Belmont Stakes 2013: Best Big-Money Bets for Triple Crown's Final Jewel

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Belmont Stakes 2013: Best Big-Money Bets for Triple Crown's Final Jewel
Al Bello/Getty Images

The 145th running of the Belmont Stakes marks the 35th straight year that thoroughbred racing will be without a Triple Crown winner.

While the race won’t have the anticipation that a potential three-peat performance would offer, there will be plenty to look forward to when the horses enter the gate on Saturday, May 8.

In the Kentucky Derby, post-time favorite Orb completed a comeback victory in impressive fashion at Churchill Downs. He was expected to put in a similar effort at the Preakness Stakes in pursuit of the first Triple Crown since Affirmed completed the feat in 1978.

However, Orb struggled out of the gate at the Preakness, slowed by bunching along the rail and a pace that left the colt struggling for positioning in the front of the pack. When all was said and done, Oxbow turned in a wire-to-wire first-place finish to earn the Black-Eyed Susan Blanket and derail Orb’s Triple Crown hopes.

With the Belmont Stakes fast approaching, Orb and Oxbow are favorites to add a second piece of the Triple Crown to their resume, but the field boasts 12 other challengers with plenty of upset potential.

Let’s take a look at three challengers which not only have a good chance of pulling off an upset on Saturday, but also have extremely favorable betting odds that could reward bettors handsomely.

 

Post Position and Odds

Post

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

Morning Line

1

Frac Daddy

A. Garcia

K. McPeek 

30-1 

2

Freedom Child

L. Saez 

T. Albertrani

8-1 

3

Overanalyze

J. Velazquez 

T. Pletcher

12-1 

4

Giant Finish

E. Prado 

A. Dutrow 

30-1 

5

Orb

J. Rosario 

C. McGaughey III 

3-1 

6

Icognito

I. Ortiz, Jr. 

K. McLaughlin 

20-1 

7

Oxbow

G. Stevens 

D.W. Lukas 

5-1 

8

Midnight Taboo

G. Gomez 

T. Pletcher 

30-1 

9

Revolutionary

J. Castellano 

T. Pletcher 

9-2 

10

Will Take Charge

J. Court 

D.W. Lukas 

20-1 

11

Vyjack

J. Lea 

R. Rodriguez 

20-1 

12

Palace Malice

M. Smith 

T. Pletcher 

15-1 

13

Unlimited Budget (f)

R. Napravnik 

T. Pletcher 

8-1 

14

Golden Soul

R. Albarado 

D. Stewart 

10-1 

 

*Post positions and morning lines were obtained via Nailah E. Timberlake of the New York Racing Association.

 

Will Take Charge (20-1)

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Will Take Charge was an upset favorite at both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but he failed to live up to expectations in both races. With seventh-place and eighth-place finishes, respectively, Will Take Charge has done anything but live up to his name.

However, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt has had similar inconsistency throughout his three-year-old season. He finished first at both Smarty Jones and the Rebel Stakes on tracks of a mile or longer, and found similar success at the Remington Springboard Mile (second place) to go along with finishes of 13th place and sixth place.

Lukas is a tremendous trainer who wouldn’t have entered Will Take Charge for another Triple Crown event if he didn’t believe in the colt. With boom-or-bust potential, Will Take Charge needs to present high-reward odds.

At 20-1, there may not be a more favorable horse to bet on at Belmont. The No. 10 post is nothing to worry about in a 14-horse field, and he’s shown the ability to surprise on longer tracks. Don’t break the bank on Will Take Charge, but don’t be afraid to give him a little action on Saturday.

 

Golden Soul (10-1)

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It’s not often you get 10-1 odds on a horse that finished second at the Kentucky Derby.

Golden Soul made a strong push at Churchill Downs to finish just behind Belmont favorite Orb with a second-place finish. While never a favorite to place well in the race, Golden Soul made quite an impression and should be considered a legitimate contender at Belmont.

The Dallas Stewart-trained colt drew the No. 14 post position—one that typically doesn’t bode well for most thoroughbreds. However, Golden Soul is a true late-closer which can certainly make a late push on Belmont’s one-and-a-half-mile track with enough space on the outside.

At 10-1, there’s plenty of value to be had in wagering on Golden Soul, especially with Orb, Oxbow, Revolutionary, Freedom Child and filly Unlimited Budget all offering less-favorable payouts.

 

Overanalyze (12-1)

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Which horse presents the most value with its current odds?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Arguably the best value bet in the field, Overanalyze is one of five Todd Pletcher-trained horses in the field.

While Revolutionary is easily Pletcher's best Belmont thoroughbred, there’s reason to believe Overanalyze can make some waves in the Triple Crown’s final jewel.

Overanalyze finished 11th in a loaded field at the Derby, but hasn’t failed to record a top-five finish in any other race in his short career. Posting first-place finishes at Remson and the Arkansas Derby, the colt has shown the ability to run well on longer tracks.

Were it not for Overanalyze’s No. 3 post position, his odds would likely be far less favorable, however. He loves to come from far off the pace, and on the inside, that will be a tall order. Fortunately for jockey John Velazquez, Belmont’s track will give him plenty of distance to get his horse in prime position for a late break.

At 12-1, Overanalyze offers plenty of value for the thrifty bettor. An inclusion in a win-place-show wager wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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