The Belmont Stakes is a Grade 1 stakes thoroughbred horse race held in the United States every June of each year. It open for three-year-old thoroughbred horses and it is raced at a distance of 1.5 miles at the Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
It is the longest and oldest among the three Triple Crown races in American horse racing. The race is also called as the “Test of the Champion” because almost every horse racing champion in America has raced on the track and it is also dubbed as the “Run for the Carnations” in reference to the white carnations that are draped around the winner of the race.
First run in 1867, the race is named after New York-based politician August Belmont Sr. who financed the Jerome Park racetrack in the Bronx where the first installment of the race was held. Since then, three other race tracks have hosted the Belmont Stakes. The race transferred to Morris Park in 1890, then to Belmont Park in 1905. When Belmont Park was renovated between 1963 to 1967, the race was held at Aqueduct Racetrack.
This year’s race is the 150th edition of the Belmont Stakes and it will be held on June 9, 2019. As always, the field is loaded with the best three-year-olds and this year, they are led by 2019 Preakness winner War of Will who is among the betting favorites to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes.
Here are the current odds to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes. Odds were taken from MyBookie.ag as of 6/5/19:
|War Of Will||+200|
|Plus Que Parfait||+1000|
Who Are The Favorites?
The current ante-post horse race betting favorite to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes is Tacitus. The three-year-old gray colt is owned by Juddmonte Farms Inc. and trained by William I. Mott. The son of Tapit won the Tampa Bay Derby and the Wood Memorial, both Grade 2 races, earlier this year, before finishing third in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. He is the only horse running in the Belmont Stakes who hit the board in the Kentucky Derby.
War of Will is the winner of the 2019 Preakness Stakes and is the only horse in the Belmont line-up who has competed in each of the Triple Crown races. The three-year-old bay colt is trained by Mark E. Casse and owned by Gary Barber. War of Will only had one win at the age of two but became one of the early contenders on the 2019 Road to the Kentucky Derby after winning the Lecomte and Risen Star Stakes. He finished a disappointing 7th in the 2019 Kentucky Derby before bouncing back big time to win the Preakness.
Everfast crossed the line third in the Kentucky Derby but was promoted to second place after the disqualification of Maximum Security. The three-year-old bay colt is owned by Calumet Farm and trained by Dale Romans. He has not won since a first-out maiden win at Ellis Park last summer. His pedigree though says he isn’t to be overlooked in this race because his dam’s sire, A.P. Indy won this particular race in 1992.
Spinoff is a three-year-old chestnut colt trained by three-time Belmont Stakes winner Todd A. Pletcher and owned by Wertheimer and Frere. He finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby but that was because he didn’t like the sloppy conditions during the race. Spinoff was 2nd in the Louisiana Derby in March where he hit the board even if he went four-wide on the first turn and also four-wide on the far turn. That effort earned him a career-best 102 brisnet speed figure.
Plus Que Parfait is a chestnut colt owned by Imperial Racing LLC and trained by Brendan Walsh. The three-year-old finished 8th in the Kentucky Derby and won the G2 UAE Derby prior to competing at Churchill Downs. He was also 5th at the Lecomte Stakes and 13th at the Risen Star Stakes which were both won by War of Will.
Global Campaign is a three-year-old bay colt owned by Winstar Farm LLC and trained by Stanley Hough. He has won three out of four races this year including the G-3 Peter Pan Stakes last month beating out fellow favorites Intrepid Heart and Sir Winston.
Master Fencer is a three-year-old chestnut colt owned by Katsumi Yoshizawa and trained by Koichi Tsunoda. He is the first Japanese-bred horse to race in the Kentucky Derby where he crossed the line 7th and officially finished 6th. He is also eligible for the NYRA’s $1M bonus offered to a Japanese-bred winner of the Belmont Stakes.
Intrepid Heart is a three-year-old gray colt owned by Robert E. Low and trained by Todd Pletcher. He is also the son of Tapit and was a $750,000 yearling purchase. He finished 3rd in the Peter Pan Stakes G3 after stumbling at the start of the race. According to Pletcher, this horse was bred to win the Belmont Stakes.
Sir Winston is a three-year-old chestnut colt owned by Tracy Farmer and trained by Mark E. Casse. He finished second to Global Campaign in the Peter Pan Stakes G-3 last month and was 5th in the Tampa Bay Stakes G-2 in March 2019. He has not won a race since last December’s Display Stakes at Woodbine.
With the Belmont Stakes as the longest among the Triple Crown races, I believe in such thing as a horse bred to win this race. A horse’s pedigree is important in the “Test of the Champions” and when we talk about Pedigree, Tacitus and Intrepid Heart come to mind because both are the sons of Tapit.
Tapit has sired three out of the last five winners of the Belmont Stakes: Tonalist in 2014, creator in 2016 and Tapwrit in 2017. Tapit’s dam was sired by Touch Gold, the winner of the 1997 Belmont Stakes. When it comes to current form, Tacitus wins the comparison without a question. But remember that Intrepid Heart is trained by Todd Pletcher. At +1200, I’m going to say that Intrepid Heart is my darkhorse pick to win this particular race.
As for the winner of the race, I will have to go with the favorite Tacitus not only because of his pedigree and resume but also because he has the tactical speed to stay closer to the pace. Prediction: Tacitus