As the longest of the Triple Crown races, the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes will test the endurance of the entire field.
The horse racing experts have released their picks for the June 8 showdown in Belmont, N.Y. Although fans won't see a Triple Crown winner in 2013, there's still plenty to look forward to in the 12 furlongs marathon.
So, who do the experts believe will be draped in carnations when it's all said and done?
Let's take a peek.
Jack Jones, BetFirms.com
Mr. Jones likes Kentucky Derby winner Orb to win "The Test of the Champion" on Saturday. After winning the Derby, Orb was considered to have a legitimate shot at becoming the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, but those hopes were soiled when Oxbow cruised to victory in the Preakness Stakes.
Here's Jones' reasoning for selecting Orb in the Belmont Stakes:
Yes, I’m taking Orb again, but it’s hard not to looking at his pedigree and past performance. He’s simply a cut above the rest of the horses in the field. He finished 4th in the Preakness his last time out, but I really feel he got boxed in against the rail and would have had a much better show if he was able to break out of the pack a little. That’s bad luck, not a bad race and it happens more often than you think in horse racing. Prior to winning the Kentucky Derby, Orb had also won his last four races in a row. His pedigree bodes well for a track at this distance and I think he will become the 13th winner in history of both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes.
Jones provides a lot of reasoning for his selection, the most important being that Orb is built for length, which the Belmont Stakes certainly offers.
Jay Cronley, ESPN
ESPN horse racing expert Jay Cronley sees three different horses winning the Triple Crown races, as Cronley has picked Overanalyze to win the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
Cronley doesn't offer much reasoning behind his selection, only citing that Overanalyze has been on and off lately, and Saturday's race should be an "on" day. Cronley did offer this bit of information regarding the race itself:
Saturday's New York race is one of those classic betting races, which means pretty much the opposite -- that it is a guessing race. To my mind, a betting race is a 1-1 shot that can't lose. But for some reason, a betting race has come to signify a race that is hard to pick and is apt to pay lots of dollars to the luckiest handicappers. Three things make the Belmont shape up as a great race that's hard to pick. First of all, five horses look about the same on paper, maybe six, maybe seven. Secondly, the distance is a mile and a half, which is a pretty long bicycle ride. And third, the lousy weather is predicted to be lousy again, with rain likely. Rain turns everything inside out and upside down simultaneously and often favors extremes.
Cronley does have Orb and Oxbow both finishing in the top four, but he likes the Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez combination aboard Overanalyze to deliver.
David Price, PricesPicks.com
David Price likes consensus favorite Orb to win the Run for the Carnations on Saturday. Price provides some solid insight on his decision:
I took Orb to win the Preakness Stakes because I believed he was the best horse in the field. He finished fourth, but suffered a bad break by getting boxed in against the rail. That performance hasn’t deterred me from coming right back with him. No horse in the field is bred for distance like Orb, who has Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy in his gene pool. Orb has won five of his last six starts, and I believe he’ll prove to be worth every penny come Saturday.
The most important thing to remember about the Belmont Stakes is the length of the track, and Price notes that no other horse is bred for a race this length like Orb.
If Claude McGaughey III and Joel Rosario do what they're supposed to do, Price, and many other experts, think Orb will be the winner of the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes.
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