Oxbow and Orb will battle it out at the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes on June 8, 2013.
The 14-horse field is the largest group since 14 colts took to the track in 1996. Post positions have been finalized and odds have been set, putting Orb ahead of the pack yet again with 7-2 odds. Orb is a hometown horse and favorite among spectators, but will that propel the horse into the winners circle at the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Park classic?
While it wouldn’t be a Triple Crown victory, a second win for the New York-based colt would certainly be a fitting end to the great trio of thoroughbred races.
Oxbow spoiled everyone’s hopes for a Triple Crown champion in 2013, but the thought of seeing a rematch between the two is certainly intriguing. The matchup between the Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Preakness Stakes victor Oxbow is just the 21st such rematch in Triple Crown history, according to Kyle C. Leach of The Star-Ledger.
This year, the field has also shaped out pretty nicely despite there being just three participants from both of the previous Triple Crown events. Will Take Charge, Orb and Oxbow are the only three colts that have raced in each of those two previous races.
Belmont Stakes Race Information
When: Sat., June 8, 2013
Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y.
Post Time: 6:20 p.m. ET
Post Positions and Latest 2013 Belmont Stakes Odds
Merv Huber provided an excellent breakdown of the initial odds and post positions for the race following the initial announcement on June 5:
Things shifted slightly on Thursday, although Orb retained the status of favorite among bettors. Here’s a look at every post position and those updated odds for every horse.
|1||Frac Daddy||Alan Garcia||Ken McPeek||33/1|
|2||Freedom Child||Luis Saez||Tom Albertrani||8/1|
|3||Overanalyze||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||14/1|
|4||Giant Finish||Edgar Prado||Anthony Dutrow||33/1|
|5||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey||7/2|
|6||Incognito||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Kiaran McLaughlin||25/1|
|7||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||6/1|
|8||Midnight Taboo||Garrett Gomez||Todd Pletcher||33/1|
|9||Revolutionary||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||5/1|
|10||Will Take Charge||Jon Court||D. Wayne Lukas||20/1|
|11||Vyjack||Julien Leparoux||Rudy Rodriguez||22/1|
|12||Palace Malice||Mike Smith||Todd Pletcher||10/1|
|13||Unlimited Budget||Rosie Napravnik||Todd Pletcher||9/1|
|14||Golden Soul||Robby Albarado||Dallas Stewart||12/1|
*Odds courtesy of Bovada; current as of June 6 at 1 p.m. ET
Orb Will Fail, Again
A fourth-place finish at the Preakness was a disappointing result for Orb and Triple Crown enthusiasts around the globe. After running two races at a high level it will be difficult for the horse and his crew to maintain a competitive advantage, especially at the lengthy “Test of the Champion.”
There is no denying Orb’s success at the Kentucky Derby. Everything went right for the race-winner on the muddy Churchill Downs dirt. Things didn’t go as planned at Pimlico, after a fourth-place finish spoiled Orb’s Triple Crown bid.
Orb is a strong finisher but will be going up against a surprisingly sturdy field at Belmont Park. Winning from the No. 5 post may not be impossible, but it’s going to take a perfect run for Joel Rosario to ride into the winner's circle.
Golden Soul Surges in the Final Furlong
Golden Soul, runner-up at the 2013 Kentucky Derby, did not race at the Preakness and is the perfect type of runner in a race like the Belmont Stakes. The track’s longer length should allow him to sit back behind the field and bide his time until the final furlongs.
Remember at Churchill Downs, jockey Robby Albarado demonstrated that comeback ability after steering to the inside during the far turn and sneaking through the field during his late surge. Having the outside No. 14 post may not be favorable, as no horse has previously won from that spot. Although, as mentioned earlier, this is a large field and there are not usually 14 horses even in contention.
But if Albarado can engineer another impressive late push, it won’t matter where Golden Soul begins the Belmont Stakes from.
Win, Place and Show Predictions: Golden Soul, Oxbow, Freedom Child
With Golden Soul already out of the way, let’s take a look at the place and show horse predictions.
Oxbow should be in a position to challenge for the victory in the final stretch. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt saddled by Gary Stevens will continue to benefit from his world-class team. Building on the win at the Preakness will not be easy, but there is something to be said about winning with 16-1 pre-race odds. Never discount the value of a trainer and jockey, especially when they are both Hall of Famers.
Freedom Child has been, from first-hand accounts, one of the standout horses during the pre-race process.
Earlier in May, Freedom Child captured the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park. The competition will be heftier this time around, but the colt’s trainer Tom Albertrani likes his chances. Six horses have previously won the Peter Pan Stakes and ended up following that performance by stealing the third leg of the Triple Crown just one month later.