Belmont Stakes 2013 Contenders: Enticing Picks with Favorable Post Positions

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2013

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 06:  Trainer D.Wayne Lucas leads Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow on the track for workouts at Belmont Park on June 6, 2013 in Elmont, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Post position has typically been a strong indicator of performance at the Belmont Stakes. Horses starting in the first four lanes have won this race more than all of the other posts combined.

As for this year’s draw, the top three favorites will start from the middle of the pack. As a result, both Orb and Oxbow will have to defy history a bit to become the third horse in eight years to take two Triple Crown legs out of three. 

Meanwhile, the Belmont has expanded to include a massive 14-horse field, tilting toward an underdog to emerge from the mob.

With that in mind, let’s examine the best bets with pole position in “Run for the Carnations.”

2013 Belmont Stakes | Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y. | Purse: $1 Million | Grade I | Saturday, June 8 | Distance: 12 furlongs | Post Time: 6:20 p.m. ET | Watch Live on NBC | Live Stream on NBC Sports

Post Positions, Complete Field and Updated Odds (as of Friday, 6 p.m. EST)





Morning Line


Frac Daddy

K. McPeek

A. Garcia



Freedom Child

T. Albertrani

L. Saez




T. Pletcher

J. Velazquez



Giant Finish

A. Dutrow

E. Prado




C. McGaughey III

J. Rosario




K. McLaughlin

I. Ortiz Jr.




D.W. Lukas

G. Stevens



Midnight Taboo

T. Pletcher

G. Gomez




T. Pletcher

J. Castellano



Will Take Charge

D.W. Lukas

J. Court




R. Rodriguez

J. Lea



Palace Malice

T. Pletcher

M. Smith



Unlimited Budget (f)

T. Pletcher

R. Napravnik



Golden Soul

D. Stewart

R. Albarado


Odds and post positions courtesy of Nailah E.Timberlake of NYRA.

Frac Daddy

The inside position has history on its side, with far and away the most wins in Belmont history. Frankly, Frac Daddy needs all the help it can get.

The colt training under Kenny McPeek had its work cut out for him at the Kentucky Derby, finishing in 16th. To turn the tide, McPeek had his horse skip the Preakness, usually a good sign for Belmont winners. After a long intermission, now Frac Daddy is prime for an impressive run, per Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch:



Giant Finish

A long shot needs a solid position in order to make its move in an endurance race.

Overall, the fourth post position has held its own in New York, with nine wins historically. But Giant Finish also carries a two-time Belmont winner on its saddle.

Edgar Prado rode a 36-1 underdog in Birdstone to a Belmont win in 2004, and he’s looking to extract some carnation magic almost a decade later. What post position did Birdstone start from, you ask? The four position, of course.

History could come back around for Giant Finish, who makes a ton of sense at gaudy 30-1 odds.



The Preakness winner may sport the weakest post position on this list, but history says Oxbow is fortunate to be in its position.

According to Belmont Stakes Info, the horse in seventh post position has won the event 11 times. That lane boasts the highest win total between Posts 6 to 11 by far.

And let’s not forget, Oxbow ran away with the second leg of the Triple Crown three weeks ago; he’s the hottest horse in the field, no questions asked. His trainer D. Wayne Lukas sees a mature horse after winning at the Preakness.

Lukas hopes that the recency effect will take hold at the Belmont.