Early Betting Odds for the Belmont Stakes
Anytime a three-year-old thoroughbred posts a victory in the first two legs of the Triple Crown horse racing season, the third and final leg, which is the Belmont Stakes, takes on a whole new meaning. This year’s Belmont will be run on Saturday, June 6, at Belmont Park in Elmont New York, and the field of contenders to end American Pharoah’s run towards history is already taking shape.
Trained by Bob Baffert are ridden by Victor Espinoza, American Pharoah followed up his dramatic one-length victory in this year’s Kentucky Derby in a field of 18 three-year olds with a comfortable seven-length victory in this past Saturday’s Preakness Stakes in a much smaller field of eight horses.
With almost three weeks until the running of the Belmont Stakes, the field for the third and toughest test is far from set, but it’s already taking shape. Early betting odds have been released for the horses that are expected to run in this race, with American Pharoah at the top of the list at 4/5.
The last time a horse won all three races that make up the Triple Crown was all the way back in 1978 when Affirmed accomplished one of the rarest feats in sports. Looking back at the long and time-honored history of this racing series, there have only been 11 three-year-old thoroughbreds to lay claim to an elusive Triple Crown title. Going back to the year 2002, there have been seven horses that have won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes only to fail to bring home the title in the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes, which is the longest and most grueling test of the three races. You would have to believe that the odds still remained stacked against American Pharoah to end this drought no matter which horses he will have to face in this race.
There is a pair of three-year-olds on the list with the next best odds to win the Belmont at 6/1, starting with Frosted. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Joel Rosario, this horse punched his ticket to this year’s Kentucky Derby by winning the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 4. He went off from the 15thpost in the Kentucky Derby at 15/1 odds and almost finished in the money behind American Pharoah, Firing Line and Dortmund. Frosted skipped the Preakness Stakes, so he should be well-rested for the challenge to beat the favorite this time around.
The other horse at 6/1 betting odds is Materiality. This is another contender that should be ready to go for the Belmont after skipping the Preakness. Trained by Todd Pletcher, this colt made his mark in the Kentucky Derby prep race season with a victory in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 28. He started from the third post in the Kentucky Derby at 12/1 odds and ended up sixth in the field of 18.
One of Pletcher’s other expected entries in the Belmont Stakes is Carpe Diem at 10/1 betting odds. He was one of the most highly-touted contenders for the Kentucky Derby after American Pharoah and Dortmund as an 8/1 third-favorite at post time, but much of the hype surrounding this horse has died down after finishing well down the list in 10th place in that race. He was also held out of the Preakness to further prepare for a better run in the Belmont.
Moving down the list of possible contenders for the Belmont Stakes is Keen Ice at 12/1 odds. This will be his second Triple Crown race after passing on the Preakness. Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, this colt first caught bettor’s attention with a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds in late February. He finished just out of the money by taking fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 28 at Fair Grounds and starting from the 14th post in the Kentucky Derby at 50/1 odds, he ended up seventh in that race.