Belmont Stakes Favorites ‘War of Will’ And ‘Tacitus’ Draw Outside Posts

Written By FairwayJay on June 5, 2019
Belmont Stakes odds

The 151st running of the Belmont Stakes is set for Saturday, June 10 and the two favorites have drawn outside in posts 9 and 10.

Belmont Stakes post positions and odds

PostHorseOpening OddsCurrent OddsLast Race
1Joevia30/115/11st Long Branch Stakes
2Everfast12/113/12nd Preakness Stakes (G1)
3Master Fencer8/111/16th Kentucky Derby (G1)
4Tax15/112/114th Kentucky Derby (G1)
5Bourbon War12/17/19th Preakness Stakes (G1)
6Spinoff15/112/119th Kentucky Derby (G1)
7Sir Winston12/18/12nd Peter Pan (G3)
8Intrepid Heart10/15/13rd Peter Pan (G3)
9War of Will2/14/11st Preakness Stakes (G1)
10Tacitus9/55/23rd Kentucky Derby (G1)

Two clear betting favorites

Tacitus (9-5) is outside in the 10th post. The early morning favorite finished 4th as one of the favorites in the Kentucky Derby and was elevated to 3rd on the disqualification of Maximum Security.

Tacitus is the galloping gray son of Tapit, the strong stallion who sired 2017 Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit. Tacitus is bred for the longer distance of the 1.5 mile Belmont Stakes, and he has won three of five starts including a win in the Wood Memorial (G2) and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) this year before the 3rd place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Tacitus overcame some minor early traffic trouble in the crowded and bumpy Kentucky Derby and made a sustained run through the far turn and home stretch to hit the board in the Kentucky Derby. Tacitus has career earnings of $953,000.

War of Will (2-1), in the ninth post position, is the other top contender and favorite in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes after winning the Preakness Stakes last time out at Pimlico. War of Will was the horse most affected by the interference and controversy surrounding the Kentucky Derby. War of Will is a War Front colt who has won four of 10 starts with earnings of $1.49 million. Prior to winning the Preakness, War of Will won back to back races at the Fair Grounds capturing the Lecomte (G3) and Risen Star (G2).

Jockeys and trainers of the Belmont favorites

Jose Ortiz, 25, is riding Tacitus. Ortiz has won numerous jockey titles at Belmont Park, and he’s ridden in four Belmont Stakes, winning in 2017 with Tapwrit at 5-1 odds. Tacitus’ trainer is Bill Mott, who won this year’s Kentucky Derby with long shot Country House (65-1).

The jockey for War of Will is Tyler Gaffalione, 24, who is riding in his first Belmont Stakes. Trainer Mark Casse said War of Will has put on 40-50 pouds since winning the Preakness Stakes.

Jose Ortiz’ brother, Irad Ortiz, Jr., is riding Tax in the Belmont Stakes.

Belmont Stakes purse, payouts, and handle

The Belmont Stakes has a purse of $1.5 million and the winner is awarded $800,000. The top eight finishers receive prize money with $280,000, $150,000 and $100,000 awarded to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers.

In 2014, the Belmont Stakes set a record all sources handle of $90.3 million. More than 102,000 fans were at Belmont Park to watch California Chrome run for Triple Crown glory, but he came up short finishing fourth as the 4-5 favorite. That Belmont Stakes handle smashed the previous record of $68 million in 2004 when Smarty Jones also came up just short of winning the Triple Crown. Also, the all-sources handle for the full card on Belmont Stakes Day in 2014 was $150.3 million – a record that still stands according to the New York Racing Association (NYRA).

Fast forward to 2018, and Justify won the Belmont Stakes to become just the 13th racehorse to capture the Triple Crown. The blockbuster Belmont Stakes Day card, highlighted by Justify’s Triple Crown triumph, generated all-sources handle of $137,954,895, the second-highest one-day handle in NYRA history behind Belmont Stakes Day in 2014.

All-sources wagering on the 2018 Belmont Stakes was $72,702,815 – well short of the $90.3 million in 2014.

In 2015 when American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes drew an all-sources handle of  $81,681,147 – the second highest handle in Belmont history.

So betting remains brisk on big racing days and events, and this year’s Preakness Stakes drew a record handle of $99,852,653 — breaking the previous record set in 2017 of $97 million.

Also, the 2019 Kentucky Derby set a record handle of $165.5 million — surpassing the 2018 record of $149.9 million.

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FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

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