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Belmont Stakes 2019: Updated Predictions, Betting Lines and Post Time

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 6, 2019

Jockey Julien Leparoux rides Master Fencer during a workout at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., Wednesday, June 5, 2019. The 151st Belmont Stakes horse race will be run on Saturday, June 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The only horse to run in all three legs of the 2019 Triple Crown comes into the Belmont Stakes as the favorite to make a trip to the winner's circle. 

War of Will is looking to join select company Saturday, as he tries to win back-to-back Triple Crown races. 

In Triple Crown history, only 12 horses have pulled off the Preakness-Belmont double after failing to win the Kentucky Derby. Afleet Alex was the last to do so in 2005, per HorseRacingNation.com.

War of Will has plenty of challengers to be concerned with in the 10-horse field, including Tacitus, who starts to his right on the outside post. 

Master Fencer is the only other horse with odds of fewer than 10-1, but there could be one or two surprises Saturday like we have seen in the first two Triple Crown races. 

                        

2019 Belmont Stakes Information

Date: Saturday, June 8

Post Time: 6:37 p.m. ET 

TV: NBC 

Live Stream: NBC Sports app

               

Post Positions and Betting Lines 

TwinSpires @TwinSpires

#BelmontStakes Post Positions https://t.co/L5Q1vOCYpA

                

Predictions

Favored Horses Control Most of Race

There is a clear difference in the experience of the top horses entered in the Belmont Stakes and those running without much of it. 

War of Will stands out in the pack right away thanks to his victory at the Preakness Stakes, and Tacitus has a good claim to be the favored horse after taking third at the Kentucky Derby.

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Master Fencer's sixth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby puts him near the top of the best horses in the field, especially when you take a gander at the rest of the lineup.

There are three horses making their Triple Crown debut, two that finished in the back of the pack at the Kentucky Derby and Everfast, who is a bit intriguing as a dark horse due to his second-place finish at Pimlico Race Course three weeks ago. 

If War of Will, Tacitus and Master Fencer use their experience to get out to fast starts, the Belmont could be a three-horse race from the start.

War of Will should have a slight advantage in terms of his jockey, as Tyler Gaffalione has already guided him through two pressure-packed races, winning one of them. 

Tacitus also has a jockey advantage with Jose Ortiz, who won the 2017 Belmont Stakes aboard Tapwrit. 

Master Fencer is viewed as a solid third favorite because of his finish among a crowded pack during the chaotic Kentucky Derby. 

The finish at Churchill Downs was a positive step forward for the Japanese horse, who has not raced much on American soil. 

With most of the other horses lacking big-race experience, the trio of favorites should be able to pull away and produce one of the tightest races we have seen at the Belmont Stakes. 

                              

Everfast Emerges As Best Dark Horse Option

As we mentioned above, a glance past the top three horses leaves you with scant options to cash in on a long shot bet. 

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

If there is a dark horse capable of breaking into the front of the pack, it is Everfast, who took second behind War of Will at the Preakness Stakes. 

It is worth noting Everfast competed in a weaker field at the Preakness than Master Fencer and Tacitus did at the Kentucky Derby, which is why those two are valued more on the odds chart. 

Everfast's track record is not the best either, as he took eighth at the Fountain of Youth Stakes and ninth at the Florida Derby, but some stock has to be put in his Preakness finish, even if you want to consider it a fluke. 

Starting directly to the left of Master Fencer could help out Everfast, as he might be able to ride the coattails of the Japanese horse and work his way up through the pack. 

Since we have come to expect the unexpected during the Triple Crown season, we have to consider at least one dark horse to win and Everfast fits that billing. 

                       

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from HorseRacingNation.com.