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Belmont Stakes Field 2020: Post Positions, Odds and Predictions for All Horses

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2020

A rider works out a horse just after sunrise at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., Wednesday, June 17, 2020. The 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes is scheduled to be run on Saturday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Whether you're a horse racing neophyte or you persistently play the ponies, you likely know that the Triple Crown traditionally kicks off with the Kentucky Derby in May, followed by the Preakness on the third Saturday of May and the Belmont Stakes three weeks after that.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has spared no sports schedule, and that order of races will be upended for the first time since the 1930s.

With both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness needing to be rescheduled while the country raced to curb the spread of the virus, the Belmont Stakes will be the first race of this year's Triple Crown instead of its final jewel. The Kentucky Derby will be run on Sept. 5, and the Preakness on Oct. 3.

This year, the Belmont will also be 1⅛ miles instead of the traditional 1½ miles, and the purse has been reduced from $1.5 million to $1 million. No fans will be allowed in attendance.

Posts for the Belmont Stakes were drawn Wednesday, and we now know more about how the field will fare in the most challenging and unpredictable of the Triple Crown races.

Let's take a look at the post positions, as well as updated odds, for the 10 horses in this year's field and make some predictions about who will finish where.

                 

Belmont Stakes Post Positions, Odds and Predictions

1. Tap It To Win (6-1)

Tap It To Win is a Vegas favorite thanks in part to his favorable post No. 1 draw, the post that has produced far and away the most winners in the history of the Belmont Stakes. Per figures from mybelmontbets.com, which tracks the winners at each post position, post No. 1 has produced 23 winners, with the next-highest being Nos. 3 and 5, at 13 winners each. Tap It To Win trainer Mark Casse won the race last year with Sir Winston, and if he does it again, he'd be the first to train successive winners since D. Wayne Lukas between 1994-96. Predicted runner-up. 

2. Sole Volante (9-2)

Post No. 2 has been nothing to sneeze at in past runnings of the Belmont, producing 11 winners overall. Sole Volante notched a Gulfstream Park allowance victory on June 10 and finished in second place in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. In February, he won the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis by 2 ½ lengths.

3. Max Player (15-1)

In February, Max Player defeated the field by 3¼ lengths in the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct Racetrack. That 1⅛-mile race bodes well for his outing at Belmont Park, as the race will be the same distance this year, reduced from 1 ½ miles.

4. Modernist (15-1)

Modernist trainer Bill Mott won the Belmont in 2010 with Drosselmeyer and is looking for his second career win at Belmont Park. Post No. 4 has seen moderate success, producing nine winners. The son of Uncle Mo, Modernist's two career wins have come in a maiden race at Aqueduct in January and the Grade 2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds on Feb. 15.

5. Farmington Road (15-1)

Like Post No. 3, No. 5 has produced a robust 13 previous winners, which bodes well for Farmington Road despite his middling odds. He comes into Saturday's race surrounded by greatness; trainer Todd Pletcher has three Belmont winners to his name, with Rags to Riches (2007), Palace Malice (2013) and Tapwrit (2017). Owner Robert LaPenta also owned 2008 Belmont upset darling Da' Tara.

6. Fore Left (30-1)

This four-time winner is trained by Doug O'Neill, who is looking for his first Belmont win after victory in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness with I'll Have Another and the 2016 Kentucky Derby with Nyquist. Fore Left has found success at Belmont Park before, winning the Tremont Stakes there in 2019.

7. Jungle Runner (50-1)

Post No. 7 has produced 11 previous winners, as has No. 2. This year's long shot, Jungle Runner, has been training at Belmont Park since June. His last three races have seen him finish off the board, despite a promising start as a juvenile. He does have Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who won the 2016 Belmont with Creator, behind him.

8. Tiz The Law (6-5) 

The No. 8 post has only produced five previous winners in the Belmont Stakes, but don't tell that to Tiz The Law, who is the only horse in this field with a Grade 1 win, in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream. He also won the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont as a juvenile. He is looking to be only the fourth-ever New York-bred horse to win at Belmont. Predicted winner. 

9. Dr. Post (5-1)

Dr. Post, like Farmington Road, is also trained by Pletcher. He followed up a March 29 Gulfstream Park maiden victory with an Unbridled Stakes win at Gulfstream. Post No. 9 has produced just three Belmont Stakes winners.

10. Pneumatic (8-1)

Another son of Uncle Mo, Pneumatic most recently finished third in the Grade 3 Matt Winn on May 23 at Churchill Downs, his graded stakes debut. He is also trained by Asmussen. He won his first and second career races, both of which were at Oaklawn Park.

                

Odds per CBS Sports.

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