Belmont Stakes Odds: Contenders Who Were Underestimated in Morning Line

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Belmont Stakes Odds: Contenders Who Were Underestimated in Morning Line
Al Bello/Getty Images
Will another long shot give trainer D. Wayne Lukas his second Triple Crown win of 2013?

The 2013 Belmont Stakes features a deep 14-horse field consisting of several entries that were underestimated by oddsmakers in Wednesday's morning line.

Three long shots stand out as possible contenders in particular, though they did not garner the respect of horses with better racing resumes. Whether it's pedigree, size, race history or how their styles fit at Belmont Park, some horses are flying significantly under the radar.

Here is a look at the entire lineup, with post positions and connections listed. Then, we'll break down the horses with long odds whose chances could very well improve before the starting gates open on Saturday to cap off the Triple Crown season.

Note: Statistics and race history are courtesy of Equibase.com. Pedigree information was obtained from Horse Racing Nation.

 

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.

 

Giant Finish

Video Credit: New York Horse Racing Association, Inc.

Edgar Prado rode 70-to-1 long shot Sarava to victory in the Belmont Stakes in 2002, ending War Emblem's Triple Crown bid. The jockey did the same thing two years later to Smarty Jones, beating him down the final stretch aboard Birdstone in 2004.

That's why, even though Giant Finish is tied for the longest odds in the field, he should not be discounted as a dark horse pick.

Giant Finish surprised many as an apparent afterthought in the Kentucky Derby by finishing a respectable 10th at Churchill Downs. With Prado's winning experience at Belmont Park with horses who are counted out, it's hard to dismiss him.

This certainly isn't the smoothest-moving horse in the lineup, but Giant Finish at least enters this race being fresh having not run in the Preakness. Being well-rested is key in enduring the grueling 1.5-mile test at Belmont Park.

It's hard to build much more of an argument outside of Prado's past prowess aboard horses perceived as non-factors. What it boils down to is whether Giant Finish can live up to his namesake and put a scare into his competitors as the final few furlongs unfold.

 

Incognito

Video Credit: BloodHorse.com

The impressive pedigree that Incognito sports should have garnered him slightly more respect in the morning line.

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Among those in his heritage include A.P. Indy, who won the 1992 Belmont Stakes, as well as Unbridled, who won the 1990 Kentucky Derby. A.P. Indy was sired by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, and the legendary Secretariat is also part of that line.

That isn't much of a disguise for the horse to hide behind, but he's still considered one of the longest shots in the field. However, he won two allowance races at Aqueduct Racetrack earlier this year before coming in fifth in the Peter Pan Stakes.

On the surface, the aforementioned result would appear to take him out of the running in this race, since it was also held at Belmont Park.

Such isn't the case though, because Darley president Jimmy Bell, who oversaw Incognito's breeding in Kentucky, feels great about not only the pedigree, but also how well Incognito recovered in his most recent showing, according to Lenny Shulman of BloodHorse.com:

We know his mother and his father and that gives us confidence in making a move that's not the natural next step. But we feel he is a true 1 1/2-mile horse.

He made up 12-14 lengths and galloped out in the Peter Pan like, "Whoa, where did that come from?" He's training great and he's a beautiful individual. The penny has just been a little late in dropping but you can see the progression with him. He's grown up and gotten tough and wants to fight, and that is important to us.

It appears that Incognito is a late bloomer in every sense, so don't be surprised if he makes a late charge in the Belmont Stakes and pushes the favorites.

 

Will Take Charge

The Grade II Rebel Stakes winner is one of the few horses who has comparable size to favorites such as Orb and Revolutionary.

What works against Will Take Charge are his prior performances in the Triple Crown season, where he finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby and seventh out of nine in the Preakness.

His record is deceiving, though, because he held his own relatively well despite a swift early pace at Churchill Downs set by Palace Malice, then was simply caught in traffic at Pimlico and couldn't make a legitimate move.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas loves to start long shots, and it paid off when he won with Oxbow at the Preakness. Considering the talent that Will Take Charge possesses, he's a serious bargain at 20-to-1.

If Will Take Charge finally puts it all together, he has the potential to run away with a victory in the Test of the Champion.

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