Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The 150th running of the Belmont Stakes will take place on June 9th at 6:37 PM. This is shaping up to be a barnburner as Justify will be going for the Triple Crown. American Pharoah was the last to win it back in 2015 and prior to that, it was 1978 since we saw a Triple Crown winner. That year, it was Affirmed that won it in a famed dual over Alydar, beating him in all three close races. Overall, we have seen 12 horses take the Triple Crown in the history of the sport. Could Justify be the next?
Justify comes in as a rather heavy favorite at -145 and is the favorite with good reason as he is 5-0 in his career and has won his last three grade one stakes. Let’s also look at Bob Baffert, who trained American Pharoah and has another potential Triple Crown champ in Justify. Baffert has two Belmont stakes winners in his career and three 2nd place finishes. He is one of the best trainers of all time in the sport.
Justify won the Preakness on a muddy track and it is a bit shorter than this race, which is why it is hard for horses to complete the Triple Crown over the years as they have to race three times in a six-week span. This is the longest race of the stretch, plus we note that he will be facing many fresh horses in this race as well. I will get to the “New Shooters” in an upcoming article.
Bravazo at +750 had a strong finish to the Preakness and many wonder if he could have a shot at taking down Justify in the longer race. Hofburg is second on the odds list at +425 and he raced in the Kentucky Derby (7th place), but did not race in the Preakness, so he will be a bit fresher. One major absence from the field is Audible, who pulled out a couple of days ago. I will have more on each horse in the race over the next eight days.
Updated Odds At Betonline.com
Vino Rosso +950
Blended Citizen +1800
Noble Indy +2500
Restoring Hope +3500
Free Drop Billy +3500