Triple Crown - Belmont Stakes Picks

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

By Jonathan Willis
BETCRIS HORSE RACING Belmont Stakes 2018

Justify is looking to add his name to the most prestigious list in horse racing. Only 12 horses have been able to claim the Triple Crown, and only one, American Pharoah, has been able to do it since 1978. Justify will be the first horse to have a chance to win the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes since American Pharoah, and he will be looking to start a new streak. Before American Pharoah did it, 13 straight horses had won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, only to fall short in the last leg.

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150th Belmont Stakes

Date and Time: June 9, 2018 at 6:37 p.m. ET

Location: Belmont Park, New York

US Television Coverage: NBC

Belmont Stakes Betting Odds – To Win

Justify -115

Hofburg +525

Bravazo +805

Vino Rosso +1015

Tenfold +1215

Gronkowski +1615

Blended Citizen +1615

Free Drop Billy +2550

Noble Indy +3550

Restoring Hope +3550

It’s important to keep the weather in mind for any horse race. As of Thursday morning, the forecast is calling for rain at the Belmont Stakes. That would mean all three Triple Crown races were run on a muddy track, a rarity these days.

The Favorite

At this point, Justify is almost even money to win the Belmont Stakes. This lightly raced horse surprised some by winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes despite only running in three races prior to the Derby. However, his speed has always been there. Justify posted a blazing fast time at the Santa Anita Derby in April and ran well at the last two races despite the slog.

There is a concern over whether or not the horse can go the distance at the Belmont though. He appeared to run out of gas near the end of the Preakness, and there are the usual questions about stamina after running two major races within the last month. Almost every other horse has had more time off, leaving Justify with a tougher battle to fight.

The Contenders

Hofburg is considered the next favorite. He sat out the Preakness Stakes after finishing in seventh place at the Kentucky Derby, but he has proven that he has the stamina in his last two races. Hofburg has even less experience than Justify, yet some would argue those are fresh legs. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but he doesn’t need it considering the length and the weather.

Many believe that Bravazo has a shot to pull off the upset too. He finished the Preakness Stakes very strong and would have caught Justify if there was just a little more race to be run. Bravazo has been a mixed bag. His results in the Derby and Preakness were impressive, but he has had some bad runs too. Betting on him is high-risk, high-reward.

The Dark Horse

People are starting to catch on to Vino Rosso. The horse with a name that everyone loves to say in a bad Italian accent did not have a good run at the Derby. He finished ninth there, but he did show enough closing speed in the homestretch to warrant an entrance here. Vino Rosso was awfully impressive in the Wood Memorial and betting on him at these odds is a good bet.

2018 Belmont Stakes Free Picks

I don’t think Justify is going to be able to get it done. The horse looked gassed at the end of the Preakness. He has looked very sharp in speed workouts, however, the question is his stamina.

That leaves the door open for another horse to spoil the upset bid. My two favorite plays in this race are Hofburg and Vino Rosso. Both horses can run the distance and have the speed to strike at the end.

2018 Belmont Stakes: Go with Vino Rosso and Hofburg

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