The field for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 10 is still in flux but it appears we could see one of the largest fields in recent memory as 14 are now being pointed toward the third jewel of the Triple Crown including 2016 juvenile champion Classic Empire, who is the early betting favorite.
Classic Empire competed in the first two Triple Crown races, a fourth-place finish behind Always Dreaming in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and a runner up finish, beaten a head to Cloud Computing in the Preakness Stakes (G1). The colt is currently the 7-5 favorite in early Belmont Stakes wagering at US Racing.
Epicharis and Looking At Lee are the co-second choices in early Belmont betting at US Racing at 19-5.
The Japan based Epicharis was beaten just a head in the UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan in March. His connections elected to skip the Run for the Roses and point toward the 1 ½ mile Belmont Stakes.
The colt worked in Japan on Monday, going five furlongs in 1:04.90 at the Miho Training Center and is scheduled to arrive in New York on Thursday.
Lookin At Lee made a good late run up the rail to finish in the runner up spot in the Kentucky Derby at 33-1 and then was fourth in the Preakness at odds of 9-1. The colt will pick up a new jockey in Irad Ortiz Jr., who won last year’s Belmont Stakes for trainer Steve Asmussen aboard Creator.
Senior Investment is the fourth choice in early Belmont wagering at 29-5 at US Racing. The colt rallied to finish third in the Preakness at odds of 31-1. The Ken McPeek trainee won the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland in his previous start.
Taprit was sixth in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness. The Todd Pletcher trainee is currently at 8-1 in early Belmont Stakes betting. Pletcher will also send out Patch (15-1) who was 14th in the Kentucky Derby.
Irish War Cry will likely go for trainer Graham Motion. The colt won the Wood Memorial (G2) but then was a disappointing 10th in the Derby. His current odds are 9-1.
Gormley was ninth in the Kentucky Derby after winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1). The John Shirreffs trainee is at 10-1 in early Belmont Stakes betting at US Racing.
Conquest Mo Money, was seventh in the Preakness Stakes and his connections are also looking at the seven-furlong Woody Stephen (G2) on the undercard. His Belmont odds are at 15-1.
Others pointing toward the Belmont include Preakness sixth place finisher Multiplier (20-1), Peter Pan (G3) runner up Meantime (22-1), Federico Tesio winner Twisted Tom (25-1), Kentucky Derby 15th place finisher J Boys Echo (25-1) and True Timber (35-1), who was third in the Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico in his last outing.
Early Belmont Stakes Odds via USRacing.com:
Classic Empire 7-5
Lookin At Lee 19-5
Senior Investment 29-5
Irish War Cry 9-1
Conquest Mo Money 15-1
Twisted Tom 25-1
J Boys Echo 30-1
True Timber 35-1
Michael Dempsey’s Belmont Stakes Day Report
Michael’s Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire Belmont Stakes Day card.
The third jewel of the Triple Crown features an outstanding day of horse betting that also includes the Grade 1, $1 million Manhattan, the Grade 1, $700,000 Longines Just a Game, the Grade 2, $500,000 Woody Stephens, the Grade 1, $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap, the Grade 1, $750,000 Ogden Phipps, the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn, the Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational, the Grade 3, $300,000 Jaipur Invitational, and the $150,000 Easy Goer. Report available on Friday, June 9.