There is always some uncertainty when trying to pick winners at the Belmont Stakes. The 2013 edition shouldn’t be any easier to predict due to the large 14-horse field, the largest at Belmont Park since 1996.
Taking it a step further, trying to predict the win, place and show performers is even more difficult.
The best we can do is narrow things down based on the information we have available to us. There is a lot to like about each of the race favorites, but nothing is ever a certainty in the horse racing world—especially at the long and unpredictable final leg of the Triple Crown.
Below we’ll take a look at post positions, the latest odds and some predictions that highlight each of the top three potential finishers.
Post Positions and Latest Odds
|1||Frac Daddy||Alan Garcia||Ken McPeek||28-1|
|2||Freedom Child||Luis Saez||Tom Albertrani||17-2|
|3||Overanalyze||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||14-1|
|4||Giant Finish||Edgar Prado||Anthony Dutrow||33-1|
|5||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey||5-2|
|6||Incognito||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Kiaran McLaughlin||25-1|
|7||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||6-1|
|8||Midnight Taboo||Garrett Gomez||Todd Pletcher||33-1|
|9||Revolutionary||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||11-2|
|10||Will Take Charge||Jon Court||D. Wayne Lukas||20-1|
|11||Vyjack||Julien Leparoux||Rudy Rodriguez||25-1|
|12||Palace Malice||Mike Smith||Todd Pletcher||12-1|
|13||Unlimited Budget||Rosie Napravnik||Todd Pletcher||10-1|
|14||Golden Soul||Robby Albarado||Dallas Stewart||12-1|
Odds courtesy of Bovada and are current as of Friday at 6 p.m. ET.
Historical Winners by Post Position
|Post 1||23||Post 6||7||Post 11||2|
|Post 2||11||Post 7||11||Post 12||0|
|Post 3||13||Post 8||5||Post 13||0|
|Post 4||9||Post 9||3||Post 14||0|
|Post 5||13||Post 10||2|
Historical post position winners provided by Belmont-Stakes.info.
Top 3 Predictions
Win: Golden Soul
This is a bold call. However, rested horses that have skipped the Preakness have won 14 out of the last 16 Belmont Stakes, according to Jarrod Horak of Horse Racing Nation. There’s a lot to be optimistic about for trainer Dallas Stewart after his horse finished second to Orb at Churchill Downs.
"I'm feeling that he's as good now as he was then," Stewart said, according to Jennie Rees of USA Today Sports. "I'm feeling good about him up here. Other than Orb, he beat them all."
No horse has ever won from the outside No. 14 post position, but don’t tell that to Stewart.
Riding Golden Soul will be jockey Robby Albarado, a two-time runner-up at the Belmont Stakes. Albarado rode the horse to a near-shocker at the Kentucky Derby, maneuvering a late surge through the field but coming up short behind Orb.
The 1.5-mile track at Belmont Park will give the jockey plenty of time to follow pace, mingle through the pack and then open up on the final stretch. Coming from behind and finishing strong are both part Golden Soul’s repertoire, after all.
Revolutionary has the advantage of a word-class team preparing for this big race. Like Golden Soul, Revolutionary will benefit tremendously from the ample layoff.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez, winner of the 2012 Belmont Stakes, are the keys to the horse turning in another impressive Triple Crown performance.
Finishing in third place at the Kentucky Derby was nothing to scoff at, but strong and powerful Revolutionary certainly has the capability and pedigree to push for a victory at the 1.5-mile Belmont Stakes.
Show: Freedom Child
The weather conditions could be a plus for Tom Albertrani-trained Freedom Child. Weather is believed to be an issue for the weekend race, as an off track is the ultimate equalizer in a long race like the Belmont Stakes.
"If it's wet, we'll certainly take it," Albertrani said, according to SportingNews.com. "We've been watching the forecast since a few days ago. It’s getting better and better for us every time.”
Freedom Child has garnered a lot of interest in the days leading up to the race due to a victory in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes earlier in May. Six horses have gone on to win the Belmont Stakes following a win at the race.