The 154th Belmont Stakes takes place Saturday in Elmont, NY, with Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike returning after being out of Preakness.
At 80-1, Rich Strike was the second biggest long shot winner in Kentucky Derby history. While it didn’t run in Preakness, there was a Rich Strike effect. Fenwick opened at 50-1 and bettors hoping that a long shot lightning bolt would “hit” again, bet the horse was down to about 11-1 by the time of the goalposts. Fenwick is now crossing the finish line in Pimlico (he finished last).
For the Belmont Stakes, We the People is the 2-1 favorite of the morning line. He last raced on May 14 at the Peter Pan Stakes and drove all the way to a double-digit victory.
Mo Donegal (7-2) finished fifth at the Derby and had some success at Belmont Park, breaking his first time on his second career start.
Nest (8-1) is the first filly to run in the Belmont Stakes since 2013. She finished second in the Kentucky Oaks and has a strong Belmont pedigree. Nest is the daughter of Curlin, who was an au pair favorite who lost by a head at the Belmont Stakes in 2007. Curlin sired Palace Malice, which won the Belmont Stakes in 2013. Nest’s mother is AP Indy, winner of Belmont in 1992.
“He has the best breeding for the competition. The big question is whether she is good enough, “said Jay Privman, national correspondent for the Daily Racing Form.
Despite his impressive Derby win, Rich Strike (7-2) is not the morning line favorite, which may have surprised some casual fans.
“It would be extremely unusual for a horse that is the longest shot in the race to be the favorite in its next race,” Privman said. “It just doesn’t happen. There is still some skepticism as to whether the derby is a real barometer of what it can do or just a fortuitous performance. “
In five games prior to the Derby, Rich Strike never finished better than the third. He will have to prove he has what it takes in the 1 1/2 mile “test of champions”.
“It’s such a rare distance for these horses to run at any point in their career,” Privman said. “It’s unlikely they’ll ever run that far again. It’s a guessing game about who will like it or who will find it out of their reach.
Distance: 1 mile and a half
Publication time: Saturday at 6:44 pm
Bag: $ 1.5 million. $ 800,000 goes to the winner
1. We, the people (2/1)
Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset
Horse rider: Flavien Prat
2. Skippycalzalunga (20/1)
Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.
Horse rider: Manuel Franco.
3. Nest (8/1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Horse rider: Giuseppe Ortiz
4. Rich Strike (7/2)
Trainer: Eric Reed
Horse rider: Sonny Leon
5. Creative Minister (6/1)
Trainer: Ken McPeek
Horse rider: Brian Hernandez Jr.
6. Mo Donegal (7/2)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Horse rider: Irad Ortiz Jr.
7. Golden glider (20/1)
Trainer: Marco Case
Horse rider: Dylan Davis
8. Via del Barbiere (10/1)
Trainer: Giovanni Ortiz
Horse rider: Joel Rosario
In Pennsylvania, you can bet on horse racing on TVG and TwinSpires. New Jersey only has TVG as an online option for now. However, when Triple Crown’s next season arrives, it may be different. TVG’s contract, which makes it the only partial online operator in New Jersey, expires in 2023.
If you want to place Belmont Stakes bets in person, here’s where to go in the area:
Casino: Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino Morgantown, Pennsylvania, Parx Casino, Borgata Race and Sportsbook
Off-track betting: South Philadelphia Match and Sports Betting, Parx Casino Match and Sports Betting inside Chickie’s & Pete’s in Malvern
Belmont Stakes closes the Triple Crown season, but there are still plenty of horse races for the rest of the year.
Katie Kohler is the managing editor of Play in Pennsylvania where he writes about sports betting and casinos.