Friday, 17 August, 2018

Belmont Stakes odds: Justify is the favorite

The Triple Crown trophy has a new look for Justify's attempt Justify to run from rail in Triple Crown bid after drawing No1 post for Belmont
Eugene Bates | 08 June, 2018, 13:15

It'll be the fifth time one of Baffert's horses has had a chance to complete the Triple Crown, though only American Pharaoh accomplished the feat (2015).

Smith figures winning the Triple Crown wouldn't boost his business that much since he's already doing well.

In his five races, Justify has finished in front of 40 horses, including a few a couple of times.

Justify could become the 13th Triple Crown victor.

In videos of the gallops and the two workouts since the Preakness, Justify did not look like a horse that just ran very hard races in the Derby and Preakness.

Nine horses are set to line up against Justify, including five he beat in the Derby and two he beat in the Preakness.

Before the race, however, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur will give the "riders up" call, something one of his predecessors, Tom Coughlin, did in 2012. Is Justify that good?

Justify started his racing career in February and this will be his sixth race in four months, most against top competition at distances which test speed and stamina.

Hofburg is the most likely to ruin the Triple Crown coronation party on Saturday. His biggest challenger, Audible, with whom he shares ownership, won't be running in the Belmont - why risk spoiling the party? - nor will Breeders' Cup Juvenile victor, Kentucky Derby runner-up and Preakness pacesetter Good Magic.

It was hard to discern which was less likely: that 12-time major champion Novak Djokovic would falter in his French Open quarterfinal or that Marco Cecchinato, who never won a Grand Slam match until last week and once faced a possible ban for losing on objective, would rise to the occasion. The Kentucky Derby's 17th-place finisher is at 9-1. There will also be some new horses in the crowd, including Gronkowski and Blended Citizen, both of whom will be running the Belmont on fresh legs - a substantial advantage for the longest race of the Triple Crown. "The Belmont Stakes and New York Giants are part of the enduring fabric of the New York and national sports scene: Big Blue as one of the original NFL teams and the Belmont Stakes as the oldest sporting event in the country".

Vino Rosso trains on the track during morning workouts.

In the draw for post positions on Tuesday, Justify drew the No. 1 gate for the race at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Vino Rosso has three wins from six starts with a couple of 90+ Beyer figure and probably could have done better than his ninth-place finish in Kentucky had that race been on a fast track. Both colts won their prep races prior to the Derby but neither threatened the victor. Of the two, Vino Rosso is a better bet.

Justify and Bravazo are the only horses that will compete in the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

Free Drop Billy won the Breeders' Cup Futurity last October - Bravazo was second - but hasn't won in five races since. His extraordinary performances in the Derby and Preakness are anomalies in an otherwise inconsistent ten race career.

"I think he'll run big", Smith said. He returned to win the Belmont in 2010 with Drosselmeyer and again in 2013 with 13-1 shot Palace Malice.

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