Preakness 2014: Early Belmont Predictions After Pimlico Race Results

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIMay 18, 2014

California Chrome, ridden by jockey Victor Espinoza, wins the 139th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Baltimore.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The 2014 Preakness Stakes may have just concluded, but given the brevity of California Chrome's quest for the Triple Crown, it's already time to look ahead to the Belmont Stakes on June 7.

Chrome ran a brilliant race at Pimlico Race Course, defeating Ride On Curlin by 1 3/4 lengths. Social Inclusion made a push for the lead late in the race, but the colt ran out of energy near the last furlong and lost by eight lengths.

Here's a list of the full results:

2014 Preakness Stakes Results
Pos.PostHorseJockeyTrainerLengths
13California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman-
210Ride On CurlinJoel RosarioWilliam Gowan1 1/2
38Social InclusionLuis ContrerasManny Azpurua8
42General a RodJavier CastellanoMike Maker8
54Ring WeekendAlan GarciaH. Graham Motion12 1/4
69Pablo Del MonteJeffrey SanchezWesley A. Ward14
71Dynamic ImpactMiguel MenaMark E. Casse15 3/4
87Kid CruzJulian PimentelLinda Rice15 3/4
95BayernRosie NapravnikBob Baffert20 3/4
106Ria AntoniaCalvin BorelTom Amoss30 3/4
NBC Broadcast

Chrome won't face all the same competition at the Belmont Stakes. While some horses will make the trip from Baltimore, Maryland, there will be some familiar faces from the Kentucky Derby and even new faces as well.

The following are considered contenders for the Belmont Stakes, via brisnet.com: California Chrome, Commanding Curve, Ride On Curlin, Danza, Wicked Strong, Samraat, Intense Holiday, Social Inclusion, Kid Cruz, Tonalist and The Commissioner.

It's hard to predict the winner several weeks in advance of the race, but can we really pick against Chrome at this point?

Well, recent history suggests that we should. SportsCenter's official Twitter account noted just how many times horses have failed to capture the Triple Crown after winning the first two legs:

Still, RJ Bell of ESPN tweeted the early line:

The projected field at the Belmont Stakes is very strong, however. Chrome might have won the Preakness as the odds-on favorite, but it won't be so easy for him to also win at Belmont.

There's a short turnaround between the Preakness and Belmont. Couple that with the short turnaround between the Derby and the Preakness, and there's a good chance that all the racing and working out could get to Chrome by race day.

While this might work as a disadvantage, Chrome has already beaten most of the horses in the field. That's an indication that Chrome has a really good chance at success.

As always, post position will play a huge factor. He ran fantastically out of the No. 3 position at Pimlico, but nobody knows where he'll begin at Belmont. Then again, with a strong start, Chrome can really compete from anywhere.

I know history is against horses that are just one win away from the Triple Crown, but it's too difficult to pick against Chrome at this point. He's clearly the most talented horse right now, and there's plenty of reason to believe he'll make history on June 7.