The final jewel of this year’s Triple Crown horse racing season is up for grabs this Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York with the running of the 147th Belmont Stakes. Also at stake is American Pharoah’s bid to become the first Triple Crown winner in almost 40 years.
Horse racing fans and bettors alike will be dialed into this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes to see if American Pharoah can do what 13 other three-year old thoroughbreds could not since Affirmed won all three jewels of this racing series all the way back in 1978. GT Bets has added even more excitement to what could be a historic event with a number of prop bet odds in conjunction with this race. The following are my top three prop plays based on these betting odds
2015 Belmont Stakes-Margin of Victory
The betting odds are as follows:
Dead Heat 75/1
½ to ¾ length 7/2
1 to 2 ¾ lengths 9/4
3 to 5 ¾ lengths 9/2
6 to 8 ¾ lengths 10/1
9 to 11 ¾ lengths 14/1
10 + lengths 10/1
Looking back at the recent history of the Belmont Stakes you would find that the margin of victory in this race was less than one length in five of the last eight years. Tonalist’s stunning victory last year was by a head and in 2012 Union Rags won the Belmont by a neck. If you go back to 2007, it was another tight finish with Rags to Riches winning by a head.
The largest margin of victory during this same stretch was Da’Tara’s win in 2008 by 5 ¼ lengths. In 2013, Palace Malice bested the field by 3 ¼ lengths to post the second-largest win.
If you are the type of bettor that relies heavily on recent trends, then you might want to go with the more favorable odds for some of the tighter finishes. I happen to believe that American Pharoah is going to win this race going away, so I am going to stretch the value in the other direction with a play on the 10/1 odds for a 6 to 8 ¾ length margin of victory given the extra distance of this race.
American Pharoah Finishes in the Top Three
As mentioned, I think the favorite wins big on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, but I am intrigued about a play on the NO for this prop. I do not subscribe to any conspiracy theories, but there is a reason why 13 previous horses have failed to win this race after winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
Two of the biggest favorites to win a Triple Crown in the past few years were Big Brown in 2008 and California Chrome just last year. Big Brown did not even finish his run in the Belmont and California Chrome faded to a disappointing fourth in his attempt to seal the deal. If you go back even further, War Emblem was another big Triple Crown favorite in 2002 and he ended-up eighth in the Belmont.
I would make it a very small play, but I am going to go against my own pick to tempt history to repeat itself by going with the NO in this prop to try and cash-in on the inflated value in the +450 odds.
Frosted (-140) vs. Keen Ice + 4.5 lengths (100)
Frosted is widely considered to be American Pharoah’s biggest competition in the Belmont Stakes as a 5/1 second-favorite while Keen Ice has the second-longest betting odds in the field of eight to win this race at 20/1.
After carefully handicapping the field for Saturday’s race, I actually have Keen Ice as my show horse after American Pharoah and Materiality so I plan to go big in this prop with a play on the three-year old colt plus the 4.5 lengths.
There is no denying that Frosted is a quality horse that followed-up an impressive victory in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct with a strong fourth-place run in the Kentucky Derby. However, I have Keen Ice as the biggest sleeper in this field with Dale Romans as his trainer and Kent Desormeaux as his jockey. He went off at 50/1 odds from the 14th post in the Kentucky Derby right next to Frosted and ended-up seventh in the crowded field of 18 horses.
The majority of the training reports for Keen Ice have been extremely positive this week and I believe he is ready for a strong run come Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park.