Belmont Stakes 2013: Breaking Down Secondary Contenders

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Belmont Stakes 2013: Breaking Down Secondary Contenders
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Rosie Napravnik will be the first female jockey to compete in all three Triple Crown races aboard filly Unlimited Budget.

The 2013 Belmont Stakes features a trio of expected favorites after Wednesday's morning line, but several of the secondary contenders pose serious threats to capture the final jewel of the Triple Crown.

Orb is the favorite at 3-1, which makes sense given his strong run to victory at the Kentucky Derby. Revolutionary is the No. 2 at 9-2 odds, and Preakness winner Oxbow is a 5-1 shot to find the winner's circle again.

However, Freedom Child and Unlimited Budget sport rather favorable 8-1 odds, while Overanalyze is a strong 12-1 proposition in the No. 3 post position.

Below is a brief look at the entire field and the connections for each horse, followed by a breakdown of the horses not as favored by the oddsmakers who have a great shot at finishing in the top three.

Note: Race history and statistics, unless otherwise indicated, are courtesy of Equibase.com.

 

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.

 

Freedom Child

Twenty-one-year-old jockey Luis Saez won five races at Belmont Park on May 31, and Freedom Child triumphed at the Peter Pan Stakes in Elmont, New York, too.

That gives this duo plenty of momentum entering the Belmont Stakes and, rightfully, a lot of respect from the oddsmakers in the process.

Freedom Child has been wowing onlookers in his workouts leading up to the race. The Daily Racing Form's Mike Welsh pointed to a recent display that indicates the horse should have plenty of strength to finish the race strong:

As the video below highlights, it's been since A.P. Indy in 1992 that a Peter Pan Stakes winner was able to translate that positivity to a win in the Belmont Stakes.

However, if Freedom Child's runs as a two-year-old in which he competed heatedly with top-two favorites Orb and Revolutionary are any indication, he has all the makings of a mildly surprising winner on Saturday.

 

Unlimited Budget

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Although she may be a filly, Unlimited Budget is rightfully earning respect as one of the top contenders by oddsmakers, though is still projected to finish just outside of the money.

Considering the success that jockey Rosie Napravnik has had in Triple Crown races this season, there's at least some reason to believe that trainer Todd Pletcher's dry spell can be broken with this horse beginning from the No. 13 post position.

Napravnik will already be the first female jockey to ride in all three Triple Crown races and set records for a woman with her fifth-place effort at Churchill Downs and third place at Pimlico aboard Mylute.

She is in it to win it, though, and Unlimited Budget is as well. Pletcher knows that this is a story that will rightly receive a lot of attention, per Tim Wilkin of the Albany Times Union:

"That is certainly going to be the big story line of the race...[Unlimited Budget] has run very competitive in every start of her life. I think it's a legitimate story, especially with Rosie riding her."

The last race that Unlimited Budget competed in was the Kentucky Oaks, where she finished third:

It was a difficult run, but one that Unlimited Budget was up to the challenge for. She does possess wonderful speed and has a savvy jockey in Napravnik, so she can't be counted out.


Golden Soul

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A surprise runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby has Golden Soul out to prove that his run at Churchill Downs wasn't a fluke.

Robby Albarado got the mount in the first leg of the Triple Crown and will once again be aboard in this race at Belmont Park.

The stamina that Golden Soul showed on what was a sloppy track in Louisville suggests that he can weather the Test of the Champion in this race better than most. Thoroughbred expert Larry Zap particularly likes Golden Soul's chances on the longest Triple Crown track:

What hurts Golden Soul's case the most is that he hasn't won as a three-year-old, but he is lightly raced, and that is a big key coming into the physically demanding test in the Belmont.

Twelve of the past 14 winners of the Run for the Carnations did not participate in the Preakness. Perhaps that strategy deployed by trainer Dallas Stewart will result in a slight improvement on Golden Soul's showing in Louisville, which would be enough to enter the winner's circle.

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