The 2012 Belmont Stakes are less than a week away, and as expected, I'll Have Another is the favorite to win the third and final leg of the Triple Crown at 3-2 odds.
Not only does I'll Have Another have the odds in his favor, he will also have the backing of everybody who chooses to watch the race at Belmont, other than Bob Baffert and Mike Smith (if they even watch the race). Trainer Doug O'Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez will be doing everything in their power to make sure that their horse races to the same results that the odds say he should.
Union Rags, trained by Michael Matz, will be given a jockey change for the Belmont and will be ridden by John Velazquez instead of Julien Leparoux. The colt currently sits at 4-1 odds to win the race, followed by Dullahan, who has been given 6-1 odds to run away from the field.
Javier Castellano will ride atop Dullahan at the Belmont after the horse didn't participate in the Preakness Stakes. Union Rags did not race at Pimlico either, so watch out for these two horses as they are fresher than I'll Have Another.
Other than the three aforementioned horses, no other colt in the field is given much of a chance. But we've learned not to doubt long shots after the lesson that I'll Have Another taught us at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Paynter, who is owned by Bodemeister's owner Bob Baffert, is listed at 15-to-1 odds less than a week before the race. Surely Baffert hopes that this horse can beat I'll Have Another, something that Bodemeister failed to do on two occasions.
Can I'll Have Another win the first Triple Crown in almost 35 years?
Street Life, who is listed at 16-to-1 odds, is owned by Chad Brown and ridden by jockey Jose Lezcano. The colt was bought for $130,000 at the Keeneland Association September Yearling Sale in 2012.
After those two horses, there is a significant drop-off in the prospective chances of the rest of the field winning the race. Unstoppable U is currently listed as a 30-1 underdog to beat the rest of the field. The horse is trained by Kenneth McPeek and is jockeyed by Junior Alvarado.
Antigun and Optimizer are right behind Unstoppable U, listed as 35-1 underdogs to win at the Belmont race track on June 9. Following them are Five Sixteen and Ravelos Boy, each listed at 50-1 odds to come away with a victory.
The definitive underdog at the Belmont this year is Guyana Star Dweej. The name seems nonsensical to me, and the odds are even more ridiculous. At 60-1, this horse is being given virtually no chance to win this race. Like I said before, don't doubt the underdog after what I'll Have Another has done in the last two races.