Belmont Stakes Picks 2017: Examining Latest Vegas Predictions and Odds

David McCracken@crackemcFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2017

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03: Irish War Cry, owned by Isabelle de Tomaso and trained by H. Graham Motion, walks back to the barn at Churchill Downs on May 03, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

The 2017 Belmont Stakes is inching closer and closer, as Saturday's third leg of the Triple Crown is just one day away. 

While there won't be a Triple Crown winner this year, the Belmont Stakes is still one of the most prestigious races in all of horse racing, and with the likes of Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing and Classic Empire not competing this weekend, it's anyone's race at this point.

Classic Empire was the opening favorite heading into this Belmont but had to withdraw due to a foot abscess. This lead to Irish War Cry, who finished in 10th place at the Kentucky Derby (elected to not run in the Preakness Stakes), becoming the odds-on favorite at Belmont. 

Irish War Cry may be the favorite, but there is a lot of competition to take home first place. Here's a look at the post positions and odds for each horse, courtesy of OddsShark:

1) Twisted Tom +2000

2) Tapwrit +750 

3) Gormley +1200 

4) J Boys Echo +1600 

5) Hollywood Handsome +3300

6) Lookin At Lee +550 

7) Irish War Cry +300 

8) Senior Investment +650 

9) Meantime +1400 

10) Multiplier +1600 

11) Epicharis +350 

12) Patch +2500 

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 08:  Belmont Stakes contender Irish War Cry trains with Assistant Trainor Alice Clapham up prior to the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 8, 2017 in Elmont, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

After winning the Derby, Always Dreaming looked primed for the Triple Crown. But a poor finish at Preakness allowed Cloud Computing to steal the show as he brushed past Classic Empire in the final lengths for the upset victory.

Here's a quick reminder of how the Preakness went down:

Many horse racing fans were anticipating a rematch between Cloud Computing and Classic Empire, but Cloud Computing elected not to race and Classic Empire, as aforementioned, is unable to compete.

This leaves the field a bit thin in terms of star power and name recognition, but outside of Irish War Cry, there are some interesting horses to keep an eye on.

Patch, a fan favorite, will be racing this weekend, and while he's not expected to be among the top finishers at Belmont, he's always a great horse to cheer on due to the obstacles he's had to overcome after an eye infection over a year ago cost him his left eye. 

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 06:  Belmont Stakes contender Patch is bathed after training prior to the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 6, 2017 in Elmont, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Lookin At Lee has posted top-five finishes in the Derby and Preakness and has the second-best odds heading into Saturday. Epicharis is another name to keep an eye on, as he has the talent to pull ahead of any horse in the field, if he's able to race on Saturday, that is.

On Thursday, Epicharis did not work out and was treated with bute for lameness, per Marcus Hersh of Daily Racing Form:

If Epicharis is unable to run, then it looks to be a two-horse race between Irish War Cry and Lookin At Lee on Saturday.  

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