Belmont Stakes – Storylines and Preview

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All good things must come to an end, and this year’s Triple Crown has been nothing short of spectacular. It began with such great hope and storylines, with Bob Baffert winning his seventh Kentucky Derby, only for it to turn to controversy going into the Preakness. The Preakness Stakes was muddled and ended unexpectedly with a 12-1 longshot on top, but let’s be honest, it didn’t have the best field. It’s only fitting to end drama-free and with the best crop of 3-year-olds we’ve seen in a field since the Kentucky Derby. 


The Belmont Stakes will host the longest race any of these horses will run in their lifetimes. They will go 1 ½ miles around the dirt track in Elmont, NY, so expect some fireworks from the eight quality horses who decided to take on this epic task. Most horses first run at 6 furlongs, under a mile, before going up to what is known as the “Champions Distance” of a 1 ¼ miles. Although it’s not easily expected to see who can grow into these longer distances and run their best going long, it seems a few in this field may be quite comfortable at this distance, at least for one race.

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Here’s the field, morning line odds, and storylines:  

1- Bourbonic (15-1): Upset winner of the Wood Memorial, who then placed 13th in the Derby, this Todd Pletcher trained longshot will try and make moves again in New York with local jock Kendrick Carmouche.

2- Essential Quality (2-1): The Kentucky Derby favorite who ran 4th after being bumped and startled going into the first turn at Churchill, Essential Quality is looking to bounce back from the only blemish on his record. Trained by Brad Cox, who opted to run this horse here and not rush back for the Preakness, expect Essential Quality to be favored and finish well coming from just off the pace. Luis Saez stays aboard and has been riding at the Belmont meet to get himself acquainted with the track. We should expect big things here.

3- Rombauer (3-1): Upset winner of the Preakness who ran his best ever race by far that day, this Michael McCarthy trained stalking goliath may be out of place here, even with John Velasquez jumping on board. Rarely do horses run the race of their lives in back-to-back starts, especially at these levels.


4- Hot Rod Charlie (7/2): After winning the Louisiana Derby, Hot Rod took third in the Kentucky Derby. If Doug O’Neill decided to run him at the Preakness, this horse would have been favored. Flavien Prat will ride as he ships in to New York from California for the major stakes this weekend.

5- France Go de Ina (30-1): Hideyuki Mori must really have some faith in his trainee in France Go de Ina, or maybe it’s the million-dollar bonus they’d receive if he won this thing. A complete and utter longshot,  Ricardo Santana Jr. jumps aboard for what could be the longest shot in history if this one wins.

6- Known Agenda (6-1): Winner of the Florida Derby before given the dreaded rail for the Kentucky Derby, this Todd Pletcher trained colt comes back home to New York and continues with world renowned jock Irad Ortiz Jr. He could be sitting on a monster if there is a speed duel on the front end.

7- Rock Your World (9/2): Winner of the Santa Anita Derby before Joel Rosario’s foot couldn’t stay in the holster come Derby Day, this John Sadler trained colt has always seemed to want the added distance. You can toss the Derby right out, because Rock Your World is going to do just that on Saturday.

8- Overtook (20-1): His pedigree suggests the distance may be good for him, but this other Todd Pletcher trained horse just doesn’t win enough for me. Seconds and thirds in stakes races are nice, but no significant wins hurt, especially against a field of this caliber. Manny Franco will be aboard and will be looking for back-to-back Belmont Stakes wins.

Written by OutKick Bets

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