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2011 Belmont Stakes Betting Preview / Rankings

The Belmont Stakes- An Early Betting Preview

The final leg of this year’s Triple Crown racing season is the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. This grade I stakes race for three-year old Thoroughbreds, which will be run on Saturday, June 11 is the longest of the three at 1 ½ miles and has a total prize purse of $1 million with $600,000 going to the winner.

143rd Belmont Stakes
Location: Belmont Park
Date: June 11, 2011
Inaugurated: 1873
Race type: Thoroughbred
Qualification: 3-year-old

Looking at the early odds as provided by BetUS.com it appears that this race will be a showdown between Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who is the slight co- favorite at +350 and Preakness champion Shackleford, who is the third favorite at +400. Animal Kingdom went off at 20-1 odds in the Derby on May 7, but was a prohibitive 2-1 favorite in the Preakness two weeks later.

Despite a valiant effort to close a huge gap down the stretch, he could only manage a second-place finish as the dream of winning the Triple Crown came to a crashing end. Animal Kingdom is trained by Graham Motion and will once again be ridden by John Velazquez.

Also listed at +350 is Nehro, who took second in the Kentucky Derby, but did not run in the Preakness. He actually led the Derby for brief spell in the mid-stretch, but gave way to Animal Kingdom to finish 2 ¾ lengths back. He is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Corey Nakatani. Nehro qualified for the Derby by virtue of his two second-place finishes in the grade II Louisiana Derby and the grade I Arkansas Derby earlier in the year.

Shackleford set the pace in the Derby but could not hold off the pack and finished fourth, 3 ¾ lengths back. This run was reminiscent of his run in the Florida Derby in early April, where he once again set the pace only to finish second to Dialed In. He stalked Flashpoint in the early going of the Preakness and had enough left in the tank to take the lead for good at the top of the stretch and hold on for the half-length victory.

Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Jesus Castanon, he went off at 12-1 for the first two Triple Crown races.

Another veteran of both races, Mucho Macho Man comes in as the fourth favorite for the Belmont at +900. He finished in the money in the Derby after rallying down the stretch for a third-place finish, but could not produce the same kick in the Preakness and finished sixth. Trained by Katherine Ritvo and ridden by Rajiv Maragh, this horse’s claim to fame was a victory in the grade II Risen Star.

Before the run in the Derby, he finished third in the Louisiana Derby at the end of March.

A few other horses that are expected to be in the field for the Belmont are Master of Hounds at +900 and Santiva at +2500. These two finished fifth and sixth respectfully in the Kentucky Derby but did not run in the Preakness. Keep an eye on Prime Cut at +2200, who is expected to run in this race after sitting out the first two.

Trained by Neil Howard and ridden by Edgar Prado, he is best known for his second-place finish in the grade III Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 23.

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.



  1. Animal Kingdom will find a way to win 2/3 of this year’s Triple Crown. Take it to the bank.

  2. Animal Kingdom is a Champion, I believe he got boxed in then the Jockey kept him in the back of the pack too long. Shackleford is not a better horse.