The 150th running of the Belmont Stakes is just days away, as is the potential to see horse racing history. After claiming first place finishes in the 2018 Kentucky Derby® and Preakness Stakes, Justify is looking to secure the final jewel of the coveted Triple Crown™ at Belmont Park on Saturday. Justify would be the 13th horse ever to accomplish the feat, and the first since American Pharaoh broke a 37-year long drought in 2015.
However, the triumph will not come easily. This year’s band of contenders is steep with several steeds hoping to rain on Justify’s parade.
With the official Post Positions being announced this week, here is the official lineup and odds for each horse participating on Saturday:
Free Drop Billy
Experts all around the horse racing community have given their two cents as to how Saturday’s race will go, with two names continually popping up as the potential usurpers to Justify’s throne.
While Bravazo isn’t going for Triple Crown™ glory, the three-year old colt does have something unique in common with Justify -- the two horses are the only in the Belmont Stakes field to participate in all three legs of the storied trifecta.
Bravazo finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby® and followed up that performance with a second-place finish in the Preakness Stakes.
The odds may be in Bravazo’s favor thanks to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The 82-year old trainer has claimed victory at the Belmont Stakes four times.
This three-year old colt is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and is sired by Tapit, who has fathered three of the last four winners of the Belmont Stakes.
Hofburg finished in a disappointing seventh place in the Kentucky Derby®, but should be fully rested after skipping the Preakness Stakes to focus on Belmont.
Lightly raced and well rested horses often find success in this sprint, so look for Hofburg’s omission in the second leg of the Triple Crown™ to have a positive impact on his performance on Saturday. Plus, coming out of Post 4 should only help.
To be frank, the odds are stacked against Bob Baffert’s ace racehorse. Whether Baffert will admit it or not, Justify’s stamina has to have taken a hit after competing in five races since February. Also, history isn’t on the side of a horse achieving Triple Crown™ glory. Twenty-three horses have won the first two legs but been unable to complete the sweep since 1932.
While this year’s field seems to be an all-star cast, I think that Bravazo has the best bet to cross the finish line first. His catch-up sprint towards the end of the Preakness Stakes shows that this colt not only can compete with Justify, but also can exhibit a bit of extra life in a 1.5 mile race. Lukas knows how to produce Belmont winners, and Bravazo should be next in line.
Other Staff Picks
We polled ten staff members to see what they thought! Here are the results:
Justify -- 5 votes
Bravazo -- 3 votes
Hofburg -- 1 vote
Gronkowski -- 1 vote
Get on the Wait List for the 2019 Belmont Stakes
Belmont Experiences is the Official Experience Provider for the Belmont Stakes. Offering access to Belmont Park, exclusive hospitality and other insider extras. Be the first the get all information regarding the 2019 Belmont Stakes before anyone else by getting on our wait list for next year.