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145th Belmont Stakes Predictions and Preview

This Saturday, June 8th, will be the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes. This is the last leg of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown for 3YOs. As most of you know, there will be no attempt this year, but that does not mean there is not a reason to watch.

In this year’s Belmont, there is lots of drama and intrigue. Orb (Kentucky Derby winner) and Oxbow (Preakness winner) will butt heads in this race. Can Lukas and Stevens turn back the hands of time as Oxbow’s connections, and be in the winner’s circle one more time?

Trainer Todd Pletcher once again has 5 of the 14 horses in the race, including the filly, Unlimited Budget. “Budget’s” jockey, Rosie Napravnik is going for some history. She aims to be the second female rider, since Julie Krone on Colonial Affair in 1993, to win the Belmont Stakes.

Can any of the “new shooters,” such as Peter Pan winner Freedom Child or Midnight Taboo find their way to the winner’s circle?

There is supposed to be a lot of rain starting on Thursday, and the Belmont Park track crew is going to seal the track after Thursday’s races, so the condition of the track on Saturday will play into how the race sets up.

There are so many possibilities with this field, that it is hard to handicap. The backstories that I just mentioned are also very interesting. No Crown. No problem. The race must go on.

Here is my preview for the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes and my picks.

Enjoy, and good luck. Bet responsibly.

Odds listed as of this writing are the Morning Line Odds assigned to each horse after the Belmont Draw on Wednesday, June 5th.

$1,000,000 Belmont Stakes (gr.1), 3YOs, 1 1/2 miles (dirt)

PP: 1
Horse: Frac Daddy
Jockey: Alan Garcia
Trainer: Ken McPeek
Odds: 30-1

Comments: Had an excellent workout this week. He could lay off the pace this time. McPeek usually has his horses ready for these big races, and perhaps the 5 week layoff after the Derby will help him. Possible long shot play.

PP: 2
Horse: Freedom Child
Jockey: Luis Saez
Trainer: Tom Albertrani
Odds: 8-1

Comments: Won the Peter Pan Stakes by 13 1/2 lengths three weeks ago on a sloppy track. The track will be sealed after Thursday’s races, so it will be interesting to see what Freedom Child does here. Will he be taken to the front, or lay off the pace?

PP: 3
Horse: OverAnalyze
Jockey: John Velazquez
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Odds: 12-1

Comments: Was not much of a factor in the Kentucky Derby. He is a son of Dixie Union, who sired last year’s Belmont winner, Union Rags. Anything can happen, but I’d toss him.

PP: 4
Horse: Giant Finish
Jockey: Edgar Prado
Trainer: Anthony Dutrow
Odds: 30-1

Comments: He is coming off a 10th place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Looking at his past performances, I don’t see a Belmont win. Toss.

PP: 5
Horse: Orb
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Shug McGaughey
Odds: 3-1

Comments: Orb, the Kentucky Derby winner has been working well. He is at his home track, so he has home field advantage. Trainer McGaughey is pleased with the post position, so I think he has a great chance here.

PP: 6
Horse: Incognito
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin
Odds: 20-1

Comments: Fifth in the Peter Pan last time out. Looking at his past performances, and at his pedigree, I think I would recommend using him in your exotics.

PP: 7
Horse: Oxbow
Jockey: Gary Stevens
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Odds: 5-1

Comments: Here is Oxbow, the Preakness winner. Can the jockey/trainer combination of Stevens/Lukas do it again? Oxbow has had success on an off track. Can his sire Awesome Again produce a Belmont winner?

PP: 8
Horse: Midnight Taboo
Jockey: Garrett Gomez
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Odds: 30-1

Comments: I know owner Mike Repole likes to have a horse in a big race, and like me, the Belmont Stakes is his favorite of the three Triple Crown races, but why is this horse in the race? Outside of the great pedigree, what has this horse done? Toss.

PP: 9
Horse: Revolutionary
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Odds: 9-2

Comments: Reunited with his regular rider, Javier Castellano, and coming off a 5 week layoff from his 3rd place Derby finish, Revolutionary hopes that the Belmont will bring better results. If the pace upfront is fast enough, I think he could finish in the money.

PP: 10
Horse: Will Take Charge
Jockey: Jon Court
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Odds: 20-1

Comments: Did not do much in first two legs of the Crown races. I don’t trust him to do anything here. Toss.

PP: 11
Horse: Vyjack
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Trainer: Rudy Rodriguez
Odds: 20-1

Comments: I don’t expect Vyjack to do much in this race. He may fill out a Superfecta, if he is lucky.

PP: 12
Horse: Palace Malice
Jockey: Mike Smith
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Odds: 15-1

Comments: I don’t think Palice Malice will be leading on the front end like he did in the Kentucky Derby. I also don’t think he wins the race either.

PP: 13
Horse: Unlimited Budget
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
Trainer Todd Pletcher
Odds: 8-1

Comments: Todd Pletcher won his very first Triple Crown race, the 2007 Belmont Stakes, with a filly named Rags to Riches. That was nice, but the question is can he do it twice? Rosie Napravnik, one of America’s top riders, goes for history. She plans to be the second female rider to win a Triple Crown race, and to win the Belmont. Hall of Fame rider Julie Krone was the first female to win a Triple Crown race, the 1993 Belmont, aboard Colonial Affair.

Can the gals do it? My heart is hoping that it happens, but my head is thinking that they will come up short. I hope that my head is wrong though.

PP: 14
Horse: Golden Soul
Jockey: Robby Albarado
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Odds: 10-1

Comments: Has the pedigree to make the distance. My question about Golden Soul is that did he benefit from the fast Derby pace like Orb did? Can “Soul” win the Belmont if the pace is slower? I’d use him in your exotics.

The Winner of the Belmont: Orb

Long shot Special: Incognito

That, my readers, is my preview of Saturday’s Belmont. It airs on NBC from 5-7pm, ET.

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/giopontifan

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Terri

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/giopontifan

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