Belmont Stakes 2018 - Free Handicapping Picks, Odds, & Predictions
USA Today Sports
Belmont Stakes vs. Belmont Racecourse
Horse Racing: 6:20 PM EST
Jun. 09, 2018
On Saturday June 9, the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes will be run and Justify sits as the 4 to 5 favorite.
The Bob Baffert-trained colt has won the first to two legs of the Triple Crown and will be the Triple Crown winner with a victory on Saturday. Justify drew the No. 1 post on Tuesday for Saturday’s race.
This will be far from an easy race for Justify as he looked to be somewhat vulnerable near the end of both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and the Belmont is the longest of the three races in the Triple Crown at 1 ½ miles.
Nine of the 10 participants will be eyeing Justify, who has been unflappable in two wins on wet tracks, and despite never running as a 2-year old.
Good Magic gave Justify a test down the back stretch at the Derby and Bravazo 8 to 1 did the same at the Preakness finishing strong to take second. Bravazo is back for his third attempt at beating Justify and will be leaving from the No. 3 post on Saturday.
Hofburg at 9 to 2 has the second shortest odds and could be the biggest obstacle for Justify to win the Triple Crown. He drew the No. 4 post beside Bravazo.
Another horse that could give Justify a run for his money is Vino Rosso a Todd Pletcher trained colt. Vino Rosso is 8 to 1 and will be leaving from the No. 8 post. He was ninth at the Derby and did not race the Preakness. Pletcher horses have won the Belmont Stakes on three occasions in 2007, 2013 and 2017. Not only will Pletcher have Vino Rosso racing but Noble Indy (30 to 1, No. 9 post) is in the Belmont field as well.
Those cheering for an underdog might favor Gronkowski. The horse is part owned by Rob Gronkowski the tight end for the New England Patriots and might surprise down the stretch. Gronkowski is 12 to 1 and will be leaving from the No. 6 post.
Recent memories bring to mind Triple Crown hopefuls that came up short such as California Chrome in 2014 who broke poorly from the gate to finish fourth and Smarty Jones in 2004 who was edged at the finish line by Birdstone with only 70 yards to race.
If Justify is able to survive the toughest race of the Triple Crown he will be the 13th thoroughbred to reach the winners circle, and only the second one since 1978.
Free Betting Pick: #4 Hofburg (9/2)
Just can't take the short price on the favorite Justify and hopefully the grueling third leg will just be too much for the talented colt. Think the time off from the Kentucky Derby will have #4 Hofburg ready and a step forward puts him right their coming for home.
$250 Win - Place: #4 Hofburg
$10 Exacta Box : #4 Hofburg, #1 Justify, #8 Vino Rosso, & #3 Bravazzo
$1 Trifecta Wheel: #4 Hofburg with #1 Justify, #8 Vino Rosso, & #3 Bravazzo with ALL