The start of the 2011 Belmont Stakes is hours away and the anticipation for this race is growing by the second. The field boasts a wide array of horses that all of a chance of making it to the winners circle.
Here is a brief glimpse at every horse in the field, odds to win, and why they have a shot of winning the race.
The odds for Shackleford to win the Belmont Stakes are 9-2, based off a solid effort in the Preakness victory.
This track and the layout will be a perfect fit for Shackleford. This horse can maintain an excellent pace and will run well in this race. While back-to-back wins may be hard to pull off, Shackleford is primed and ready to go.
The odds for Animal Kingdom to win the Belmont Stakes are 5-2.
Animal Kingdom is the winner of the Kentucky Derby and finished second in the Preakness. With that type of resume, there is no reason to believe that this horse won’t challenge for the top spot.
Many horse racing experts believe that if the track was longer, Animal Kingdom would have won the Preakness and would be racing at Belmont for a shot at the Triple Crown. That will be put to the test at Belmont which will provide a longer track.
Animal Kingdom should be a horse to keep an eye out for this weekend.
The odds on Nehro to win the Belmont Stakes are 7-2.
Nehro had an outstanding showing in the Kentucky Derby with a strong finish to challenge for first place. If Nehro can avoid a slow start there is a very good chance he could visit the winners circle.
Nehro took the Preakness off, giving extra time to prepare and plenty of rest heading into the big race.
The odds for Master of Hounds to win the Belmont Stakes are 8-1. The odds opened at 10-1 and have been bet down to 8-1 as Master of Hounds has seen some early betting action.
Fresh out of quarantine and ready to go, Master of Hounds has impressive speed. The horse is trained very well and finished a respectable fifth in the derby.
With the right jockey on board in Garrett Gomez, Master of Hounds was groomed to run Belmont and could pull off a shocker and win the race.
The odds for Mucho Macho Man to win the Belmont Stakes are 8-1.
This horse is consistent and always finds a way to get into the mix and make a strong run at the finish.
In earlier races, Mucho Macho Man was bogged down and performed miserably in crowded conditions. Belmont provides a wide open track that will play right into the hands of Mucho Macho Man which could lead to a first place finish for this horse with the catchy name.
Stay Thirst is at 20-1 to win the Belmont Stakes. Although the odds are high, this long shot may have a chance of finishing in first under the right conditions. If there is such a thing has “home-track” advantage Stay Thirsty could have the edge.
This horse has a history of racing well in New York and at 20-1 could be worth a look at Belmont.
Ruler on Ice is another long shot in the field paying off 20-1 to horse bettors brave enough to take a shot.
Trainer Kelly Breen has delivered glowing report s on the progress of this fiery colt. They have decided to put blinkers on Ruler to maintain focus and this will make a huge difference in how this horse will run.
There is every reason to believe that Ruler on Ice has what it takes to pull off the upset.
The odds on Santiva to win the Belmont Stakes are 12-1.
Santiva finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby but had to overcome crowding. When Santiva is allowed to stretch his legs and break open he has had success. That is exactly what racing at Belmont will allow this horse to do.
Out of all the horses in the field, Santiva could be best suited for this track.
The odds for Brilliant Speed to win this race are 15-1.
Like many of the other horses in the Kentucky Derby, Brilliant Speed got stuck in traffic early and was never able to recover. Like his name would indicate Brilliant Speed is a fast horse that can run with every horse in this field.
Trainer, Tom Albertrani has had success in the past with this horse and could make a run at first this weekend.
Monzon is one of the steepest long shots in the field as the recent odds have this horse at 30-1 to win the Belmont Stakes.
Monzon has a few impressive wins, but some back-to-back disappointing finishes have knocked this horse off the radar. This could be good news for folks that believe in this long shot as they will get attractive odds.
Monzon has ability, but only time will tell if it will pay off.
The current odds on prime Cut to win the Belmont Stakes are 20-1.
The odds are high, but don’t sell this horse short as he has plenty of talent and could stun the field at Belmont.
Stamina may be a question heading into this race, but speed will not be a problem. This blazing horse can make a run for the win if properly maintained during the lengthy run. Out of all the long shots, Prime Cut may have the best chance of paying out.
Isn’t He Perfect is the biggest long shot in the Belmont Stakes at 50-1.
After an abysmal run in the last few races, it’s hard to think that this horse can make a run at the Belmont. He does have some ability and with stamina on his side, anything is possible.
In this highly touted race anything can happen. This will be one for the ages as every horse in the field has a chance of winning it all.
James Brown is a B/R Featured Columnist. Feel free to contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org.