June 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM #52291
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
The 2013 Triple Crown racing season comes to a close this Saturday with the running of the 145th Belmont Stakes from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Post time for this Grade I stakes race is set for 6:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be run on dirt over a distance of 1 ½ miles with a total prize purse of $1 million. The following is a closer look at my top favorite, contender and longshot for this race according the odds posted on the Morning Line.
Kentucky Derby winner Orb has been opened as the 3/1 favorite, but my pick for this category is second-favorite Revolutionary at 9/2. The three-year old colt will be starting from the ninth gate which is one of the more favorable starting positions for this race. Todd Pletcher decided to hold him out of the Preakness Stakes to specifically train for the Belmont after finishing third in the Kentucky Derby at 6/1. Ridden by Javier Castellano, this horse has proven ability to win a major stakes race after taking first in the Grade II Louisiana Derby in late March. What makes Revolutionary my favorite to win the Belmont Stakes is his closing speed down the stretch. This should provide a huge advantage given the extra distance of this race.
Golden Soul was opened as a 50/1 longshot to win the Kentucky Derby and turned in an impressive performance with a second-place finish in a crowded field of 20 horses. He has been opened at 10/1 for the Belmont and will be starting way on the outside from the 14th gate. While this may not be thought of as the most favorable starting position, this could actually be an advantage for this Dallas Stewart trained colt given veteran jockey Robby Albarado’s ability to set a proper pace. Golden Soul has already proven he can compete with the top three-year olds in the field with his Derby run and fourth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby. Another plus is that he should be well rested after skipping the Preakness Stakes.
The Belmont Stakes set up extremely well for an upset as the extra quarter mile distance has a way of equalizing the field. There are a number of interesting choices in this category, but the horse that has really caught my eye is Giant Finish, who is trained by Anthony Dutrow and ridden by Edgar Prado. He also opened as a 50/1 longshot for May’s Kentucky Derby and turned in a very respectable run by finishing 10th. This time around he has been listed as a 30/1 longshot on the Morning Line and will be starting fourth. He has already finished in the money in the John Battaglia Memorial and the Grade III Spiral Stakes earlier in the year and should run much better in the less crowded field of the Belmont.
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