Race coverage on NBC will start at 5:30 for the expected 6 p.m. post time.
As a result of Orb winning the Kentucky Derby and Oxbow finishing first in the Preakness Stakes there will be no run at a Triple Crown in the Belmont, but with a quality field of three-year old thoroughbreds set to compete, it should be an extremely exciting race none the less. The Grade I Belmont Stakes is the longest of the Triple Crown series at 1 ½ miles and the most grueling test these horses will face all year long. While many familiar faces are expected to run in this race along with Orb and Oxbow, such as Revolutionary and Will Take Charge, there are also quite a few new horses expected to be in the field after sitting out the Derby and the Preakness. The following is an early look at the odds for some of the top contenders.
Revolutionary was opened at 10/1 betting odds for the Kentucky Derby and finished in the money by taking third. Trainer Todd Pletcher decided to hold this colt out of the Preakness Stakes to allow some additional prep time for the Belmont Stakes. The strategy appears to have paid off as he has been opened as a +400 favorite to win this race. Earlier this season, this horse made a name for himself by winning the $1 million Grade I Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. He went off as a 5/2 favorite for that race and held off Mylute and Departing to notch his first major stakes race victory.
Another early favorite at +400 is Kentucky Derby winner Orb. He got stuck in the middle of the pack in the Preakness after going off as a prohibitive favorite, but will now try and become the first horse to win the first and last legs of the Triple Crown since 1995, when Thunder Gulch accomplished the same feat. The longer distance of this race could be an issue for this horse after appearing to lose some steam down the backstretch of the Preakness. It will be up to trainer Shug McGaughey to get Orb ready for this race, but the bigger key could be jockey Joel Rosario’s ability to put this horse in a much better position to make a similar run that landed him in first place for the Kentucky Derby.
The third-favorite at +450 to win the 145th Belmont is Preakness winner Oxbow at +450. He played the role of spoiler at Pimlico Race Track a few weeks ago with his stunning victory fresh on the heels of posting a solid sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. The last time a three-year old won the final two legs of the Triple Crown was in 2005 when Afleet Alex followed-up his win in the Preakness with a victory in the Belmont Stakes. Trained by D Wayne Lucas and ridden by veteran jockey Gary Stevens, Oxbow definitely has what it takes to win this race as demonstrated by his wire-to-wire run in the Preakness. If Stevens can get him out front early in this race he will be tough to catch.
The early odds for a few other contenders to win this year’s Belmont include Freedom Child and Golden Soul at +900, Will Take Charge at +1000, Overanalyze at +1200 and Unlimited Budget at +1500. A few of the longest odds to win this race currently belong to Micromanage at +3500 along Midnight Taboo, Always in a Tiz and Giant Finish, which are all listed at +3000 for our Belmont Stakes sports picks.