The 2016 Belmont Stakes arrives in full force this Saturday, when Exaggerator will try to make it two wins in a row to wrap up this year’s Triple Crown. Nyquist is sitting this one out, so we won’t get a ferocious rematch, and the oddsmakers have listed Exaggerator as the clear favorite to take home first place at Belmont Park.
Of course, everyone thought Nyquist was going to win the Preakness Stakes, and that didn’t exactly go as planned. Due to that upset and horse racing being subject to upsets so often, many bettors are wondering if there are any other sleepers that could shock with a first place finish.
Latest Belmont Stakes Odds
- Exaggerator EVEN
- Suddenbreakingnews +750
- Cherry Wine +1000
- Governor Malibu +1000
- Stradivari +1200
- Destin +1400
- Brody’s Cause +1600
- Lani +1600
- Unified +2500
- Mo Tom +2500
- Creator +2500
- Adventist +2500
- Wild About Deb +3300
- Trojan Nation +3300
- Its All Relevant +3300
Per Bovada, Exaggerator still opens things up ahead of the pack, followed fairly closely by Suddenbreakingnews. There are really a ton of horses log-jammed here, though, which could open the door to a surprise run late. In other words, we need to be on sleeper watch, starting now.
It’s tough to be a true sleeper when you sport the third best odds to win the 2016 Belmont Stakes, but we digress. The point is Cherry Wine is a legit threat after closing the Preakness Stakes in second place. The trouble with Cherry Wine is he’s had a very erratic career, earning just one win and finishing in third or worse a whopping five times.
That being said, there could be quiet momentum building here, as Cherry Wine did finish third at the Blue Grass Stakes and obviously second in his last race. Could he be warming up to a big Belmont Stakes win? Maybe, especially since the horse has displayed good stamina and seems to be better suited for the longer tracks. That could be the perfect recipe for Cherry Wine next weekend.
The odds drop down a bit, giving us our first true sleeper on this list in Destin. Destin disappointed at the Kentucky Derby, but against a big, talented field, he actually ran well and ended up finishing sixth. You can’t ask for much more than that and after skipping out on the Preakness Stakes, he figures to be well rested again and could have a shot at pulling off the upset.
Destin certainly sports a strong resume, having nabbed three wins in his career, as well as a second and fourth place finish in his two races outside of the Derby. Destin faces questions about the long game here, but the speed and competitiveness is there without a doubt. A fast start may be needed for a serious chance, but he’s proven numerous times he can get it done, either way.
Creator sports shaky 25/1 odds, but this is not a horse we should write off right away. Creator was impressive in his win at the Arkansas Derby and has the talent to make a late run in the Belmont Stakes. His poor showing at the Kentucky Derby (13th) takes him down a peg or two and clearly hurt his odds, but this horse is beyond battle tested with nine starts in his career and seven finishes of third place or better. We know he can go the distance, too, as he has two career wins and in all, has been close to the top spot in six career races.
If Creator can avoid trouble and have a better run than he did two races ago, he could be one of the best pure sleepers in the lot.
I can’t shake Stradivari, who got a tough draw in post position in the Preakness Stakes, yet still managed to finish fourth. That tied for his worst finish ever in four career races, which both magnifies his lack of experience, as well as his impressive running in four career starts. The other two races? Wins.
Stradivari brings good talent and excellent training to the table and an argument can be made that he’s really just getting started. If he can get off to a better start this time around – and hopefully from a better spot – he could be the sleeper to watch.
Speaking of an inability to shake a horse, the Japan-based Lani is another I just can’t quit. He’s fared well in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, finishing 9th at the Kentucky Derby and improving with a 5th place run at the Preakness Stakes. Most horse racing fans only know Lani won the UAE Derby to get into the Triple Crown races, but he has two more wins on his resume and six non-Triple Crown runs, has finished worse than fourth place just one time.
Lani is for some reason not the sexiest play, but he’s looked better and better through his first two Triple Crown races and his ability to gain steam late could make him the perfect play for the longer Belmont Park. His 16/1 odds also offer a solid payout, depending on what you throw down in a bet.
Overall, it’s clear this field is a little more wide open then we originally thought. Exaggerator is still the understandable favorite and will probably win, but if you’re looking for a sneaky sleeper that could earn you some solid cash on June 11th, these five sleepers could do the trick.
Got a Belmont Stakes sleeper of your own? Share it with us in the comments below!