Brooklyn Stakes Contenders, Predictions, Best Bets (Belmont Park)

Written by: Brian Zipse
Updated October 14, 2022
7 min read

Brooklyn Stakes Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Brooklyn Stakes at Belmont Park!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
R A Vazquez R Diodoro
J Ortiz S Asmussen
F Prat B Cox
4 PORTOS 12/1
I Ortiz Jr T Pletcher
J Lezcano T Pletcher
D Davis T Morley
L Saez T Pletcher

Brooklyn Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$5 Exacta Box – Max Player, Lone Rock and Fearless = $30

$5 Exacta Box – Max Player and Lone Rock = $10

$5 Exacta Box – Max Player and Fearless = $10

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Max Player (6/1)

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Brooklyn Stakes Predictions Best Bets

A romping winner of last year’s edition, Lone Rock will be back to defend his title against six other older males when he headlines the field for Saturday’s Grade 2 Brooklyn Stakes at Belmont Park.

The 7-year-old son of Majestic Warrior won the 2021 Brooklyn by 11 ¼-lengths for his first graded stakes win. A winner of 16 races overall, he has amassed better than $1.3 million in lifetime earnings.

Most recently, he won a pair of stakes at Oaklawn Park and Churchill Downs at the same 12 furlong distance as Saturday’s Grade 2 affair.

Chief among his rivals will be the Todd Pletcher-trained Fearless. First or second in five consecutive graded stakes, he won a pair of Grade 3 races at Gulfstream Park in December and April.

Those wins sandwiched a pair of runner-up placings behind the streaking Speaker’s Corner. Most recently he finished second in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. The Brooklyn will be his first try beyond 1 3/16-miles.

Others who merit respect on Saturday include Warrant and Max Player. The former is trained by Brad Cox, and was a strong runner-up to Express Train in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap two starts back.

Max Player, meanwhile, is a three-time graded stakes winner in New York. The son of Honor Code won the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont and the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga last summer.

Brooklyn Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Lone Rock

The defending champion of the Brooklyn, this veteran has made quite a career for himself going long. While he has avoided the top horses in American racing at shorter distances, he has proven to be a star at the extended 12-furlong distance.

Extremely well proven at the trip, and having run big at Belmont Park, he is the legitimate favorite and horse to beat on Saturday. On the flip side, he is the favorite, and this could be his toughest test to date.

There are several graded stakes types in here that will be trying the distance for the first time and are likely of more class than he usually beats.

There are also others in here who like to lay close to the lead as he does. He is always tough at this distance, but I think he is a bit vulnerable as the favorite this time around.


The first of three from trainer Todd Pletcher, this 5-year-old son of Ghostzapper has become a consistent graded stakes performer. With two wins and three seconds in five consecutive graded stakes races coming in, it appears that he is in the best form of his career.

While I do believe that he is a cut below true Grade 1 horses, he should fit right in with this solid Grade 2 bunch. The 12-furlong distance will be a new experience for him, but with good tactical speed and a pedigree that suggests he can get the trip, I expect him to perform well.

I will be going with a horse with a little bit more late kick for the win, but this one is a big threat on Saturday.


Like Fearless, this son of Tapit has the pedigree to stretch out successfully to 12 furlongs for the first time. Well traveled, he won a pair of the lesser-known Derbies last year and has come back with some decent results this year without yet winning.

The best of the trio was clearly his second, beaten only a head by Express Train, in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap two starts back. A repeat performance of that certainly puts him in the mix, but with a similar running style to the two above him, this will be no easy task.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, he is one of several here with a shot, but of the stalkers, I prefer Lone Rock and Fearless.

First Constitution

Another from the Pletcher barn, this Chilean import has found his groove in American racing. After knocking on the door in strong allowance races, he has won two of his last three in stakes company. This will be a big class test, however, as he makes his first start against graded company in the United States.

Most recently, he went wire-to-wire in the 11 furlongs Flat Out over a sloppy main track at Belmont. It’s a very good prep for the Brooklyn, but I don’t expect it to be easy for him on the front end this time around with Lone Rock, Warrant, and Fearless all there early to provide pace pressure.

He is moving in the right direction, but I think the class will prevent another win on Saturday.

Max Player

The winner of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup last fall might be the horse with the most class in the race. He doesn’t always fire, but when he does, he has proven himself on numerous occasions.

Besides his graded stakes victories at all three of the three major tracks in New York, in the Withers, Suburban and Jockey Club Gold Cup, he has also finished 3rd in the Belmont and the Travers.

His recent form is not good, but the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar can be excused, and the Alysheba was his first race in six months.

He’s bounced back before from poor performances, and this spot looks like a pretty good spot for his talents. Offering good value at 6/1 on the morning line, he is the top pick.


This son of Tapit is the last of three trained by Pletcher, and has shown some flashes of ability throughout his career, but has yet to break through in a stakes race. Most recently, he rallied in the slop to finish second to First Constitution in the Flat Out.

With more speed signed on here, perhaps he can turn the tables on that rival, but I still don’t know if that will be enough to beat the top picks in here. He’s a threat to fill out the exotics, but I like others better.

Locally Owned

Trained by Thomas Morley, this 6-year-old gelding was well beaten in his return to the races by both First Constitution and Portos last month. On the bright side, he pulled off a pretty big upset by defeating Lone Rock in a 1 ⅝-mile stake race at Belmont Park last September.

Lone Rock beat him in the next race, which came at Del Mar, by a huge margin, though. Off his upset win last year, he is eligible to outrun his odds, but his lack of consistency will keep him off of my tickets here.

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How to Watch the Brooklyn Stakes

Brooklyn Stakes Race Information
What Brooklyn Stakes (Grade 2)
Location Belmont Park
Time Saturday, June 11 — 1:47 pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports
Purse $400,000

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Brian Zipse

Horse Racing Betting Analyst

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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.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Communications
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