third post and he ended-up sixth in the field of 18 with Javier Castellano along for the ride.
The knock against Materiality was his lack of racing experience as a two-year old, but he made a clean sweep of his first three races as a three-year old starting with a Maiden Special Weight race at Gulfstream Park in early January. He went on to finish first in the Islamorada Stakes at Gulfstream on March 6, but his biggest victory to date was an impressive first-place run in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at the same track later that month. Keep in mind when preparing your sports picks that he was sired by Afleet Alex, who won the second two legs of the Triple Crown in 2005 after finishing third in the Kentucky Derby.
Carpe Diem 12/1
This is another Pletcher-trained three-year old that came into this year’s Triple Crown racing season with very high expectations. He went off as an 8/1 third-favorite from the second post in the Kentucky Derby behind American Pharoah and Dortmund, but he faded to 10th in a less than stellar run with veteran jockey John Velazquez getting the ride.
The hype surrounding this horse started last year as a juvenile with a solid victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity Stakes at Keeneland on October 4. In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park he turned in another impressive performance with a second-place finish in a very talented field of two-year olds. Carpe Diem started his three-year old campaign with a victory in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, but what made him one of the top three favorites for the Kentucky Derby was his first-place finish in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 4.
The betting odds for the rest of the expected field for next Saturday’s Belmont Stakes starts with Mubtaahij at 16/1. Madefromlucky is Pletcher’s third entry in the Belmont and he will be making his Triple Crown debut at 22/1 betting odds. Tale of Verve is also listed at 22/1 odds followed by Keen Ice at 28/1 and Frammento as a 40/1 longshot. Bovada did not have betting odds set for The Truth Or Else, who is also expected to run in the Belmont.