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Triple Crown 2018: Updated Odds for Justify's Pursuit at Belmont Stakes

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2018

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 19:  Jockey Mike Smith and racing horse Justify enter the winners circle at the 143rd Preakness Stakes on May 19, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Stronach Group)
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

After winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Justify is one victory away from becoming the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown.

American Pharoah ended a 37-year Triple Crown drought when he accomplished the feat in 2015, and Justify can make it two Triple Crown winners in four years with victory in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

Justify is the overwhelming favorite to do precisely that, but here is a look at the odds for the entire field looking to play spoiler at Belmont Park in New York.

       

Belmont Stakes 2018 Odds (via BelmontStakes.com)

Justify (Mike Smith, Bob Baffert): 4-5

Hofburg (Irad Ortiz, William Mott): 9-2

Bravazo (Luis Saez, D. Wayne Lukas): 8-1

Vino Rosso (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher): 8-1

Gronkowski (Jose Ortiz, Chad Brown): 12-1

Tenfold (Ricardo Santana, Steve Asmussen): 12-1

Blended Citizen (Kyle Frey, Doug O'Neill): 15-1

Free Drop Billy (Robbie Albarado, Dale Romans): 30-1

Restoring Hope (Florent Geroux, Bob Baffert): 30-1

Noble Indy (Javier Castellano, Todd Pletcher): 30-1

         

Belmont Stakes 2018 Preview

Led by the legendary duo of trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith, Justify is in an ideal spot to make horse racing history at the Belmont Stakes.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Baffert can enter a category all his own if Justify comes through for him at Belmont Park:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Bob Baffert (Justify) won his 14th Triple Crown race at the Preakness, tying him with D. Wayne Lukas for most all-time among trainers. He will have a chance to break the record at the Belmont Stakes in three weeks.

Baffert is no stranger to a Triple Crown pursuit, as he trained American Pharoah and helped prepare him for his historic trio of victories three years ago.

Per Jeremy Balan of BloodHorse, Baffert believes Justify compares favorably to American Pharoah:

"We knew [American Pharoah] was brilliant as an early 2-year-old. This guy, when I first started working him, I knew he was brilliant, but we didn't know how far he was gonna go. When I first saw him I thought, 'Well, it looks like he'll go six furlongs, seven furlongs' because of the way he is built, like a big bull. Every time we run him, he shows us something different."

After finishing fifth in his maiden race, American Pharoah entered his Triple Crown run on a hot streak with four straight wins.

Justify has never lost, and he is looking to do something that is unprecedented in the history of horse racing, according to Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form:

Jay Privman @DRFPrivman

I have no idea if Justify will win the Belmont, and I'm perfectly willing to wait 17 days to see final field and turn in my picks. But...what's he's doing is unprecedented: first to win Derby+Preakness without racing at 2, perfect in 5 races since debut 3 months ago. He's special

Although the length of the Belmont Stakes could prove troubling for Justify, he has conquered every challenge put in front of him thus far.

That included wins on sloppy tracks in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Also, while Justify wasn't dominant in the Preakness, the fact that he was able to hold off stiff competition in the form of Good Magic bodes well for his chances in the Belmont if another horse pushes him.

Justify will have to contend with some fresh horses in the Belmont Stakes as well, but that factor didn't seem to bother American Pharoah a few years ago.

The remarkable colt has left little doubt over the past several weeks that he is the premier three-year-old in the world, and provided Smith handles him just like he did in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, a Triple Crown is in his future.

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