The 2013 Belmont may not have the extra buzz of a potential Triple Crown winner, but the field is chock full of contenders with a great chance to don the white carnations at the race's end.
Both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness were entertaining affairs. Orb became a hot favorite after storming late to win the Derby at Churchill Downs but failed to get off the rail in time to touch Preakness winner Oxbow as the long shot kept the lead from wire-to-wire at Pimlico.
Now Oxbow and Orb will each have a third chance to make their mark in horse racing history as they both are set to start on Saturday.
Here's a look at the full lineup for the 145th running of the Belmont with the latest odds from The Daily Racing Form:
|1||Frac Daddy||Alan Garcia||Ken McPeek||30/1|
|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|
Orb enters the Belmont as the odds-on favorite to win, and bettors have seen this story before. The horse was a prohibitive favorite to win the Preakness after his Kentucky Derby win, but he disappointed supporters by finishing in fourth place.
Who has the better chance to win two legs of the Triple Crown?
However, the issues that Orb faced at the Preakness will have little bearing on his performance in New York.
First there's the issue of post position. Orb drew the unfortunate distinction of starting on the rail in the Preakness, and it put him in a bad position to make his late push for the win.
Then there's the track length. The Belmont is the longest of the Triple Crown races with a 1.5-mile track and is a stark contrast to the short track at Pimlico. Starting in the fifth position, Orb doesn't have to worry about being boxed in this time around and has the distance to make his late charge.
Revolutionary comes in with strong odds after skipping out on the Preakness. While some bettors may have forgotten about him, that would be a mistake.
He was a favorite at the Kentucky Derby and had a good run there, scoring a third-place finish. He was kept out of the Preakness, but that should work in his favor. He's had extra time to rest and isn't really the kind of sprinter that would have been a threat there anyway.
What Revolutionary does have is endurance. He won the Louisiana Derby and Withers Stakes in impressive fashion and is a good bet to make his presence known this weekend.
Unlimited Budget will be a relatively unknown horse in the lineup, but overlooking the filly would be a big mistake. Especially considering the Triple Crown showing that Rosie Napravnik is having so far.
She posted a fifth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby and a third-place finish at the Preakness aboard Mylute. She'll be seeking to become the first woman to win the race since 1993 when Julie Krone won.
She just may have the horse to do it. Unlimited Budget has four firsts in five career starts and comes in with fresh legs having sat out the first two legs.