The 152nd Belmont Stakes will be held this Saturday, June 20, and for the first time will be the anchor leg to the Triple Crown. This year the race will be contested at 1 1/8 miles, three furlongs shorter than the traditional Belmont Stakes distance of 1 ½ miles. The weather in New York on Saturday is expected to be warm and possibly even wet with afternoon thunderstorms likely. The day’s high temperature will reach into the lower 80s. First post at Belmont Park is 11:45 p.m. ET and the Belmont Stakes field will break from the gate at 5: 42 p.m. ET.
Belmont Stakes Picks
|1||Tap It To Win||6-1||John R. Velazquez||Mark E. Casse|
|2||Sole Volante||9-2||Luca Panici||Patrick L. Biancone|
|3||Max Player||15-1||Joel Rosario||Linda Rice|
|4||Modernist||15-1||Junior Alvarado||William I. Mott|
|5||Farmington Road||15-1||Javier Castellano||Todd A. Pletcher|
|6||Fore Left||30-1||Jose Ortiz||Doug O’Neill|
|7||Jungle Runner||50-1||Reylu Gutierrez||Steven M. Asmussen|
|8||Tiz The Law||6-5||Manny Franco||Barclay Tagg|
|9||Dr Post||5-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Todd A. Pletcher|
|10||Pneumatic||8-1||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||Steven M. Asmussen|
Triple Crown Odds
Though this year, the Triple Crown has a decidedly different look with the Belmont anchoring the three-race series, a lot of really good horses throughout history have come painfully close to accomplishing the feat.
Twenty-three horses missed their chance at a Triple Crown by not winning the Belmont Stakes and eight of these finished second: Pensive (1944), Tim Tam (1958), Forward Pass (1968), Majestic Prince (1969), Sunday Silence (1989), Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), and Smarty Jones (2004). Five finished third: Northern Dancer (1964), Spectacular Bid (1979), Pleasant Colony (1981), Charismatic (1999), and Funny Cide (2003). Four finished fourth: Kauai King (1966), Canonero II (1971), Alysheba (1987), and California Chrome (2014). Carry Back (1961) finished seventh, War Emblem (2002) finished eighth and Big Brown (2008) did not finish after
Three Kentucky Derby/Preakness winners did not race in the Belmont: Burgoo King (1932), Bold Venture (1933) and I’ll Have Another (2012). I’ll Have Another made it to New York, but was injured, scratched and retired the day before the race in 2012.
Only one horse in history – Alydar – finished second in all three races, crossing the finish line behind Triple Crown winner Affirmed each time in 1978. Alydar’s trainer, John Veitch, is the only trainer to have accomplished this feat. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who has sent out two Triple Crown winners, also had second-place finishes in all three legs of the Triple Crown but with different horses — in 2012, Bodemeister finished second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness stakes to I’ll Have Another, then Paynter was entered and finished second to Union Rags in the Belmont Stakes.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas became the first and only person to win all three Triple Crown races with different horses – in 1995 Thunder Gulch won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes while Timber Country won the Preakness Stakes. Additionally, Lukas also is the only trainer to have won six straight Triple Crown races as he extended his 1995 record into 1996 having won the 1994 Preakness and Belmont with Tabasco Cat and the 1996 Derby with Grindstone.