With the 2013 Belmont Stakes approaching, it should come as no surprise that the likes of Orb, Oxbow and Revolutionary are receiving much of the play at the betting window. There are plenty of unheralded horses that figure to factor in on Saturday, however.
Even if one of the top contenders manages to cross the finish line first, there is still money to be made through exactas, trifectas and numerous exotic bets as well. Based on the way things went in the first two Triple Crown races this year, it is extremely unlikely that Orb, Oxbow and Revolutionary will finish first, second and third.
Here are three sleeper candidates in the Belmont Stakes with a chance to contend for the victory or, at the very least, finish in the money.
Where: Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
When: Saturday, June 8
Post Time: 6:20 p.m. ET
Purse: $1 million
|1||Frac Daddy||Alan Garcia ||Ken McPeek
|2||Freedom Child ||Luis Saez ||Tom Albertrani|
|3||Overanalyze||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|4||Giant Finish||Edgar Prado||Anthony Dutrow|
|5||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey|
|6||Incognito||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|7||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas|
|8||Midnight Taboo||Garrett Gomez||Todd Pletcher|
|9||Revolutionary||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher|
|10||Will Take Charge||Jon Court||D. Wayne Lukas|
|11||Vyjack||Julien Leparoux||Rudy Rodriguez|
|12||Palace Malice||Mike Smith||Todd Pletcher|
|13||Unlimited Budget||Rosie Napravnik||Todd Pletcher|
|14||Golden Soul||Robby Albarado||Dallas Stewart|
After sitting out the Preakness Stakes, Palace Malice will once again try his luck in a Triple Crown race as he will start 12th in the Belmont Stakes. Palace Malice flew out to the lead at Churchill Downs and set a blistering pace that simply couldn't be sustained. He expended too much energy in the first half of the race and ultimately faded as he ended up finishing a disappointing 12th.
Even after that performance, though, there is a lot to like about Palace Malice. Oxbow led wire-to-wire and won the Preakness, so leading from start to finish is definitely possible in this field. Palace Malice has looked good during the lead-up to the Belmont and Joe Drape of the New York Times has gone so far as to pick him to win the Belmont.
In addition to Palace Malice's raw skill, he will be guided by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. It is extremely rare for Smith to make the same mistake twice, so he'll surely make certain that Palace Malice doesn't go too hard in the early part of the race. As long as Smith is able to manage Palace Malice's speed and ensure that he has something left for the stretch run, he will be a factor.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has five horses entered into this race, but Overanalyze may very well be the most intriguing. Like Palace Malice, he ran in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness Stakes, so he will be fresh and ready to go the distance at Belmont Park. Overanalyze's finish at Churchill Downs may not inspire a ton of confidence in bettors, but he is definitely worth a gamble.
Overanalyze finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby; however, he had a nightmarish trip, so it is impossible to know how much kick he had left in him. Considering the fact that he impressively won the Arkansas Derby leading up to the Kentucky Derby, it's safe to say that we didn't see his best. Also, according to Mike Welsch of Daily Racing Form, Overanalyze has been the best-looking Pletcher horse during preparation for the Belmont.
Jog day for all the Pletcher Belmont prospects. Overanalyze looked particularly sharp even at a jog, 1/2— Mike Welsch (@DRFWelsch) June 5, 2013
Which sleeper horse will finish best in the Belmont Stakes?
Jogging alone and racing against the best horses in the nation are totally different animals obviously, but Overanalyze is definitely a horse to watch. With jockey John Velazquez leading the way, Overanalyze is in very good hands and shouldn't have much of an issue breaking from post No. 3.
Three horses that ran in neither the Kentucky Derby nor the Preakness Stakes are scheduled to start in the Belmont on Saturday. Freedom Child and Unlimited Budget have received a good amount of action, but Incognito has been largely ignored. He may not have as impressive of a resume as many of the horses in the field, but he has had some success in the past and he ended up with a very favorable post draw.
Incognito is set to start in the sixth gate, which is ideal as most horses are best off in the middle of the pack, particularly in such large fields. Incognito only finished fifth in his most recent race, but he picked up two victories before that and he has experience running at Belmont Park to boot. Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form isn't picking Incognito to win on Saturday, but he does like him to show, which would be a fine performance for the colt.
In Saturday's DRF, my top 4 picks, in order: Orb, Freedom Child, Incognito. Will Take Charge. Still think Orb best of this crop. #belmont— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) June 7, 2013
The one worrisome thing about Incognito in this race is that it will be jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.'s first race aboard him. That doesn't necessarily mean anything as the horse may or may not even notice a different presence, but it could come into play. If Ortiz takes command and guides Incognito effectively, though, he could be a surprise finisher on Saturday.
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