Since Tuesday evening, the Belmont Stakes 2018 contenders have all drawn their post positions. Ten horses are competing, and none more important than Justify, who will emerge from the inside rail. With a Triple Crown victory on the line, Justify will attempt to go down in history as the 13th horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
Justify 4/5 Odds to Win the Belmont Stakes
The Bob Baffert-trained colt, Justify first drew attention when he registered a Beyer Figure of 104 when breaking his maiden at Santa Anita Park on February 18. He went on to win an allowance optional by 6 ½ lengths on a muddy track. These two preliminary events were promising, but Justify’s first proper test was the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, which he had no trouble winning wire to wire over the early Kentucky Derby favourite Bolt d’Oro. Justify’s career continued to progress upward, as he claimed victories at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Now, one race stands between Justify and Triple Crown glory: the Belmont Stakes. His odds to win the Belmont Stakes are quite chalky at 4/5, as nothing has been able to stop him up to this point.
Other Belmont Stakes 2018 Contenders
With 9-2 2018 Belmont Stakes odds, Hofburg is a solid contender who showed great promise at the Kentucky Derby. He entered the Kentucky Derby after finishing second at the Grade 1 Florida Derby. The Kentucky Derby was his first encounter with a sloppy track, and after a bumpy start, he stayed at the back of the pack for the majority of the race. Hofburg made his rally at the end and looked like he had plenty of energy in the reserves to push himself to the front. Unfortunately for him, he got caught up in the heavy traffic of the 20-horse field. The Belmont Stakes will have half the field size, so Hofburg and jockey Irad Ortiz will have a clearer path to make their move. They could surprise a tiring Justify.
Bravazo and Tenfold are also strong closers and they came close to spoiling Justify’s Preakness Stakes victory. Bravazo went from fifth in the stretch to finishing a half-length behind Justify. Tenfold also closed sharp on the Preakness Stakes, finishing a neck behind Bravazo.
Vino Rosso, who drew post No. 8, entered the Kentucky Derby off a three-length win in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial Stakes. It was Vino Rosso’s first time competing on anything other than a fast track, so he handled the sloppy mess of the Kentucky Derby better than expected, finishing ninth after going the majority of the race in third-last. No doubt trainer Todd Pletcher will want Vino Rosso closer to the action at the Belmont.
The Belmont Stakes may look like a lock for Justify, but since 1978, 13 Triple Crown hopefuls have entered the Belmont only to have their dreams of Triple Crown glory dashed. At 1 ½ miles, The Belmont is longer than the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. With the smaller field, there will be a clearer path for horses who want to strike at different times, so Justify will have to stay alert. Bodog Racebook will have fresh Belmont Stakes betting odds on race day. The action goes down Saturday at 6:37 PM ET.
*Odds as of June 7, 2018