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2022 Belmont Stakes Preview: Rich Strike, Creative Minister, We The People, Mo Donegal

by June 10, 2022
Rich Strike Horse

Horse racing turns its attention to New York this weekend as Belmont Park, just outside New York City, hosts the third and final leg of the 2022 Triple Crown: the Belmont Stakes. In the 154th running of the event, the 120,000+ capacity venue expects to be packed as eight horses compete for one of the sport’s most coveted trophies.

Unlike in some years past,  there will be no Triple Crown will be handed out as Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby and Early Voting took home the Preakness Stakes. Moving to the Belmont Stakes, Rich Strike is in the field, and Early Voting has chosen to sit it out, making this race anyone’s to win.

With the race scheduled to go off at 6:45 PM EST on NBC, let’s take a closer look at this year’s favorite and the best way to get in on the action

Your complete betting guide to the Triple Crown>>

Mo Donegal Betting Information 

  • Owner: Donegal Racing and Repole Stable
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
  • Past results: Three wins and four shows in the past six starts, fifth at Kentucky Derby
  • Post position: Sixth

Following a fifth-place finish at Churchill Downs, Mo Donegal took some time off to regroup and hasn’t raced since, leaving the three-year-old colt well-rested as he attempts to take this one home. Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Mo Donegal has found plenty of success in his six career starts, winning three and finishing two in third for $711,800 in career earnings.

As for his jockey, Irad Ortiz Jr. is amongst the best horse racing has to offer, as the 29-year-old Puerto Rico native has been No. 1 in jockey wins every year since 2017 and No. 3 or better in annual earnings every year since 2013. It’s also worth noting that despite finishing outside the coveted top three at the Kentucky Derby, Mo Donegal drew the dreaded No. 1 gate, the worst gate to draw at the crowded Kentucky Derby.

We The People Betting Information 

  • Owner: WinStar Farm LLC, Flay, Bobby, CMNWLTH, and Siena Farm LLC
  • Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat
  • Past results: Third wins in four career races
  • Post position: First

After opening at +300, we’ve seen We The People move to +200 as the week has gone, and a closer look shows for good reason. Though he did not participate in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes, We The People has three wins in his four career starts, all of which have occurred in the past four months.

His most recent win came right here at Belmont Park, winning the Peter Pan Stakes on May 14 to bring his career earnings to $230,250. Flavien Prat jockeys We The People. Prat is a two-time Triple Crown race winner, winning the Kentucky Derby in 2019 and the Preakness Stakes in 2021, and comes into this race with 1,249 career wins at 29 years of age.

Creative Minister Betting Information 

  • Owner: Magdalena Racing LLC
  • Trainer: Kenneth G. McPeek
  • Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
  • Past results: Two wins in four starts
  • Post position: 5th

Creative Minister ran a really solid race at the Preakness. He kept up with the pace essentially the whole way, sitting in the middle of the pack before bursting at the end. The only problem was Creative Minister wasn’t quite as fast as Early Voting, who he finished 3.5 lengths behind.

Regardless, the Minister registered a career-high 100 Beyer Speed Figure in what was an impressive performance. And there’s even better news, neither Early Voting nor Epicenter (who finished 2nd) will be going against him in the Belmont.

Rich Strike Betting Information 

  • Owner: Richard Dawson
  • Trainer: Eric R. Reed
  • Jockey: Sonny Leon
  • Past results: Two wins in eight starts, first place in Kentucky Derby
  • Post position: 4th

Only those who don’t pay much attention to horse racing haven’t heard about Rich Strike’s Kentucky Derby win by now. As someone at Churchill Downs that day, I hadn’t seen a crowd so shocked and amazed in any sport in a long time.

Rich Strike will now come to Belmont looking to become the first horse since 1995 to win the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes in the same cycle. He’ll attempt to do it against a smaller field of just eight horses after Ethereal Road was scratched from the race with a crack in his right front hoof. Preakness winner Early Voting also won’t participate in the Belmont Stakes to rest up for the summer.

But Rich Strike is no longer an unknown. In fact, he’s a household name in the horse racing community. Not only that, he’s one of the favorites with 9-2 odds to begin the week. The situation is entirely different for Rich Strike and his team. After being a happy-go-lucky late entry in Louisville, they come to Elmont with actual expectations.

And check out our previews for the top horses of the 2022 Belmont Stakes:

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