Home-track advantage emanates from the morning line odds, as Belmont Park stalwarts We the People and Mo Donegal rank as the respective 2-1 and 5-2 top choices in Belmont Stakes odds for Saturday’s 154th running in New York.
A field of eight will get the call to post at about 6:45 p.m. for the 1 1/2-mile event, the longest of the Triple Crown races, a quarter mile longer than the longest race any of these horses has ever run. Rain is in the forecast. Similar predictions have resulted in tracks taking the precipitation but remaining fast in this year’s earlier prep-race and Triple Crown circuit.
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Belmont Odds and Post Positions
Odds are the morning line odds after the Tuesday post position draw and will fluctuate until the race begins Saturday. Rich Strike, the Kentucky Derby winner, opened as the third choice at 7-2 odds, a far cry from his shocking 80-1 probability before the Run for the Roses.
|1||We the People||2/1||Rodolphe Brisset||Flavien Prat|
|2||Skippylongstocking||20/1||Saffie Joseph Jr.||Manny Franco|
|3||Nest||8/1||Todd Pletcher||Jose Ortiz|
|4||Rich Strike||7/2||Eric Reed||Sonny Leon|
|5||Creative Minister||6/1||Kenny McPeek||Brian Hernandez|
|6||Mo Donegal||5/2||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|7||Golden Glider||20/1||Mark Casse||Dylan Davis|
|8||Barber Road||10/1||John Ortiz||Joel Rosario|
Triple Crown Schedule
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Belmont Field Past Performances
Click on each horse’s name to see an expanded profile of each horse’s past performances, including Beyer Speed Figures. Click on the odds to bet now.
1. We The People (2-1)
Could be a force on the lead with Skippylongstocking. Favorable position would be beneficial, because this is a field that prefers closing overall. Possibility of a ground-saving rail trip. Flopped badly in the Arkansas Derby when he could not get the lead and finished behind Barber Road and Secret Oath, who then ran a so-so fourth in the Preakness.
Nice bounce-back win over the Belmont oval May 14 in the Peter Pan Stakes. Wired the field with attitude, winning definitively on a good track that may normally have compromised speed. Rain could make this a carbon copy of that surface.
The $200,000 race was a steep class drop, but he won as expected in those conditions. He also recorded the highest Beyer figure entering this race at 103.
If anyone looks capable of stealing the race, it’s him. This may affect early positioning from some others. Oddsmakers believe he woke up. Others may think he’ll get overbet. Barber Road connections may be licking their chops to see such a short price on him.
2. Skippylongstocking (20-1)
Past performance indicates he will take it as fast as he can and as far as he can before being overrun by more talented horses. That’s what his fade-to-finish fifth in the Preakness revealed in his career-long 1 3/16-mile effort. Now must go 5/16 farther. Nothing to suggest he will turn the tables. Impact on the race may be whether or not he compromises We the People.
The Triple Crown has had some filly influence. Secret Oath, a spent third in the Arkansas Derby and a dull fourth in the Preakness, nonetheless defeated Nest in the Kentucky Oaks.
Based on those comparisons, she doesn’t look likely to join Ruthless (1867), Tanya (1905), and Rags to Riches (2007) as filly winners of the Belmont. But Pletcher may have something to say about that. He trained Rags to Riches, one of his three Belmont triumphs. Pletcher also trains Mo Donegal in this race. Logically, Nest seems to be a step below what’s needed here.
4. Rich Strike (7-2)
Won’t turn the racing establishment on its ear this time because he can’t sneak up on the handicappers. But he can run late, as his rally from the back of the Derby pack testifies. Probably won’t have a blistering pace to run at here, but the Derby surge can’t be ignored. Nor can the 101 Beyer Speed Figure.
He has some magical family history in big races too. Rich Strike is the son of Keen Ice, who tangled three straight times with reigning Triple Crown champion American Pharoah in 2015, and beat him in the Travers. Was only slightly ahead of Mo Donegal around the final turn until Leon made a genius move inside to cut off distance. Rich Strike actually did outrun Mo Donegal down the lane. Would be good value at 7-2.
5. Creative Minister (6-1)
One way or another, improving every race. He won at maiden and allowance company, made a monstrous leap into the Preakness fray and ran a game third to Early Voting with a nice BSF of 100. He got it two weeks after running a 96 at the allowance level, so he could be ascending.
Handled the stretch to 1 3/16 miles sharply. Was finishing strong. Only has four lifetime starts, eligible to and bound to improve. Nonetheless, a big jump to 1 1/2 miles.
Trained by Ken McPeek, who owns the largest upset in Belmont Stakes history with 70-1 shot Sarava in 2002. McPeek mirrored the 2002 training pattern, bringing Creative Minister to train at Belmont directly from the Preakness.
6. Mo Donegal (5-2)
Loves the New York racing circuit, having authored three victories since last fall. That may be his calling card.
Returns to the site of his first career victory. He prevailed over 1 1/16 miles at Belmont. Added 1 1/8-mile victories at the Remsen and the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, improving by more than five seconds the second time.
Ran a good fifth in the Derby in stretching to 1 1/4 miles after losing ground from the dreaded rail. A better trip is worth a few lengths’ improvement. Rallies, should be right in this picture. Makes a ton of sense.
7. Golden Glider (20-1)
The longest shot in 2022 Belmont odds. Another set of connections hoping that Belmont Park familiarity will pay dividends. Remote second to We the People in the Peter Pan in what was nonetheless his best race. Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, who handles Golden Glider, took a similar path in 2019 with Sir Winston, who finished second in the Peter Pan and then won the Belmont at 10-1. Otherwise, this is asking a lot. We the People left the field in the dust.
8. Barber Road (10-1)
Always running hard and late at the end of races, enough to fit some exotics pictures. Still a maiden in graded stakes race, but has been second three times this year. Rallied from 19th to sixth in the Kentucky Derby, but had a blazing pace to close on that day.
Must be more forwardly placed because this field doesn’t figure to wilt up front like that one did.
Gets a nice upgrade with jockey Joel Rosario, who piloted closer Sir Winston to a 2019 Belmont triumph behind a gutsy rail trip, followed by a timely move to the outside in the homestretch. Rosario most recently rode Epicenter to second-place finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Handicapping horse racing starts with projecting a pace scenario, and Belmont picks this year are no different. Skippylongstocking and We the People would like to be forwardly placed. The rest want to simply maintain position and hope to fire late. Early positioning has held value in recent years.
Since 2010, only Essential Quality (2021), Sir Winston (2019) and Creator (2016) have rallied from the back half of the pack to win this championship test. Essential Quality had a wicked speed duel to attack, while Sir Winston closed ground on the rail and Creator squeezed through a pin-cushion sized opening in the stretch and could have invented a new term in winning this photo finish. It looked like he won by a nose and a half.
How I’ll Bet 2022 Belmont Odds
This is shaping up to be the year of the ‘King for a Day’. No championship horses, but a matter of who is hot now and who is rested. We also don’t know who can get the mile and a half.
There is a heavy Belmont picks premium baked into the early odds. Based on the early line, the entire Belmont field would fit in between favored We the People and longest shot Golden Glider, who came in first and second in Peter Pan at this track, respectively. I just don’t see that. There could be opportunity other places.
Rich Strike is a value play if these odds hold. First bet for me is a $1 trifecta box 1-4-6, with We the People, Rich Strike and Mo Donegal.
I am going to take a small win pop on Rich Strike (unless there is a downpour). The field We the People demolished was much less talented than the one Rich Strike beat.
Mo Donegal’s projected improvement over the Kentucky Derby rail and his New York record make him logical along with Rich Strike. Must isolate a small ticket with Mo Donegal in case Rich Strike is literally a one-trick pony or doesn’t take to the Belmont surface.
Creative Minister and Barber Road go underneath in exotics.
If you have a win-line inkling, you’ll be well rewarded for putting most of your money there, especially at odds of 5-2 or higher. The exotics are fun, but it’s easy to spread too much and the field isn’t big.
Secondary slam I will consider: take a $10 trifecta key. Hit the first two horses in exact order and take two other picks for third. Cost is $20. If the $1 trifecta pays $25, for example, you get $250 for $20, a return of greater than 11-1. It could pay more if a price horse runs third. Just a thought. Good luck navigating Belmont odds!