Belmont Stakes 2019 Contenders: Horse Pedigree and Jockey Info for Top Favorites

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2019

Horses break from the starting gate at the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. Justify won the race and Triple Crown. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

There won't be a Triple Crown winner declared on Saturday at the 2019 Belmont Stakes, but War of Will could make it a notable double after victory at the Preakness.

The three-year-old will expect a significant challenge from Tacitus, who finished third at the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

Both horses are the class acts in the field after the Bob Baffert-trained Game Winner passed on the race due to a lack of performance at the Derby.

Derby champion Country House is also set to pass on the final leg of the Triple Crown after missing the Preakness with sickness.

Here are the confirmed post positions and latest odds, according to Brisnet.com:

Brisnet.com @Brisnet

#BelmontStakes field w/ odds https://t.co/rKC74ltjE8


Contenders and Jockeys

War of Will, Tyler Gaffalione

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - MAY 18: Jockey Tyler Gaffalione celebrates after crossing the finish line on War of Will #8 to win the 144th Running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Imag
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It has been an eventful period of racing for War Of Will after the colt was involved in the incident that saw Maximum Security disqualified at the Kentucky Derby.

War Of Will was impeded by the race winner, leading to Country House to be promoted above Maximum Security into first place.

However, the Mark E. Casse-trained horse grabbed the spotlight for all the right reasons at the Preakness, after sitting on the rail before sprinting clear of the competition.

The run was timed to perfection, but the presence of Tacitus will ensure it's a tougher race in New York.

NBC Sports shared footage of War of Will's finest moment at the Preakness:

The extra rest for Tacitus could give the Tampa Bay Derby winner the edge on Saturday.

However, War of Will was tactically sound during the Preakness and has the straight-line speed to win a direct shootout with the potential favourite.

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione controlled his colt with ease at the Pimlico Race Course, underlining the chemistry he has with the pace merchant.

Sired by War Front, per Horse Racing Nation, and from the bloodline of iconic Canadian colt Nijinsky II, War of Will has the pedigree to see him prevail once more.

War Front gained three wins and two second-place finishes during his career before becoming one of the most sought-after studs in racing. Omaha Beach was also bred from the stallion.


Tacitus, Jose Ortiz

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - APRIL 30: Tacitus trains on the track during morning workouts in preparation for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After his third-place finish at the Derby, Tacitus appears a sure bet to grab a placing at the Belmont.

Tacitus has gained a reputation as a stayer, and if War of Will finds the distance too much, he could naturally fade against his fresher rival.

Jose Ortiz gave Tacitus an excellent ride at the Derby, and there's every chance the individual legs of the Triple Crown will be won by a different horse this year.

There will be benefits in missing Preakness, and if Tacitus can get to the front of the pack in the opening stages, he will be difficult to pass.

Ortiz also has the experience of prevailing at the Belmont after his win on Tapwrit in 2017.

Per Horse Racing Nation, Tacitus has an excellent bloodline and was sired by Tapit, who commanded one of the top stud fees during 2015, and he also hails from the Nijinsky family tree.