When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
Check out our predictions and odds for the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park!
I Ortiz, Jr
ANGEL OF EMPIRE
RED ROUTE ONE
Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
Led by the 2022 champion juvenile male Forte, a field of nine has been entered in the 155th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Away since winning the Grade 1 Florida Derby on April 1, the son of Violence will come into the 1 1/2-mile “Test of the Champion” as a winner of five consecutive graded stakes races.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, he’s won four Grade 1 races, including last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile which clinched his Eclipse Award.
Chief among his opposition will be a trio of graded stakes winners, including his stablemate Tapit Trice.
A son of Tapit, the gray colt won both the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby and Grade 1 Blue Grass before finishing seventh last time in the Kentucky Derby.
Angel of Empire, who had earlier won the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes and the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, finished a hard-charging third in the Kentucky Derby. He is one of three in the race for trainer Brad Cox.
National Treasure comes into the Grade 1 Belmont fresh off a front-running Preakness victory three weeks ago. The Bob Baffert-trained colt is the only one in the race with a chance to win two-thirds of this year’s Triple Crown.
Having missed both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness due to a minor hoof bruise, this champion son of Violence will finally get a chance to prove that he is still best of the division.
A winner of five straight graded stakes races, he has defeated both the Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness winner previously. Trained by Todd Pletcher, he will need to be at his best on Saturday, though, as this is a solid field, and he hasn’t run for ten weeks.
With a little more tactical speed than the next two favorites, he could get first run at the Preakness winner. From there, he will have every chance to show his class. He is the one to beat.
This son of Classic Empire has done little wrong for trainer Brad Cox in his seven-race career. After running second to a stablemate to start the season in the Smarty Jones Stakes, he rattled off convincing wins in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes and the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.
When Forte was scratched out of the Derby, he became the favorite. He didn’t win the roses, but his strong finishing third that day was another very good performance.
A horse who likes to do his best running late, it is interesting that blinkers will be added on Saturday. He is certainly a threat in here, but as one of the favorites, I am leaning to the Pletcher-trained runners just a bit more.
After a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, this son of Tapit was immediately pointed for the Belmont. Sired by America’s top distance stallion, he seems tailor made for the demands of the final leg of the Triple Crown.
Previous victories in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby and Grade 1 Blue Grass showed that the Todd Pletcher-trainee belongs with this class, and in the Derby his trip was not ideal.
Given the expansiveness of the Belmont Park track, the powerful gray should be able to run his race. With just enough early speed to set the table, I like his chances to be running best down the lane. He is the top pick.
The winner of the Preakness had everything his own way that afternoon at Pimlico, as he was allowed to lope along on an uncontested lead. It’s no wonder he had enough left in the stretch to turn away the challenge of Blazing Sevens.
Things should be considerably tougher on Saturday, though. The Bob Baffert-trained son of Quality Road, will likely be tested more early this time as he tries to stretch his speed a full 12-furlongs.
He showed his class last time, and he does look like a horse willing to keep going when the heat is on, but while the Preakness set up beautifully for him, the Belmont will likely be that much tougher.
Kentucky Derby winning rider Javier Castellano will be looking to make it two out of three in this year’s Triple Crown with another up and coming colt who wintered in Florida. After showing some ability in his first two career starts, this son of Arrogate really has stepped it up in his last two.
His maiden breaking performance at Gulfstream was impressive, and then he showed some real toughness last out when outdueling the talented Bishops Bay over the track in the Grade 3 Peter Pan.
Trained by Jena Antonucci, he still needs to prove he belongs at this level, but improving with every start and with a win over the track, he looks like a legitimate threat in the Belmont Stakes.
The second of three for trainer Brad Cox, this son of Candy Ride ran a decent race in the Kentucky Derby. Relatively close to the hot early pace, he stayed on pretty well to finish fifth, although he never looked like a winner.
Before that he had run some solid races to win the Grade 3 Withers and was probably unlucky not to win the Grade 2 Wood Memorial.
There’s really not much to dislike with the well-bred runner, but on the other hand, I don’t know that I’ve seen anything out of him to believe that he can beat all the top ones. He’s not out of it, but I do prefer some others.
One of two sons of Gun Runner in the field, this is the one more likely to be involved down the stretch. Coming off a decent effort when fourth in the Preakness, his connections will be hoping for a stronger early pace in this one to set up his late run.
A veteran of eight consecutive stakes races, he has only been able to win one and that came in a listed stakes race. In graded stakes racing, he is 0-for-7.
Still, he is pretty consistent and has proven competitive at the Grade 1 level. I don’t like him to win on Saturday, but it would be no surprise to see him filling out an exotics position.
This one is my top longshot. Despite being unproven against top company, I thought he ran a very good race last time when narrowly beaten by Red Route One in the Bath House Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
That effort continued his steady improvement, and now with five lifetime races under his belt and plenty of time between races, he should be ready to fire his best shot for trainer Brad Cox.
He has enough tactical speed to stay close early and his pedigree says that he should be able to run all day. If he can take another step forward on Saturday, he is a viable candidate to run a big race at very attractive odds.
The outsider of the field, this son of Gun Runner was overmatched in five consecutive stakes tries, including twice by Forte, before dropping in class for his last one.
That did result in a gate-to-wire victory for the Antonio Sano-trainee, but came against much cheaper in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park.
Perhaps he can use that early speed to make his presence known early, but after that, he seems destined to be left in the dust down the Belmont Park stretch.
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.
WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.