2019 Belmont Stakes Picks, Odds And Post Positions

The Triple Crown concludes – barring a change from a court decision – with the Belmont Stakes. The “Test of the Champion” is 1½ miles, a loop around “Big Sandy,” the track in Elmont, N.Y. There are 10 horses in the field with some interesting choices in the Belmont Stakes betting odds

So, the controversy over the Kentucky Derby lingers in a courtroom. There is the mega-million-dollar challenge by the owners of Maximum Security, Gary and Mary West. If NYRA and horse racing were on their toes, they would be doing everything imaginable to bring Maximum Security, War of Will, Country House, and anyone else, to the Travers for an incredibly rich Midsummer Classic. That would take some initiative and imagination, which the sport sadly lacks.

Meanwhile, let’s throw another wrinkle into the 2019 Triple Crown. Should Preakness champ War of Will win the Belmont, why not ask whether he would be a Triple Crown winner if his trip in the Kentucky Derby were not disrupted badly. Now that’s a hot take needed to be offered before the 10 horses enter the Belmont Park starting gate Saturday.

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The race can be seen on NBC with post time around 6:48 p.m. Saturday.

2019 Belmont StakesPost Positions, Trainers, Jockeys and Morning-Line Race Odds

1. Joevia, Gregg Sacco, Jose Lezcano, 30-1

The winner of the Long Branch at Monmouth journeys to Long Island from the Jersey Shore for what figures to be a spin around the track without menacing any of the top contenders

2. Everfast, Dale Romans, Luis Saez, 12-1

Those who believe closers do well in the Belmont because of the length of the race are the people tearing up tickets annually. Everfast came out of the clouds to finish second in the Preakness. If he tries to do it on Saturday, expect him to be off the board.

3. Master Fencer, Koichi Tsuonda, Julien Leparoux, 8-1

He came over from Japan and finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby. Master Fencer was a 58-1 shot in the Run for the Roses. He ran like one for much of the race, mired in 19th position. Master Fencer closed ground late and eventually was placed sixth. Once again, closing ground late is a recipe for disaster in the Belmont. The morning line of 8-1 seems way short and there is no way to take that after the horse was off the board at 58-1 in Kentucky.

4. Tax, Danny Gargan, Irad Ortiz Jr., 15-1

A non-threatening 14th in the Kentucky Derby doesn’t bode well for Tax in the Belmont. He’s also been battling a bruised hoof, which can’t help when you are being asked to run 1½ miles. A fast pass.

5. Bourbon War, Mark Hennig, Mike Smith, 12-1

They added blinkers in the Preakness and the horse finished eighth. So, now the change is back to no blinkers. Hard to imagine it will make that much of a difference as Bourbon War doesn’t seem to be capable of handling the top contenders here, despite having Mike Smith in the irons.

6. Spinoff, Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano, 15-1

Spinoff was beaten 18 lengths when sent off at 30-1 in the Kentucky Derby. There’s only so much of an excuse the sloppy surface can provide. The connections of Pletcher-Castellano are stellar. The horse, however, isn’t.

7. Sir Winston, Mark Casse, Joel Rosario, 12-1

The horse from the Casse barn that will not draw the attention. A second-place finish in the Peter Pan is a good prep for the Belmont. However, he’s not War of Will and it would stunning to see him upend his stablemate.

8. Intrepid Heart, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 10-1

This could be a sneaky horse if you love breeding. His sire is Tapit, who has delivered three of the last five Belmont champs. His half-brother, Commissioner, was a beat in the 2014 edition of this race, finishing second. Commissioner finished second to “hot horse” Tonalist in the race that year at odds of 28-1. Do not dismiss.

9. War of Will, Mark Casse, Tyler Gaffalione , 2-1

Sure, go ahead and not make the Preakness champ the morning-line favorite. However, remember he was dismissed at a juicy 6-1 in the Preakness and rewarded his backers with a classic triumph. War of Will has been impressive in both the Derby and the Preakness. The major player.

10. Tacitus, Bill Mott, Jose Ortiz, 9-5

Impossible to cheer on a horse trained by Bill Mott after the shameful objection in the Kentucky Derby when his Country House was not impeded. No problem with the other claim of foul by the connections of a horse who suffered interference. Seriously, you claim foul when your horse isn’t interfered with on the prayer your 65-1 shot will be moved up to give you a Kentucky Derby. Tacitus is another by Tapit and should love the distance. Here’s hoping he doesn’t find his way to the winner’s circle.

2019 Belmont Stakes Picks

1. War of Will

He has been great in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. There is no reason to think he won’t continue to be sharp and find his way to the finish first. Can’t wait for those who come up with opinions after the race to say War of Will showed the stuff of a Triple Crown winner … if only he wasn’t impeded in the Run for the Roses.

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2. Intrepid Heart

Going with the breeding here and think John Velazquez can find this son of Tapit’s way to the place money. Figures to be close at the finish and should make a race of it.

3. Sir Winston

It won’t be a Casse exacta but the nice performance in the Peter Pan sets Sir Winston up for a good run in the final leg of the Triple Crown.

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