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The 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes takes place this Saturday. This year’s event will run before both the Kentucky Derby (September 5th) and the Preakness Stakes (October 3rd). The horses will also run a shorter version of the course. Instead of 1.5 miles, they’ll run just 1.125. To add to all the other changes, there will be no fans in attendance!
While this will be a unique event, there is still money to be made. Here’s a look at my picks for this weekend’s Belmont Stakes.
Full Odds and Post Positions for the 2020 Belmont Stakes
1. Tap It to Win (6-1)
2. Sole Volante (9-2)
3. Max Player (15-1)
4. Modernist (15-1)
5. Farmington Road (15-1)
6. Fore Left (30-1)
7. Jungle Runner (50-1)
8. Tiz the Law (6-5)
9. Dr. Post (5-1)
10. Pneumatic (8-1)
Who’s going to win the Belmont Stakes?
Tiz The Law: 6/5
This horse checks every box that a handicapper looks for in an elite race like the Belmont Stakes. He has the track record, both literally and figuratively, coupled with strong pace figures, and a jockey who can see it through to the end. His genetics are amongst some of the best in the field for this surface/distance, which makes this not just a game of preparation, but of strategic connections if by which they position him to succeed. There isn’t much to dislike, outside of perhaps his trainer, Barclay Tagg, who is an underdog compared to the other names listed on this card. The race is Tiz The Law’s to lose, and while it seems like a sure thing, remember that if the conditions are right, a few select horses could try to steal it at the wire.
Who’s going to hit the board?
Tap It to Win: 6/1
A formidable opponent for Tiz The Law, Tap It to Win is a bit under-classed and a little slower overall, but he and Tiz The Law will be pushing the pace together until the end. He’s got an ideal pedigree for this race. John Velazquez has been doing well this year, and while he’s not the best amongst jockeys with early pace horses, you can’t blame him for the non-winning mounts that it’s his job to ride, rain or shine. Past Performance data indicates that he may “Tap” out before Tiz The Law in the stretch, but nonetheless hit the board.
Sole Volante: 9/2
He may be one of the most interesting plays in this whole race. Typically, when I see a horse with strong Late Pace figures, they are usually coupled with skewed data from shorter races. More often than not, they are inconsistent in favoring off-pace distancing until they make their move in the stretch. That being said, Sole Volante has the preferred racing style to match his marginal burst, and while his jockey isn’t a perfect fit, it might just be enough. His potential is up for grabs if Luca Panici can ride true — I might even go as far as to say that if anyone could upset Tiz The Law, it would be him blasting off in the stretch. A textbook beauty of a “closer” horse, which this track has been indicating bias for in the current meet.
Who could sneak in to place at the last second?
Fore Left: 30/1
A lot of people won’t understand how to place this horse in their bets, and that will get him ousted from 90% of tickets — hence the 30/1 odds. The good news for you is that bucket of money is up for grabs. Fore Left has only run in one race this year, and that was in Dubai. As a result, the amateur gambler will be instantly confused, not just from the data on their Past Performance sheets, but also on how to use such data. All you need to know is that while he hasn’t raced much, he did defeat 15 horses of Grade 3 class in Dubai, has been posting killer workouts as of late, has a great Early Pace jockey on his back, and without a doubt could set the pace for the entire race. He is also one of the three horses in the race that have a 100 percent win rate at Belmont in their lifetime. While he does have the potential to peter out in the end, there is some upside here. Keep him on your radar if your ticket expands into larger exotics.
Dr. Post: 5/1
This is a high-class horse with a great jockey/trainer combination — arguably the best in the field. His pace figures indicate some growth but also some limitations. While I don’t think he can win the race, hitting the board is absolutely possible. It’s important to remember that while betting solely on angles of jockeys and trainers can lead to profit, it doesn’t always mean that a horse will win if he’s just not capable of doing so. Limit your expectations of him, but if there’s room on your ticket — let ‘er rip!
Who should you avoid betting on?
Jungle Runner: 50/1
There isn’t much to say about Jungle Runner other than two words: Steven Asmussen. If it wasn’t for his trainer and a decent pedigree, I would say that Jungle Runner has a 0 percent chance of hitting the board. Steven upgrades him to a 1 percent chance, but that isn’t saying much. That’s about all he’s got going for him in this race. If he doesn’t get dead last, I will be impressed, as I foresee a struggle for this humble horse. He’s slow, has poor workouts, poor race performances, and his 50/1 odds fit like a glove. A glove left in the back seat, on a hot day, that melted to the cup holder. Don’t even bother putting him into your “ALL wheel” tickets.
- $30.00 Win: 8
- $3.00 Exacta: 3,8 w 3,4,8 (class bet)
- $5.00 Exacta: 8 w 1,2
- $0.50 Trifecta: 2,8 w 1,2,6,8,9 w 1,2,6,8,9
- $0.10 Superfecta: 1,2,6,8,9 (box)
- $1.00 Superfecta: 8 w 1,2,6,9 w 1,2,6,9 w 1,2,6,9
Total Cost: $100
Spencer Weston is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Spencer, check out his archive and follow him @westonpicks.