Belmont Stakes 2013: Why Oxbow, Not Orb, Should Be Favored To Win

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJune 5, 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

After the post position draw on Wednesday, Orb was announced as the favorite to win the 2013 Belmont Stakes, according to ESPNNews. However, Oxbow has a better chance of winning the final leg of the Triple Crown:

The race known as "The Test of Champions" is a mile-and-a-half long and requires an incredible amount of endurance to win. 

The draw didn't put any of the favorites in a bad spot, as you can see, thanks to Belmont Stakes on Twitter:

Here's a more detailed look at where every horse will start, along with information about their jockeys, trainers and odds.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Frac Daddy Alan Garcia
Ken McPeek
2 Freedom Child
Luis Saez
Tom Albertrani 8-1
3 Overanalyze John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 12-1
4 Giant Finish Edgar Prado  Anthony Dutrow  30-1
5 Orb Joel Rosario  Shug McGaughey 3-1
6 Incognito Irad Ortiz Jr. Kiaran McLaughlin 20-1
7 Oxbow  Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas  5-1
8 Midnight Taboo  Garrett Gomez Todd Pletcher 30-1
9 Revolutionary Javier Castellano  Todd Pletcher 9-2
10 Will Take Charge Jon Court D. Wayne Lukas 20-1
11 Vyjack Julien Leparoux Rudy Rodriguez 20-1
12 Palace Malice Mike Smith Todd Pletcher 15-1
13 Unlimited Budget Rosie Napravnik Todd Pletcher 8-1
14 Golden Soul Robby Albarado Dallas Stewart 10-1

Odds courtesy of as of 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 5.


As you can see, Oxbow doesn't even have the second-best odds to win. Oddsmakers give Revolutionary a slight edge over Oxbow and Orb is clearly the horse favored to win.

There's rain in the forecast on Friday and Saturday (h/t So there's a good chance the track will be rather sloppy. Given Orb's success at Churchill Downs under similar conditions, it's logical to think the horse will have a nice run at Belmont Park.

Oxbow's wire-to-wire victory at the Preakness was impressive, but that was the shortest of the three Triple Crown races at 9.5 furlongs (one-and-three-sixteenths of a mile). Winning that race isn't necessarily a good indication of how Oxbow would do at Belmont.

That said, Oxbow possesses an excellent pedigree for such a long race.

Oxbow hails from two legendary horses—Man 'o War and Seattle Slew. Both won the Belmont and, after watching Oxbow win from start to finish at the Preakness, it's clear he has outstanding speed to go along with the endurance that comes from these two Triple Crown winners.

In addition to Oxbow's incredible pedigree, the horse drew an extremely favorable post. Horses starting from the No. 7 post have won three of the last six Belmont Stakes.

Finally, Oxbow's jockey/trainer combo of Hall of Famers Gary Stevens and D. Wayne Lukas is a factor that can't be discounted. Between the two, these men have been involved in 23 Triple Crown victories.

In the game of age before beauty, Stevens and Lukas are ahead of the pack by a wide margin. 

Oxbow isn't the favorite to win but should be. By the end of the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes, Stevens and Oxbow will prove this point with an emphatic win.


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