Belmont Stakes 2019: Projected Prize Money Earnings, Order of Finish and MoreJune 8, 2019
A smaller field and a longer race could lead to an exciting event in Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
The third and final race on the Triple Crown schedule, the Belmont marks the end of horse racing's most significant trio of events.
While it has only 10 horses competing—a smaller field than both the Kentucky Derby (19) and Preakness (13)—it's a race that has a length of 12 furlongs. The Derby is 10 furlongs and the Preakness is 9½.
While last year's Belmont featured a horse vying for the Triple Crown (Justify), that's not the case this time. Kentucky Derby winner Country House isn't racing, but Preakness winner War of Will will be looking to win his second straight race.
Here's a look at how much the owners of the top finishers in this year's Belmont Stakes will be receiving after Saturday's race, followed by predictions for how the race will finish.
Belmont Prize Money Earnings for Top Finishers
Tacitus is not only the favorite to win the Belmont, but he's fresh.
After recording a third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, Tacitus didn't participate in the Preakness. And that was by design, giving him five weeks to prepare for the Belmont with the Triple Crown out of reach.
"With the shipping and everything, it's a little less stress on him," trainer Bill Mott said, according to the Los Angeles Times' John Cherwa. "Had he won the Derby, we would have probably given the Preakness a try, but we just didn't feel it was necessary or in the horse's best interest."
That should be beneficial in the Belmont, in which Tacitus will look to take down War of Will. The two favorites are starting side by side in the Nos. 9 and 10 posts, with Tacitus starting on the right end.
The competition right out of the gate should lead to both horses getting off to strong starts and setting the pace for the rest of the field.
After finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby, four sports behind Tacitus, War of Will bounced back to win the Preakness—its third win of the year along with the Lecomte Stakes and the Risen Star Stakes.
While War of Will is poised to have another strong showing at the Belmont, it may be tough to tell until the race begins—especially as he starts from an unfamiliar spot after beginning the Derby and Preakness in the No. 1 post.
"The key to it all is having a horse that will relax, because the course that is trying to fight you early is going to be tiring in the end," said Mark Casse, War of Will's trainer, per Cherwa. "So that's the key. Nobody knows how they are going to do that until you actually run them."
This is going to turn into a two-horse race between Tacitus and War of Will. They are the two strongest horses in the field, and while there's some good competition, there's no other horse that should seriously contend for the victory.
Expect Tacitus and War of Will to be the two horses battling it out in the final stretch, with the fresh legs of Tacitus powering him to the victory.
Picks: 1. Tacitus; 2. War of Will; 3. Intrepid Heart