All eyes will be on American Pharoah in his bid to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 but this handicapper's on a mission to spot darkhorses with longshot odds for Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
The Belmont Stakes betting odds for an expected 10-horse field have been set and while American Pharoah remains the 5/6 odds-on favorite to win the Belmont and complete his epic run into the history books, there is some solid value in possibly betting on a longshot or two come Saturday afternoon
The following is a closer look at a few horses that are more than capable of playing the role of spoiler as longshots on Bovada’s futures board with a win on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park.
Keen Ice- 28/1
Keen Ice could have the best value sports pick on the board at these odds. Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, this three-year old made his Triple Crown racing debut by finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby after starting from the 14th post at 50/1 betting odds. So far the reports out of Belmont Park have all been pretty positive with one expert calling him “fresh and dangerous”.
The main knock on this horse has been his inability to close-out races as a three-year old. Before the Kentucky Derby he ran in three other graded stakes events during the prep race season and his best finish was third in the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on Feb. 21. He went on to finish fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at that same track on March 28.
Frammento is trainer Nick Zito’s entry into the 2015 Belmont Stakes. He went off as a 50/1 longshot way out on the 21st post in the Kentucky Derby and ended-up 11th in the final field of 18 horses with Corey Nakatani along for the ride. Look for jockey Mike Smith to get the call in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Zito also mentioned that he will probably run Frammento without the blinkers in this race.
Prior to the Kentucky Derby, Frammento also ran in this year’s Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, but he finished out of the money in fourth place. He did bring home the show money in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park by taking third. In his only other graded stakes race as a three-year old, he finished a distant sixth in the Grade 2 Holy Bull on Jan. 24 at Gulfstream.
The Truth or Else- 50/1
This three-year old should go off at the longest odds in Saturday’s field, but it would not be the first major upset for trainer Kenny McPeek in the Belmont Stakes. Back in 2002, his entry Sarava went off as a 70/1 longshot and stunned the field with the win to record the biggest upset in the history of this race. This unprecedented victory also ended War Emblem’s bid for a Triple Crown title that year.
Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, this will be The Truth or Else’s first run in a Triple Crown event after missing both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. His last time out in a stakes race he finished fifth in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on May 2. His best finish in a graded stakes race was second in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 22.