While any Triple Crown race brings some of the most exciting moments in all of sports, there will be something missing from this Saturday's Belmont Stakes due to the fact that there will be no Triple Crown pursuit.
Nyquist's dreams of joining elite company were dashed in the Preakness Stakes when Exaggerator won the second jewel at Pimlico.
The Kentucky Derby winner won't be in the Belmont Stakes field on Saturday, but Exaggerator will as we take a look at the field, Las Vegas odds courtesy of Odds Shark and predictions heading into Wednesday's post draw:
|2016 Belmont Stakes Field, Vegas Odds|
|Brody's Cause||Luis Saez||Dale Romans||12-1|
|Cherry Wine||Corey J. Lanerie||Dale Romans||15-2|
|Creator||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Steve Asmussen||20-1|
|Destin||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||10-1|
|Exaggerator||Kent Desormeaux||Keith Desormeaux||11-10|
|Governor Malibu||Joel Rosario||Christophe Clement||N/A|
|Lani||Yutaka Take||Mikio Matsunaga||12-1|
|Stradivari||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||15-2|
|Suddenbreakingnews||Mike Smith||Donnie Von Hemel||13-2|
|Trojan Nation||Aaron Gryder||Patrick Gallagher||N/A|
Exaggerator wins Belmont Stakes
I chalked Exaggerator down as the Belmont Stakes winner right after Nyquist won the Kentucky Derby. While it was an impressive performance from the winner at Churchill Downs, Exaggerator showed me why he would win Belmont with his final surge, although it came up just short:
It was that performance that made some horse racing experts sit up and take notice that he could be a threat at the Preakness. Had Exaggerator been given an extra furlong or two, he would have caught Nyquist.
Mother Nature played right into Exaggerator's hand, or hoof, at Pimlico when the heavens opened up and made the track a sloppy one. As one of the best rain horses, he stayed near the front of the pack instead of falling back like he did at Churchill Downs.
That opened the opportunity to turn on the jets and run away with the Preakness:
While it isn't expected to rain, the distance of the Belmont Stakes will play into Exaggerator's favor.
This is the longest leg of the Triple Crown at 1 ½ miles, which will provide plenty of time for the horse to work his way through the field and make that familiar final surge.