No horses have been officially entered into the Belmont Stakes on June 8 yet, but all signs point to it being a stacked field featuring horses from both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes as well as some horses that didn't run in either Triple Crown race.
Provided Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Preakness winner Oxbow run in the Belmont as expected, all eyes are likely to be on them. In fact, Sportsbook has installed them as early co-favorites with +300 odds. There are several other potential contenders in the mix who can spoil both of their efforts to secure a second leg of the Triple Crown.
Here are three horses that will challenge Orb and Oxbow and have a fighting chance to win the Belmont Stakes.
One of a handful of horses that competed in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness was Itsmyluckyday. After a disappointing 15th-place finish in the Derby, hopes were much higher for him in the Preakness. He delivered as a jockey change to John Velazquez helped him finish second behind Oxbow. With two big races now underneath him, Itsmyluckyday is a definite threat to win the Belmont if he runs.
There is no concrete information regarding plans for Itsmyluckyday to compete in the Belmont Stakes, but trainer Eddie Plesa admitted that he is under consideration, according to David Grening of Daily Racing Form.
Eddie Plesa said Belmont a consideration for Preakness runner-up Itsmyluckyday "but it's not high on my priority list." Haskell is though.— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 19, 2013
While Plesa was obviously noncommittal, it wouldn't make much sense to hold Itsmyluckyday out of the Belmont after such a strong Preakness run. He proved that he can outrun Orb and it isn't as if Oxbow blew him away either, so he clearly has enough talent to win. The post draw and the trip he ultimately gets in the race will be factors, but he is definitely a horse worth watching.
Many were surprised by the fact that Revolutionary didn't run in the Preakness, as he finished a strong third in the Kentucky Derby despite starting near the rail. Revolutionary also boasted three consecutive victories prior to the Kentucky Derby and has never finished worse than third in a race. With all of that in mind, Revolutionary would almost certainly be among the top Belmont contenders.
While Orb and Oxbow are co-favorites currently at +300, Revolutionary is next in line with a few others at +800, according to Sportsbook. Revolutionary was saddled by jockey Calvin Borel in the Kentucky Derby, and while it remains to be seen who would guide him in the Belmont, Borel would be a great choice. According to David Grening of Daily Racing Form, Revolutionary is one of many horses trainer Todd Pletcher is considering entering into the Belmont.
Pletcher's Belmont line-up includes Revolutionary, Overanalyze & Palace Malice. Poss: Unlimited Budget &/or Micromanage &/or Midnight Taboo— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 20, 2013
Revolutionary would have been among the betting favorites had he been entered in the Preakness and he will hold that distinction once again if he runs in the Belmont Stakes. He has proved capable of running and finishing near the front in every race he has been in, so there is nothing to suggest that things would be different in the Belmont.
Which horse has the best chance to upset Orb and Oxbow in the Belmont Stakes?
Very quietly, Mylute has been one of the best horses throughout the Triple Crown season as he finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby and followed that up with a respectable third-place finish in the Preakness. Mylute was ridden by jockey Rosie Napravnik in both races and they definitely seem to have a great synergy together. Because of that, trainer Tom Amoss might as well take another crack at a Triple Crown race and give the pairing a chance to win the Belmont.
Mylute only has two wins in 11 races, so the argument can be made that he doesn't have the late kick necessary to finish races off, but he is constantly in the mix. Amoss has been mum about whether or not Mylute will run in the Belmont other than saying that he will wait to make a decision, according to Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form.
Mylute has flown under the radar over the past several weeks and should continue to do so because of Orb and Oxbow. Most of the press that Mylute has gotten has to do with Napravnik, but he has a chance to go down in history if he wins the Belmont. Provided he runs another consistent race, he will definitely be in the running.
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