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One thing is for certain when it comes to the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes Saturday evening in Elmont, New York: We’ll see a third horse win a Triple Crown race this year.
Yes, the field has lost a lot of its luster without Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming. You won’t find Preakness winner Cloud Computing in the 12-horse race either. But there’s still a $1.5 million purse up for grabs and the prestige of winning one of the biggest races in the sport to bring some interest to the Belmont.
It’s a wide-open field with imperfect favorites and interesting long shots. According to AccuWeather meteorologist Brian Thompson the New York track should remain dry and fast so weather shouldn’t be a factor and could set the stage for a fun race.
Here’s a look at the field, with odds from OddsShark.com and a preview of what to expect from some notable horses in the field.
Belmont Stakes Post Positions and Odds
No. 1: Twisted Tom (20-1)
No. 2: Tapwrit (15-2)
No. 3: Gormley (12-1)
No. 4: J Boys Echo (16-1)
No. 5: Hollywood Handsome (33-1)
No. 6: Lookin At Lee (5-1)
No. 7: Irish War Cry (3-1)
No. 8: Senior Investment (12-1)
No. 9: Meantime (14-1)
No. 10: Multiplier (16-1)
No. 11: Epicharis (7-2) (Scratched, per Bloodhorse’s Claire Novak and Jeremy Balan)
No. 12: Patch (25-1)
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The slight favorite is Irish War Cry. The H. Graham Motion-trained horse placed 10th in the Kentucky Derby and hasn’t raced since, meaning that he will be good and rested, but obviously has already had one less-than-stellar trip at a Triple Crown race.
Lookin At Lee is the only horse in the field that competed at both the Derby and the Preakness. After finishing second and fourth respectively, the colt is looking to finally breakthrough and get over his bridesmaid syndrome.
The obvious concern with the grueling schedule that he’s navigated is that it’s hard to tell what he has left, but trainer Steve Asmussen has praised the horse for its durability and mentality.
“I think he’s a very special horse because of who he is physically and mentally,” Asmussen said, per Frank Angst of Blood Horse. “He separates himself that way from everybody. He’s not brilliant from a speed standpoint, but he is extremely durable mentally and physically.”
On a mile-and-a-half track like Elmont, durability means more than in any other race. Lookin At Lee’s lack of top-end speed has been an issue for him at both Churchill Downs and in the Preakness, but the grit could be the determining factor coming down the stretch in this one.
In short, the questionable crop of favorites paves the way for some surprise performances from longshots. One such underdog who could hit the board or even surprise and win is Multiplier.
The colt has only raced three times this year, with his third race a sixth-place finish at the Preakness. He might just be out of his league in this field, or the field might just be worn down enough that he pulls off a shocker to end this Triple Crown season.
This truly is a wide-open field, but Lookin At Lee has proved throughout his year that he has been able to hang with the best. With a little bit less talent in the field, this appears to finally be the race that he takes home the big prize.
Lookin At Lee