We are excited to share a few prop bet odds for head-to-head matchups for Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park, the final jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown series for three-year old thoroughbreds.
The main storyline in this year’s Belmont Stakes remains American Pharoah and his bid to lay claim to the elusive Triple Crown title after winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. He has been set as a heavy -150 favorite in betting odds to become just the 12th horse in the storied history of this racing series to capture all three titles. Working against this odds is the fact that since the last Triple Crown winner in 1978, there have been 13 other horses that have failed to seal the deal in the grueling 1 ½ run in the Belmont Stakes.
The following is a look at my sports picks for a few of these head-to-head matchups starting with the biggest one on the board.
American Pharoah vs. the Field
The Belmont Stakes betting odds that American Pharoah goes on to win the Belmont Stakes and this season’s Triple Crown have been set at -150, while the money line for one of the other seven horses in the field ending his run are set at +110.
Everything we know about the past history of the Belmont Stakes goes against American Pharoah's lofty odds to reverse close to 40 years of disappointment in epic failures of horses such as War Emblem in 2002 and Big Brown in 2008 when it came to sealing the deal. Last year, California Chrome came in as a strong favorite to win the Triple Crown after besting the field in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes only to stumble to a fourth-place finish over the longer distance of the Belmont Stakes.
The main reason I am going against these past trends with a pick of American Pharoah to end this extended Triple Crown drought is the overall weakness of the field he will face come Saturday afternoon. He is clearly the cream of the crop in this year’s three-year old class and this will be validated again at Belmont Park.
Frosted vs. Materiality
This should be the best head-to-head matchup on the board in Saturday’s Belmont. The prop bet odds for both of these horses in this showdown have been set at -115 and they also have the same +500 betting odds to win this race.
They went head-to-head against one another in the Kentucky Derby and Frosted got the best of it that time around with a fourth-place finish out of the 15th post at 15/1 odds. Materiality started from the third post at 12/1 odds and finished sixth.
The main reason I am going the other way for this Saturday’s race is a change at jockey for Materiality. While Joel Rosario is expected to once again get the ride on Frosted after guiding him to a first-place finish in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial prior to the Kentucky Derby, Materiality will once again have John Velazquez on board in this race after Javier Castellano got the ride at Churchill Downs.
Velazquez led Materiality to a huge victory in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, but trainer Todd Pletcher decided to put him on Carpe Diem for the Kentucky Derby. Following this week’s unexpected scratch, both Materiality and the two-time Belmont winner Velazquez will be reunited in Saturday’s race.
Keen Ice vs. Frammento
This head-to-head matchup pits the two horses with the longest odds to win the Belmont against one another. Keen Ice has been listed at +2000 to win on Saturday while Frammento has the longest odds on the board at +3500. The money line odds in this showdown favor Keen Ice at -150 and the money line odds that Frammento finishes higher are set at +120.
This is another rematch from the Kentucky Derby and in that race Keen Ice ended-up on top. He went off from the 14th post at 50/1 betting odds with Kent Desormeaux as his jockey and worked his way to a solid seventh-place finish in the crowded 18-horse field. Frammento started from the far outside post at 50/1 odds with Corey Nakatani along for the ride and he ended-up 11th.
The main reason I am placing my sports picks with the higher risk on the money line odds is because I actually like Keen Ice as my show horse in this race behind American Pharoah and Materiality. All the reports coming out of his camp with trainer Dale Romans running the show have been positive and I am looking for a strong run at Belmont in a much smaller field.