Belmont Stakes Odds: Projecting Finishes for Top Favorites

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Belmont Stakes Odds: Projecting Finishes for Top Favorites
Al Bello/Getty Images

The 2013 Belmont Stakes should be a wonderful conclusion to the Triple Crown season, and for the third marquee race in a row, Orb is the odds-on favorite after Wednesday's morning-line odds were revealed.

It makes sense, because jockey Joel Rosario is the leading money winner this season and rode Orb to victory the Kentucky Derby. Revolutionary came in third at Churchill Downs and is second at 9-to-2, followed by Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow, whose initial odds are set at 5-to-1.

Especially since the horses are separated across the board by only one post position—and not surrounded by other heavy contenders—the three-way battle should be extremely entertaining throughout.

Let's take a look at the entire field, then focus on the projected results for the top three favorites at Belmont Park on Saturday.

 

Post Positions and Complete Field

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.

 

Orb

Making an argument against Orb at a 1.5-mile track when he's the best combination of size and speed in the 14-horse field is extremely difficult.

The biggest element that prevented him from another triumph at the Preakness was traffic. Pinned against the rail in the No. 1 post position, Rosario couldn't get Orb far enough to the outside to ultimately make a charge.

Trainer Shug McGaughey discussed how he hasn't lose confidence in Orb despite the fourth-place finish at Pimlico, and is simply looking ahead to Belmont Park and how well Orb has grazed on Belmont Park's track.

Orb made a late move at the Kentucky Derby to find the winner's circle despite being far back in the pack in the middle of the race. He'll have time to pull off a similar feat in this race.

Despite all the factors working in Orb's favor, this is going to be an extremely tight race, and it's difficult to go with the No. 1 favorite. He will still finish in the money, but will be passed in the end by a narrow margin.

Prediction: Show

 

Revolutionary

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The horse that rivals Orb best in terms of all-around ability and physical gifts is Revolutionary, who is the best of trainer Todd Pletcher's five entries in the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Before the strong run at Churchill Downs, Revolutionary also triumphed at the Louisiana Derby, where he held off a charge from Mylute, who finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness.

Both of these races—especially the showcase in Louisville on a sloppy track—proved that Revolutionary could handle a variety of conditions and conserve enough energy to save his best for the end.

Those will be keys at Belmont Park, and another encouraging sign from his Kentucky Derby run was how he maintained a contending position in spite of the swift pace Palace Malice established in the early going.

Revolutionary is the No. 2 favorite in oddsmakers' eyes for a reason. He should be the one to claim the trophy in the Test of the Champion.

Prediction: Win

 

Oxbow

Al Bello/Getty Images

Contrary to the competitors that have more favorable odds than him, Oxbow's style doesn't translate as well to the Belmont Stakes.

The fact that Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has won here three previous times definitely helps the cause, but Oxbow is definitely more of a sprinter. His wire-to-wire win at the shorter Pimlico Race Course was encouraging in terms of stamina, but Stevens didn't have to unleash Oxbow at the end.

This is an additional 2.5 furlongs to tread, and it's important that Oxbow has enough in the tank to be a factor down the final straightaway.

It would be amazing for Stevens to get another winning mount at Belmont Park—especially after a seven-year retirement—because it would mark the third different decade he's won this race.

But the comeback story will end here. Oxbow doesn't have the endurance to be a threat to his physically superior counterparts. He will not finish in the money.

Prediction: Fifth place


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