The Belmont is the longest of the three races that make up the Triple Crown at a 1 ½ mile distance around a dirt track, and the total prize purse for this event is $1.5 million. While the final field will not be officially set until next week with the drawing of the post positions, we already have a pretty good idea at which three-year old contenders are scheduled to run in this race. The following is a brief look at the field along with the futures odds to win as provided by Bovada.
The Triple Crown Threat
Even a casual fan of horse racing is probably aware of what is on the line when California Chrome enters the starting gate for this race. With stirring victories in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, this three-year old chestnut colt will attempt to make history by becoming the first horse since 1978 to win the elusive Triple Crown of Thoroughbred horse racing.
Since Affirmed claimed that title 36 years ago there have been 12 other horses that have won the first two legs, but failed to capitalize on the opportunity join a very exclusive list of horses. California Chrome has been opened as a 1/1 favorite to become just the 12th horse in the history of this event to win all three jewels of the Triple Crown. Trained by Art Sherman and ridden by Victor Espinoza, he is now undefeated in five races as a three-year old heading into this race.
The Triple Crown Veterans
Ride on Curlin is the only horse that is expected to run in the Belmont that has also run in the first two races. He finished a disappointing seventh in the Kentucky Derby, but he bounced back to push California Chrome to his limit with a second-place finish in the Preakness. This colt is trained by William Gowan, ridden by John Velazquez, and seen as the biggest threat to pull-off the upset at 5/1 odds.
Trainer Dallas Stewart decided to hold Commanding Curve out of the Preakness after finishing a surprising second in the Kentucky Derby. This colt opened at 50/1 odds on the morning line for the Derby, but he is a 15/2 third-favorite on Bovada’s futures odds for the Belmont.
Also back from a run in the Derby after skipping the Preakness is Wicked Strong, at 9/1 odds to win the Belmont. This horse was heavily touted as a legitimate contender to win at Churchill Downs as the second favorite, but he could only manage a fourth-place finish just out of the money. He is trained by James Jerkins, and ridden by Rajiv Maragh.
Samraat opened at 15/1 odds on the morning line for the
Kentucky Derby, and once again he was bested by Wicked Strong with a fifth-place
finish at Churchill. This was after finishing second to him in the Grade I Wood
Memorial in April. Samraat was also held out of the Preakness. Trained by Rick
Violette Jr. and ridden by Jose Ortiz, he has been listed at 20/1 to win the
There are two horses that are expected to be in the field for the Belmont that did not run in the Kentucky Derby, but did run in the Preakness Stakes: Kid Cruz and Social Inclusion.
The Triple Crown Newcomers
The horse at the top of the list for three-year olds expected to run in the Belmont after skipping the first two races is Tonalist, who is listed at 15/2 to win his first and only Triple Crown event. Trained by Christophe Clement, his only stakes race experience as a three-year old was a solid victory in the Grade II Peter Pan Stakes on May 10. The fact that this race was run at Belmont Park is the main reason his current odds are so low. A few other horses expected to make their Triple Crown racing debut in the Belmont Stakes are Commissioner at 28/1, Matterhorn at 33/1 and Matuszak at 40/1.