Although this year’s running of the Belmont Stakes does not have a chance of anointing a Triple Crown winner, there are still plenty of reasons to watch.
The Belmont Stakes is one of the most interesting races to watch, and this year there are a multitude of horses that could finish in the top spot. Here are five horses that can finish in the top three this weekend at the Belmont Stakes.
It comes as no surprise that the winner of the Kentucky Derby is listed as a favorite to win the Belmont Stakes. Animal Kingdom is a proven winner that had a realistic shot of winning the Preakness and will undoubtedly make a run in the next outing.
Animal Kingdom is currently a 2-1 favorite to win the Belmont Stakes.
With Animal Kingdom as a favorite after winning the derby, the next obvious choice to win is Shackleford.
Shackleford won the Preakness and could finish in the top three in the Belmont Stakes with the right approach. This race is being touted as the much-anticipated rematch between Shackleford and Animal Kingdom.
Depending on the outlet, Shackleford is listed as a 2-1 favorite or better to win the Belmont. There is a slight concern that Shackleford will fade late, but otherwise he's a lock for the top three spots this weekend.
In many outlets Derby runner-up Nehro has surpassed Shackleford as the runner-up to Animal Kingdom to win the Belmont Stakes. This glorious steed is trained by Steve Asmussen, who is a proven winner at the racetrack.
A win at the Belmont would be significant as the first stakes win for Nehro and erase the label of runner-up and a horse that can’t finish first.
Mucho Macho Man is a bit of a long shot at 10-1 but still a worthy look in this race. This field is more competitive than most people think, and Mucho Macho Man is being overlooked by the oddsmakers.
Mucho Macho Man has had a shakeup heading into the Belmont and was fitted with new shoes and will have a new jockey for the race. Ramon Dominguez will now ride Mucho Macho, and on a wide-open track they could easily finish in first.
Master of Hounds is a popular long shot that is deserving of a second look in the Belmont Stakes. With a fifth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby, this horse has showed flashes of brilliance. That great showing in the Derby could translate to a successful run at the Belmont Stakes.
Another long shot at 10-1, Master of Hounds could easily make a run to finish in the top three.
It’s easy to pick a favorite to win the race, but it’s not very “dangerous.” So if forced to pick one, why not go with a long shot?
Mucho Macho Man lost a shoe in the last race and has admittedly had problems running in confined spaces. With a new jockey, better shoes and room to run, Mucho Macho Man will look good in the winner’s circle at the Belmont Stakes.
James Brown is a B/R Featured Columnist. Feel free to contact James at email@example.com.