Belmont Stakes 2021 Horses: Entry List, Vegas Odds and Dark-Horse Favorites

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2021

Flavien Prat atop Rombauer, right, looks back as he breaks away from Irad Ortiz Jr. atop Midnight Bourbon moments before crossing the finish line to win the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

A Triple Crown isn't in play as a nine-horse field makes preparations for the 2021 Belmont Stakes on Saturday, but there's still a big purse to be won and history to be made.

Rombauer's win at the Preakness Stakes denied Medina Spirit's Triple Crown bid. The Bob Baffert-trained horse won't be in the field at Belmont Park, and Rombauer isn't even the early favorite to win the third leg of the series.

The result is a race without a clear favorite. Five of the nine horses have early odds that are in the single digits, and the ones considered long shots have some impressive resumes.

If you're looking for a high-stakes race in which the horses will be tested over 1½ miles, this is the Triple Crown race for you.


Belmont Entries and Odds

Essential Quality 3-1

Rombauer 3-1

Hot Rod Charlie 5-1

Rock Your World 7-1

Known Agenda 7-1

Rebel's Romance 14-1

Bourbonic 25-1

Overtook 25-1

France Go de Ina 40-1

Odds via Oddschecker.


Dark Horses to Watch

With no true favorite in the race, this is a good one for those who like to back a relative long shot. Rombauer won the Preakness with 12-1 odds, a sign there's no horse in this field who can be discounted entirely.

In fact, coming in at similar odds to Rombauer at Pimlico Race Course is an interesting contender in Rebel's Romance. The Irish gelding is one of the race's two foreign contenders. He's also its biggest mystery.

He hasn't raced since winning the UAE Derby in March. Still, he's won four of his five career starts and has put in a lot of work at the Belmont track leading into the race and will be guided by a three-time Belmont winner in Mike Smith. British trainer Charlie Appleby has never won one of the American Classics but has trained a few Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winners.

Belmont Stakes @BelmontStakes

Rebel’s Romance (Outside) Desert Peace (Inside) https://t.co/V5hYjfL6Od

Trainer Todd Pletcher will have the most representation at the Belmont. He's bringing a trio of horses to the race, with Known Agenda highlighting the group. Bourbonic and Overtook come in with much longer odds.

Ryan Martin @RyanMartinNYRA

And finally on a busy morning of workouts for @PletcherRacing, BOURBONIC and OVERTOOK went a half-mile in 48.49 seconds in their final Belmont Stakes breezes. https://t.co/7W7AuRLYXr

Bourbonic didn't show well in the Kentucky Derby, coming in 13th, but he showcased his potential in a win at the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. He outran the pack as a 72-1 long shot thanks to a strong closing stretch. That running style could make him an unlikely winner again in New York. The 1½-mile race and sandy racetrack test a horse's endurance like few others, and that seems to be his strength.

Pletcher has another lottery ticket in Overtook. The son of 2007 Preakness winner Curlin has only made two starts as a three-year-old: a second-place finish at the Withers Stakes and a third at the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont. His familiarity with the larger track in New York could lead to a better-than-expected performance.

Again, Overtook's bloodline would indicate he's good for the distance. Curlin was also a second-place finisher at the Belmont Stakes and has already sired another winner in Palace Malice.

Serving as the definitive long shot in the race is the Japan-based France Go de Ina. Trainer Hideyuki Mori entered his horse in the Preakness after he finished sixth in the UAE Derby. He looked good for a while in the Preakness before fading down the stretch and finishing seventh. That's not a great sign given the increase in distance between the final two Triple Crown races.