California Chrome is currently the even money favorite for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) in early betting. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is seeking to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
The colt’s bid for history got a bit easier as Intense Holiday suffered a condylar fracture to his right foreleg while galloping out at the end of a workout with stablemate Commissioner and will miss the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
The Todd Pletcher trainee was 12th in the Kentucky Derby after running second in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and first in the Risen Star (G2) in his previous outings.
It looks as if California Chrome will face a field of eight or nine foes, with Preakness runner up Ride On Curlin the current second choice at +600 according to the latest odds released by Sportsbook.ag.
There are three runners that are currently co-third choices at +800: Commanding Curve, Tonalist and Wicked Strong.
Commanding Curve made a good late run to finish second in the Kentucky Derby at betting odds of 37-1. The colt skipped the Preakness in favorite of the longer Belmont Stakes, which is contested at 1 ½ miles.
Tonalist was an impressive winner of the Peter Pan Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on May 10 in his stakes debut. The Christophe Clement trainee will have Joel Rosario in the irons.
Wicked Strong did not have the cleanest trip in a fourth place finish in the Run for the Roses and also skipped the Preakness. The colt won the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct in his previous outing.
Social Inclusion, who was third in the Preakness and Candy Boy, who was 13th in the Kentucky Derby are still questionable for the race.
The newest contender is the Bill Mott trained Matuszak, who ran second in the Federico Tesio at Pimlico behind Kid Cruz, who came back to finish eighth in the Preakness and is also pointing toward the Belmont Stakes.
The 2014 Belmont Stakes will be run on Saturday, June 7 at Belmont Park on what will be the richest day of racing Belmont Stakes history. There are nine additional stakes including five prestigious Grade 1 events: the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap, the $1 million Ogden Phipps, the $1 million Manhattan, the $750,000 Longines Just a Game and the $750,000 Acorn.
In total, the 13-race card will be worth $8 million, making New York’s Spring Championships the second-richest day on the North American racing calendar behind only Breeders’ Cup Saturday.
Early Betting Odds for the Belmont Stakes via Sportsbook.ag.
California Chrome even
Candy Boy +3000
Commanding Curve +800
Kid Cruz +5000
Ride On Curlin +600
Ring Weekend +5000
Social Inclusion +3500
Wicked Strong +800
Michael’s Belmont Park Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations. Michael has been handicapping the New York circuit on a daily basis for nearly three decades.
Belmont Park Spring/Summer Meet Special: Michael’s full card reports for the entire spring/summer meeting at Belmont Park from now until July 13. The package includes the Belmont Stakes Day card along with three new events – the Belmont Stakes Festival on June 6-8, Stars & Stripes Day on July 5 and a May 11 Mother’s Day card featuring three graded stakes. In all, the schedule contains 62 stakes races worth $17.95 million, including 16 overnight stakes with purses of $100,000 each.