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Belmont Stakes 2018 Post Positions: Triple Crown Odds and Predictions for Field

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 9, 2018

Triple Crown hopeful Justify gallops around the track during a workout at Belmont Park, Thursday, June 7, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. Justify will attempt to become the 13th Triple Crown winner when he races in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Saturday. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

The Belmont Stakes is the most difficult race of the three Triple Crown competitions for a variety of reasons. 

The race is longer than the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and while it occurs three weeks after the Preakness, the Belmont is the conclusion to a grueling five weeks for the world's best three-year-old horses. 

Justify conquered Churchill Downs and Pimlico Race Course, but in order to become the 13th Triple Crown winner in history, he must take charge at Belmont Park against nine horses attempting to spoil the occasion.

       

Odds (via OddsShark)

Justify (-110; bet $110 to win $100) 

Hofburg (+400; bet $100 to win $400) 

Bravazo (+800) 

Vino Rosso (+800) 

Tenfold (+1000) 

Blended Citizen (+2000) 

Gronkowski (+2500) 

Free Drop Billy (+3000)

Noble Indy (+3300)  

Restoring Hope (+3300) 

      

Post Positions

Belmont Stakes @BelmontStakes

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Predictions

1. Hofburg

2. Justify

3. Vino Rosso

4. Tenfold

5. Bravazo 

6. Gronkowski

7. Free Drop Billy

8. Blended Citizen

9. Noble Indy

10. Restoring Hope 

      

Hofburg, Vino Rosso Give Justify The Biggest Challenge 

Bravazo's push at the Preakness Stakes proved Justify can be tested, which is what the other nine horses in the field are trying to replicate at the Belmont Stakes. 

Although Hofburg and Vino Rosso don't have an impeccable track record, they appear to be the top challengers to the Triple Crown quest of Justify in the eyes of the oddsmakers. 

What makes Justify susceptible is fatigue, which showed a little bit at the end of the Preakness, and if that race took any longer, he might've lost it to Bravazo.

With the Belmont Stakes being the longest of the three Triple Crown races. Justify might not hold on for the 1 ½-mile race given the number of races he's competed in over a short time. 

In addition to partaking in three pressure-packed Triple Crown races over five weeks, Justify ran in February, March and April to prepare him for the Kentucky Derby. 

With the Belmont Stakes being his sixth competition since February 18, Justify could fall victim to fatigue, which would play right into the strategy of his closest competitors. 

Hofburg and Vino Rosso have been preparing specifically for the Belmont Stakes since placing seventh and ninth, respectively, at Churchill Downs. 

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

A year ago, the top four finishers in the Belmont Stakes were horses who competed in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness Stakes.

2017 Belmont winner Tapwrit placed sixth at Churchill Downs, while Irish War Cry, Patch and Gormley all struggled in the first leg of the Triple Crown, but finished in the top four at Belmont Park. 

With a path to the winner's circle in place from last year, Hofburg and Vino Rosso have a strong change to stun Justify and end the Triple Crown dream of trainer Bob Baffert and Co. 

    

Gronkowski Fails To Impress

All we know about Gronkowski is he's received a ton of press for sharing the same name as New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and he's experienced some success in Europe. 

After failing to enter the Kentucky Derby field because of an injury, one of the most talked-about horses outside of Justify is looking to make a statement at the Belmont Stakes. 

While Gronkowski taking the race by storm and upsetting the field to win the Belmont would be an incredible story, it won't happen. 

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Gronkowski hasn't raced since the end of March and doesn't have familiarity on the American tracks, while the rest of the field is more than equipped to deal with the surroundings at Belmont Park. 

The lack of strength shown by Mendelssohn, who represented the European horses at the Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs is another factor going against Gronkowski Saturday. 

There's always a chance Gronkowski feels fine on the course and places in the top half of the field, but right now he's a horse to take a chance on in a trifecta or superfecta bet more than anything. 

         

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90