The 12 horses running in the 149th Belmont Stakes on Saturday have a beautiful, dry day ahead of them—as do the spectators planning to attend the festivities in Elmont, New York.
According to AccuWeather meteorologist Brian Thompson, Saturday will be a "really nice day" on western Long Island, with low humidity and few clouds. The temperature is expected to hit a high of 79 degrees, and there will be a SSW wind of 8-16 mph.
The Triple Crown is not in play this year, due to the fact that the two horses who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes—Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing, respectively—were not entered into the Belmont stakes.
Still, the third jewel of the Triple Crown typically draws a large crowd. The record for attendance was 120,139 in 2004, when Smarty Jones was trying for a Triple Crown, per the Belmont Stakes website. The attendance last year, when no Triple Crown was possible, was approximately 60,000.
Post time is 6:37 p.m. ET, with the race expected to kick off at approximately 6:50 p.m. NBC will handle the national broadcast.
Let's take a look at the odds for the contenders in the field, via OddsShark, and make some predictions about which horse will win the "Test of the Champion."
Belmont Stakes Post Positions and Odds
No. 1: Twisted Tom (20-1)
No. 2: Tapwrit (15-2)
No. 3: Gormley (12-1)
No. 4: J Boys Echo (16-1)
No. 5: Hollywood Handsome (33-1)
No. 6: Lookin At Lee (5-1)
No. 7: Irish War Cry (3-1)
No. 8: Senior Investment (12-1)
No. 9: Meantime (14-1)
No. 10: Multiplier (16-1)
No. 11: Epicharis (7-2) (Scratched, per Bloodhorse's Claire Novak and Jeremy Balan)
No. 12: Patch (25-1)
Belmont Stakes Jockey Info
Twisted Tom: Javier Castellano
Tapwrit: Jose L. Ortiz
Gormley: Victor Espinoza
J Boys Echo: Robby Albarado
Hollywood Handsome: Florent Geroux
Lookin At Lee: Irad Ortiz Jr.
Irish War Cry: Rajiv Maragh
Senior Investment: Channing Hill
Meantime: Mike Smith
Multiplier: Joel Rosario
Epicharis: Christophe Lemaire (Scratched, per Bloodhorse's Claire Novak and Jeremy Balan)
Patch: John R. Velazquez
With Classic Empire pulling out of the Belmont Stakes due to a foot abscess, Irish War Cry is the favorite in Vegas at 3-1 odds.
Irish War Cry, trained by Graham Motion, was also a favorite heading into the Kentucky Derby and was among the top three for the first mile of that race. Howver, on the final two furlongs, he fell behind and finished in a disappointing 10th place.
Motion did not enter the colt in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, and was not planning to enter him in the Belmont Stakes, but his training suggested he was ready.
However, even though Irish War Cry is an odds favorite, don't sleep on Lookin At Lee.
That colt will be the only horse this season to run in all three races of the Triple Crown. He placed in the Derby, finishing as the runner-up to Always Dreaming, and fell just outside the top three in the Preakness, coming in fourth.
Lookin At Lee hasn't won a G1, G2 or G3 race; the last race he won was the Ellis Park Juvenile in August 2016.
However, he has been incredibly consistent and durable throughout his prep races and the Triple Crown, and those qualities could serve him well in what is arguably the most difficult of the jewels, the Belmont Stakes.
Pick: Lookin At Lee