As much as the odds want to tell you that American Pharoah will win this race, historically the odds are against him. American Pharoah is attempting to do what no other horse has done in the last 37 years and win the Triple Crown.
Today is the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes, post time is approximant 6:50PM. At 1 1/2 miles (12Furlongs) Belmont Stakes is the longest and final race of the Triple Crown series. The Belmont Stakes is held every June in Elmont, New York and the last horse to win a Triple Crown was Affirmed back in 1978.
Before we start analyzing the field here are some fun facts about the Belmont Stakes:
- The Belmont is the oldest of the three Triple Crown events. The Belmont predates the Preakness by six years, the Kentucky Derby by eight.
- The most popular post position to WIN, PLACE, or SHOW (WPS) in the last 10 years is #7 with 5 and #2 comes in second with 4 WPSs.
- There are 8 horses running in this year’s Belmont Stakes and American Pharoah is the only horse to have run the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
- Five out of the 8 horses today raced in the Kentucky Derby, but skipped the Preakness, and are now racing in the Belmont Stakes. See below for their Kentucky Derby results.
- The past six Belmont Stakes with a Triple Crown at stake have been won by a newcomer to the Triple Crown series or a horse who ran in the Kentucky Derby, then skipped the Preakness before running in the Belmont.
- Madefromlucky is the only horse who have not raced in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.
- Since 1905 the winningest post position is PP #1 with 23 Wins.
- Only 3 times in the past 21 years has the favorite won the Belmont.
- Last time the favorite won the Belmont was in 2005, Afleet Alex.
- Frosted and Madefromlucky are the only 2 horses to have raced at Belmont.
- Six of the past eight Triple Crown races have been won by Espinoza (four) or Joel Rosario (two).
The Field In Post Position Order
#1 Mubtaahij (10-1)
Getting the 1st post position Mubtaahij is one of the five horses that raced in the Kentucky Derby, but skipped the Preakness. Mubtaahij had an impressive win in the Dubai World Cup and has had an incredible journey traveling all over the world to get to the Triple Crown series.
When Mubtaahij first got to the states he did not run a strong Kentucky Derby (I blame jet lag), however its been some time now and Mubtaahij is getting more accustom to running on U.S. tracks. Now that this horse has gotten settled into a routine, it certainly has the potential to be one of the top spoilers of the day.
In 2014 Equibase.com ranked jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. 3rd for Wins with 290, which is 34 Wins below #1 Russell A. Baze, however Ortiz had 423 more starts than Russell A. Baze.
Now Equibase.com has Irad Ortiz, Jr. currently ranked 4th of 1,270 Jockeys with $6.42 million in earnings and is listed as one of the top Jockeys at Belmont Park. Since 04/29/2015 Irad Ortiz, Jr. has had 99 starts at Belmont Park 27 of them he came in first (Most out of any other jockey racing at Belmont today), 17 of them he came in second, 12 of them he came in third, and 57% of his 99 starts he was in the money.
#1 post position being the winningest post position at Belmont Park since 1905 with 23, and adding the winningest jockey at Belmont YTD into the equation, Mubtaahij will certainly be included in some of my bets today.
#2 Tale of Verve (15-1)
Mentioned in the Preakness Stakes 2015 Strategy Tale of Verve was a horse you did not want to discount, however today might be a different story. The horse now gets post position #2 AND a different jockey. During the Preakness Stakes, Joel Rosario, took 30-1 Tale of Verve to a second place victory. Today, Gary Stevens, who finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby with Firing Line, will be at the helm.
This will be Tale of Verve’s 6th start this year and in the last 3 starts Tale of Verve came in first once and second twice. It sounds like this horse maybe getting into a rhythm, but the one thing that turns me off about this horse is the fact that Joel Rosario will now be riding 5-1 Frosted, a horse that raced in the Derby but skipped the Preakness, and also Frosted has experience racing at Belmont Park, winning the Peter Pan on May 9th, something that Tale of Verve does not have under his belt.
Tale of Verve made his Triple Crown debut in the Preakness Stakes and would have to become the second horse to prevent a Triple Crown after skipping the Kentucky Derby and making his first Triple Crown appearance in the Preakness Stakes. Touch Gold did this back in 1997 when he ended Silver Charm’s (A Bob Baffert horse) bid for the Triple Crown.
#3 Madefromlucky (12-1)
Madefromlucky is the only horse in the field not to race in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Not only that, but he is one of two horses in the field, the other being Frosted, to have raced at the Belmont, and when it comes to racing at “Big Sandy” experience matters.
In the last 12 attempts since Affirmed only 25% of the Triple Crown contenders had ever raced at Belmont Park, this will be American Pharoah’s first race at Belmont. The last 3 Triple Crown contenders were spoiled by winners who have raced at Belmont before.
Madefromlucky is trained by two-time Belmont Stakes winner Todd Pletcher. Not only is he a two-time Belmont Stakes winner, but he also has won more money than any trainer in history with $290,780,787 in earnings.
Madefromlucky’s last race was May 9th, finishing 1st Place in the Peter Pan Stakes, the same track where the Belmont Stakes is raced. On a side note 2014 Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist also won the Peter Pan Stakes in 2014.
Not only is Madefromlucky trained by the best, but he also has experience at Belmont which historically gives him an edge going into the race.
#4 Frammento (30-1)
At 30-1 Frammento comes in as the under dog in this race. The last time an underdog won the Belmont Stakes was in 2008 when 38-1 Da’Tara took the last jewel of the Triple Crown.
Frammento is one of the 5 horses that raced in the Kentucky Derby and decided to skip the Preakness. Out of these 5 horses he had the worst performance. At 50-1 odds Frammento finished 11th at the Kentucky Derby.
Frammento has had 4 starts this year and his best performance was on Feb 21 when he finished 3rd behind Upstart and Itsaknockout. Out of all the horses in the field today Frammento has the lowest earnings at $139,700.
#5 American Pharoah (3-5)
Leading the pack American Pharoah is the favorite and 13th horse to attempt a chance at the Triple Crown. Last time a favorite won the Belmont was 10 years ago in 2015 when 5-1 Afleet Alex took first place from post position #9
Trainer Bob Baffert will be going after a Triple Crown for the fourth time, finishing second in the Belmont Stakes with Silver Charm (1997) and Real Quiet (1998), and eighth with War Emblem (2002). Could this be the year he finally takes home a Triple Crown?
American Pharoah is going into the Belmont Stakes 6-0, however this will be his 4th race in 8 weeks. Jockey Victor Espinoza is taking his third crack at a Triple Crown and almost won it last year with California Chrome.
American Pharoah can certainly be the one to end this potential 37 year drought. But before you bet big on the favorite today keep in mind that you will be betting on an overvalued asset.
A $2 bet on 3-5 American Pharoah only pays out $3.20 for him to Win, and by post time he can very well be 1-1. So rather than betting all your money on the favorite it is encouraged to bet on some of the undervalued horses like Frosted, Materiality, and Madefromlucky to make any kind of decent return on your money.
#6 Frosted (5-1)
Joel Rosario has proven that he is one of the top jockies around. He came in 2nd in the 2014 Preakness with Ride on Curlin and also won the Belmont Stakes last year riding Tonalist, beating out the favorite California Chrome. In Rosario’s last 3 Belmont Stake races he finished 3rd in 2011 with Brilliant Speed (did not race in the 2012 Belmont Stakes) 3rd in 2013 with Orb, and finished 1st last year with Tonalist.
In his last 5 Triple Crown races he has ridden 5 different horses
- 2015 Preakness Stakes: Tale of Verve (30-1) 2nd Place
- 2015 Kentucky Derby: Frosted (15-1) 4th Place
- 2014 Belmont Stakes: Tonalist (8-1) 1st Place
- 2014 Preakness Stakes: Ride on Curlin (10-1) 2nd Place
- 2014 Kentucky Derby: General A Rod (15-1) 8th Place
Rosario did the whole switch a roo thing last year. Taking Ride on Curlin to second place in the 2014 Preakness and then switching to, 8-1 Tonalist, and winning the Belmont Stakes. In case you didn’t remember Tonalist was a fresh horse entering the gates at Belmont and did not race in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness.
After skipping the Preakness Frosted odds went from 15-1 in the Kentucky Derby to 5-1 in the Belmont Stakes. In 8 of the 12 Triple Crown attempts since Affirmed in 1978, the horse that won the Belmont Stakes skipped the Preakness.
#7 Keen Ice (20-1)
For the most part I would put Keen Ice in the same boat as Frammento. In the Kentucky Derby they both had 50-1 odds, however Keen Ice had a better race finishing 7, beating out Mubtaahij and Frammento.
If you wanted to beat on a long shot this would be the horse to do it. At 20-1 a $2 bet would win you $42. In his 4 starts this year his best performance was in Feb 21 where he finished 3rd, behind International Star and WarStory.
This is not Kent Desormeaux first trip to the Belmont Stakes. He finished first with 10-1 Summer Bid in 2009. Summer Bid was also a 50-1 odd horse in the Kentucky Derby that skipped the Preakness and ended up winning the Belmont Stakes. Can this hold true for 20-1 Keen Ice, a horse who was also a 50-1 odds in the Kentucky Derby this year.
#8 Materiality (6-1)
Materiality took home 100 Derby qualifying points, ensuring himself a spot in the Derby after his top notch performance at the Florida Derby earlier this year. Replay of the Florida Derby shows that Materiality has the top end speed a horse needs when racing at the Belmont Stakes.
Two-time Belmont Stakes winner Trainer Todd Pletcher says, “I think with Materiality, if you look at his first three races he’s always been close to the pace and unfortunately missed the break at Churchill and found himself in a position he’d never been in. I like the fact that we drew outside of American Pharoah. We’re going to make sure we break well this time and go into the first turn trying to make sure there’s an honest pace.”
This is Pletcher’s second horse in this race, the other being Madefromlucky, and when you have a top trainer with great success at the Belmont racing two of his horses you better believe that at least one of them will me in my trifecta bets today.
Materiality has had five weeks of rest since he skipped the Preakness and has a great chance to run close to the lead and out finish American Pharoah who will be making his third start in five weeks.