Belmont Stakes 2013 Contenders: Breaking Down Most Dangerous Horses Set to Race

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJune 4, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 18:  Oxbow #6, ridden by Gary Stevens, leads the field at the start of the race to win the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
Justin Heiman/Getty Images

Though a Triple Crown is out of the question in 2013, the Belmont Stakes is shaping up to be a thrilling race. Both winners from the previous two legs of the Triple Crown are set to run, and the rest of the field is loaded with strong contenders. 

At this point, it's impossible to confidently pick a winner. Given the level of competition and lack of a clear-cut favorite, it's honestly any horse's race to win. 

In addition to the strong field, the length of the race makes it even more unpredictable. The final leg of the Triple Crown is called "The Test of Champions" due to the fact that the mile-and-a-half race is by far the longest of the three.

Speed is always an important factor, but in this race, endurance is king. 

This year's "Run for the Carnations" will likely require even more endurance than it has in years past, as there's rain in the forecast on Friday and Saturday, according to

Rain was a factor in both previous Triple Crown races this year. If the track at Belmont Park looks anything like the one at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, the outcome of the race will be even more difficult to predict.


Updated Odds and Entrants








C. McGaughey III

J. Rosario




T. Pletcher

J. Castellano




D.W. Lukas

G. Stevens



Freedom Child

T. Albertrani

L. Saez



Golden Soul

D. Stewart

R. Albarado



Unlimited Budget (f)

T. Pletcher

R. Napravnik




T. Pletcher

J. Velazquez



Palace Malice

T. Pletcher

M. Smith




R. Rodriguez

J. Leparoux



Will Take Charge

D.W. Lukas

J. Court



Giant Finish

A. Dutrow

E. Prado




K. McLaughlin

I. Ortiz Jr.



Midnight Taboo

T. Pletcher

G. Gomez



Always in a Tiz

D. Schettino

D. Cohen



Frac Daddy

K. McPeek

A. Garcia


*Odds and probables via Daily Racing Forum. Updated: June 3.

Most Dangerous Horses


If the track at Belmont Park in any way resembles the mud soup we saw at Churchill Downs earlier this year, Orb must be considered the heavy favorite to win.

After some good work on the track recently, trainer Shug McGaughey was confident about running Orb at the Belmont, per HRTV:

Some might point to the horse's disappointing fourth-place finish at the Preakness as a means to discount Orb's chances, but they'd be wrong. Orb has proven over the course of the past two Triple Crown races that he has the endurance to outlast most horses.

Toward the end of his last race, Orb was completely boxed in and couldn't gain enough space to move up, but it was clear he had plenty left in the tank and could have likely found an opening on a longer track.

Also in Orb's favor is the fact that he's being ridden by the hottest jockey in North America right now. No other jockey has won more races this year than Joel Rosario, and his impact can't be overstated.

Expect McGaughey's horse to be right there in the thick of it on Saturday afternoon. 



After winning in wire-to-wire fashion at the Preakness, Oxbow is a proven commodity and must be taken seriously at the Belmont. 

Oxbow didn't fare as well at the Derby, finishing in sixth place, but given the size of the field and the muddy conditions, it wasn't a horrible result. 

A recent training session showed Oxbow hasn't lost any speed, even with the horse's busy schedule this year (six races this year), according to Churchill Downs PR:

Furthermore, giving credence to Oxbow as a serious contender at the Belmont, this horse has an incredible pedigree that translates well to this race. Seattle Slew and Man o' War are legendary names in the horse-racing community, and both won the Belmont. Oxbow has ties to both.



Todd Pletcher's horses have struck out thus far in 2013 as it pertains to Triple Crown races, but Revolutionary could change all that in a hurry on Saturday.

Winner of three straight races before finishing in third place at the Kentucky Derby, Revolutionary is a big, strong horse with the ability to power through the long race at Belmont.

Ridden by legendary jockey Calvin Borel at the Derby, WinStar Farms made a switch for this race. In Borel's stead will be jockey Javier Castellano, who won a couple of races atop this horse earlier this year:

Revolutionary's endurance stems from dam Runup the Colors, and his pure speed comes from sire War Pass. Though there are faster horses on short tracks, there aren't many horses that can match Revolutionary's combination of speed and endurance.


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