The 2013 Belmont Stakes marks the third and final leg of racing's Triple Crown and is shaping up as a thrilling race indeed for some of the top horses in the nation.
With Orb and Oxbow splitting the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes respectively, there won't be any Triple Crown winners this year. However, that doesn't mean that the Belmont Stakes will be any less exciting or enthralling, with all contenders looking to finish off the Triple Crown on a winning note.
The Derby champion, Orb, will likely go into the event as the favorite—although that could well change depending on what post position he is drawn in to. And if the Preakness Stakes was anything to go by, then it could well be some of the less-fancied runners who surprise on the day and emerge triumphant from Belmont Park on Saturday.
Some of the "dark-horse" contenders, if you like.
Read on to see which underdogs will surprise the top contenders at the Belmont Stakes this year and could walk away with the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
2013 Belmont Stakes: Early Field and Odds (per AllHorseRacing.ag)
* Note: The field listed below is simply preliminary and has not been confirmed. Odds are subject to change; correct as of Tuesday, May 21 at 1:30 a.m. ET.
|Code West||Bob Baffert||12-1|
|Dreaming of Julia||Todd Pletcher||8-1|
|Freedom Child||Thomas Albertrani||15-1|
|Golden Soul||Dallas Stewart||12-1|
|Normandy Invasion||Chad Brown||6-1|
|Orb||Claude "Shug" McGaughey||3-1|
|Oxbow||D. Wayne Lukas||3-1|
|Palace Malice||Todd Pletcher||10-1|
|Power Broker||Bob Baffert||10-1|
|Unlimited Budget||Todd Pletcher||8-1|
Underdogs Who Will Surprise Top Contenders
Dreaming of Julia, currently 8-1
Dreaming of Julia might have had a disappointing run at the Kentucky Oaks, but will seemingly be very tough to beat at Belmont.
She's sired by Horse of the Year A.P. Indy—who lost just three times in his 11-year career and went on to produce many prominent fillies including Rags to Riches. Rags to Riches won both the Kentucky Oaks and Belmont Stakes, which should bode well for Dreaming of Julia as she attempts to win this one.
The Todd Pletcher-trained horse has been in superb form all year, and with John Velazquez (Hall of Fame jockey) on board, should be set for a strong showing here.
Having not run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, Dreaming of Julia will fly under the radar a little heading into the big race, which, if you're after something that has some decent odds around it, might make Dreaming of Julia a great option here.
A good post position, and she could be very tough to beat.
Palace Malice, currently 10-1
Palace Malice comes from a great pedigree that suggests he'll be very strong over the longer distance at Belmont Park, and after a strong learning curve in the Kentucky Derby earlier in the year, is primed for a strong showing at Belmont on June 8th.
The star colt set a blistering pace at Churchill Downs earlier in the month as he attempted to blow the field away. That didn't quite work, however, and Palace Malice was left to deteriorate down the home stretch whilst many horses—including the eventual winner Orb—flew past him to the finishing post.
However, don't be put off by that performance.
Palace Malice is the first crop of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who was a former star at Belmont Park and produced many strong long-distance runners.
He is also by Royal Anthem, who was very strong over longer tracks.
He'll no doubt look to sit back in the field here and try to circle them late, and having seen his speed in the Derby, could be more than capable of finishing over the top of many horses here. He didn't run in the Preakness Stakes, so he'll be very fresh and could definitely be worth a look this weekend.
Revolutionary, currently not listed
Revolutionary isn't currently listed on the odds market for the Belmont Stakes because there's no official word yet from connections on whether he'll compete. However, according to reports from The New York Times, that's simply a matter for formality, with Todd Pletcher planning to enter him.
He showed in his strong run home at Churchill Downs earlier in the year that he's very tough to beat over longer distances and has more than enough speed and residual stamina to be a big player here, thanks to his direct pedigree from Runup the Colors.
If Calvin Borel takes the ride again in this one, look for Revolutionary to be a key player here—especially if he ends up with an inside post position.
Borel is extremely good at using the rail and working his horse through the field and will definitely have Revolutionary coming home strong on the day.
If the pace is at all quick in front—which it may well be after Oxbow dawdled his way to a wire-to-wire Preakness victory—then Revolutionary could strike here.
A huge danger to watch on the day.
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