Belmont Stakes Predictions: Hyped Horses That Will Disappoint

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Belmont Stakes Predictions: Hyped Horses That Will Disappoint
Justin Heiman/Getty Images

Several prospective contenders in the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes are receiving considerable hype that is not necessarily unwarranted, but will leave those with high expectations disappointed in the final leg of the 2013 Triple Crown.

Preakness winner Oxbow, new shooter Unlimited Budget and Kentucky Derby letdown Overanalyze come to mind as horses with relatively favorable odds, whose styles don't translate particularly well to Belmont Park.

Let's take a brief look at the entire 14-horse field, and then break down what makes the aforementioned threesome unideal fits for this race.

 

Post Positions and Field Overview

Post No.

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

Odds

1

Frac Daddy

Ken McPeek

Alan Garcia

30-1

2

Freedom Child

Tom Albertrani

Luis Saez

8-1

3

Overanalyze

Todd Pletcher

John Velazquez

12-1

4

Giant Finish

Anthony W. Dutrow

Edgar Prado

30-1

5

Orb

Shug McGaughey

Joel Rosario

3-1

6

Incognito

Kiaran P. McLaughlin

Irad Ortiz Jr.

20-1

7

Oxbow

D. Wayne Lukas

Gary Stevens

5-1

8

Midnight Taboo

Todd Pletcher

Garrett Gomez

30-1

9

Revolutionary

Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano

9-2

10

Will Take Charge

D. Wayne Lukas

Jon Court

20-1

11

Vyjack

Rudy Rodriguez

Julien Leparoux

20-1

12

Palace Malice

Todd Pletcher

Mike E. Smith

15-1

13

Unlimited Budget

Todd Pletcher

Rosie Napravnik

8-1

14

Golden Soul

Dallas Stewart

Robby Albarado

10-1

*Odds were obtained from morning line numbers, courtesy of America's Best Racing on Twitter.


Oxbow

The shorter track at Pimlico Race Course translated to a wire-to-wire victory for Oxbow and the Hall of Fame tandem of trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens. It was a wonderful story, but one that likely won't result in another Triple Crown triumph.

Belmont Park is 1.5 miles long—far more distance to cover than Oxbow needed at the Preakness. His winning time to capture the Middle Jewel was also the slowest since 1961.

Jamey Price/Getty Images

For a colt that is hailed as a sprinter, his cruising speed was impressive, but he never had to kick it into higher gear to ward off any formidable challengers down the final stretch.

The fact that Oxbow is able to maintain a consistently swift pace over 9.5 furlongs is an encouraging sign, but Stevens will have to do a masterful job to preserve an extra burst for the finish.

More physically formidable horses occupy the field, and though Oxbow should be in the hunt entering the last turn, he will likely fade and finish out of the money, contrary to what oddsmakers say in making him the No. 3 favorite.

 

Unlimited Budget

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Just by riding in this race, jockey Rosie Napravnik is making history in becoming the first female to ride in all three Triple Crown races.

It's not as if she's been an also-ran on the previous two occasions, either, as she mounted Mylute to a fifth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness—both records for a woman.

Napravnik would match only 1993 winner Julie Krone aboard Colonial Affair if she found the winners circle here. Unfortunately, it likely won't be in the cards, despite the speediness of her filly Unlimited Budget.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has come up empty in his Triple Crown campaign thus far, but his winner is more likely to be Revolutionary than any of his other four contenders. Unlimited Budget possesses the swiftness to contend, but hasn't shown the ample endurance to be a factor at 1.5 miles.

Granted, none of the other horses in the field have gotten a chance to do so, but starting so far to the outside at No. 13 while being flanked by Kentucky Derby speedster Palace Malice and the sizable, talented Will Take Charge is not a great scenario for her to be in.

Under different post position circumstances, Unlimited Budget might have an easier time navigating, but traffic should be a significant factor in thwarting her bid for the trophy.

 

Overanalyze

Which Todd Pletcher entry will fare best in the Belmont Stakes?

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The profile of Overanalyze will inevitably be raised by John Velazquez entering the saddle, since he has won the Belmont Stakes twice in his storied career, including last year aboard Union Rags.

However, Velazquez rode Verrazano in the Kentucky Derby and was considered one of the initial favorites before finishing in 14th. Winning experience doesn't always guarantee success, and it's not Velazquez's fault, but rather it's because Overanalyze simply isn't strong enough.

Overanalyze was thought to be a good fit at Churchill Downs, yet he wound up in 11th place at the end of the most exciting two minutes in sports.

Like many of his peers, the horse did not capitalize on the momentum seized in a marquee Arkansas Derby win before the big stage in Louisville.

There is plenty to like about Overanalyze in terms of speed, which he showcased in Arkansas. The question is whether he will have enough remaining in the tank to make a serious push at the end, and the answer seems to be no if the Kentucky Derby was any indication.

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