Saturday’s 154th running of the Belmont Stakes finds an intriguing, wide-open field of eight entrants that includes 80-1 Kentucky Derby upset winner Rich Strike.
Despite being installed as the third betting choice, bettors find considerably lower odds of 7-2 on the morning line for the Run for the Roses champion.
Just who has earned the early favorite role by oddsmakers for Saturday’s final leg of the Triple Crown?
That honor belongs to a colt who did not compete in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes.
We The People, who will be breaking from the rail, was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite. The son of Constitution dominated the Peter Pan Stakes with an impressive wire-to-wire victory by double-digit lengths. As the lone front-runner speed, Flavien Prat's plan will be to have him out in front as the clear one to catch.
Be sure to check back here at SI Betting on Friday as I will have a full betting breakdown with exotic wagers!
Let’s dive right in and take a deeper look at the top contenders as well as some solid value long shots.
2022 BELMONT STAKES BETTING PROFILES
We The People (2-1)
POST NUMBER: No. 1
JOCKEY: Flavien Prat / TRAINER: Rodolphe Brisset
RECORD: 4 starts: 3-0-0
TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 101
RUNNING STYLE: Pacesetter
Meet the only speed factor and likely pacesetter of the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes. This son of Constitution enters Saturday with three wins in his first four starts. We The People was last seen winning the Peter Pan Stakes over this track May 14 in impressive wire-to-wire fashion romping by double-digit lengths.
As the lone front-running speed, Prat will send him hard from the rail and try to repeat his eye-popping performance in the Peter Pan Stakes. The big question is: Can this inexperienced colt who is taking a step up in class hold off a slew of talented closers in the role of projected lone pacesetter running the longest distance of his career?
Mo Donegal (5-2)
POST NUMBER: No. 6
JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz / TRAINER: Todd Pletcher
RECORD: 6 starts: 3-0-2
TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 103
RUNNING STYLE: Closer
This talented son of Uncle Mo, who drew the dreaded rail in the Kentucky Derby and endured a rough trip, was still able to post a solid fifth-place finish in the full field of 20. Mo Donegal is one of two entries for trainer Todd Pletcher and if this colt can repeat his in the Wood Memorial he is arguably one of the top contenders after finally finding some post relief drawing post position No. 6 in the Belmont Stakes.
We need to highlight that in his win in the Wood Memorial he beat Early Voting, who was last seen winning the Preakness two weeks ago.
Mo Donegal has been solid in his morning workouts at Belmont and word is he could be sitting on a supreme effort Saturday. The Belmont Stakes has historically not been a favorable race for deep closers, so it will be interesting to see if the talented and aggressive Irad Ortiz Jr. has him more forwardly placed than in any of his prior races.
Rich Strike (7-2)
POST NUMBER: No. 4
JOCKEY: Sonny Leon / TRAINER: Eric Reed
RECORD: 8 starts: 2-0-3
TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 106
RUNNING STYLE: Closer
The Kentucky Derby winner checks in as the third overall betting choice at 7-2 odds - which is a far cry from his moonshot 80-1 odds bettors found in the Run for the Roses. After deciding to skip the Preakness, his connections removed any hopes of Rich Strike joining the distinguished list of 13 Triple Crown winners.
Before checking in off the “Also-Eligible List” a few days prior to the Derby, his connections had made the Belmont Stakes the main target of the Triple Crown trail.
It will be interesting to see what the odds are on Rich Strike at post time Saturday as Rich Strike could float up as high as 5-1 or higher if handicappers fade a repeat of his effort in the Derby. Jockey Sonny Leon has never ridden at Belmont Park and that could be a big issue on a track that has often never been kind to inexperienced riders at this distance. This question is not only was his effort in the Derby a fluke but also will he find a contested pace to run into once again closing from well off the lead?
VALUE LONG SHOTS
Creative Minister (6-1)
POST NUMBER: No. 5
JOCKEY: Brian Hernandez Jr. / TRAINER: Ken McPeek
RECORD: 4 starts: 2-1-1
TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 108
RUNNING STYLE: Mid-Pack / Closer
The connections for this rapidly improving colt decided to pay $150,000 to earn his spot in the Preakness and he didn’t embarrass himself in any way with a third-place finish taking the major step up in class. Creative Minister’s win in an allowance-optional claiming race on the undercard on Derby Day earned him an eye-opening 108 Equibase Speed Figure. That speed number is the best among this entire field. Although Ken McPeek’s entry did regress with just a 99 Equibase Speed Figure in the Preakness, he still remains an intriguing option for the bottom rung of the exotics.
POST NUMBER: No. 3
JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz / TRAINER: Todd Pletcher
RECORD: 6 starts: 4-1-1
TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 106
RUNNING STYLE: Stalker
For the second consecutive leg of the Triple Crown, bettors will find a filly looking to take on the boys. Pletcher, who earned his first of three career Belmont Stakes wins in 2007 with the filly Rags to Riches, will look to accomplish the feat for a second time 15 years later with Nest. The talented gal heads into the Belmont Stakes off a runner-up finish behind Secret Oath in the Kentucky Oaks and is easily among the best value long shots in the field at 8-1 odds. Her Equibase Speed Figures are competitive with this group of eight and this daughter of Curlin is a legitimate contender bettors need to include on all tickets. Nest joins Mo Donegal in giving Pletcher two of the top justifiable threats to hit the board Saturday.
BY THE NUMBERS : EQUIBASE TOP SPEED FIGURES
Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.
More Betting, Fantasy and Horse Racing:
• Belmont Opening Odds
• American League Awards Odds
• National League Awards Odds
• Fantasy/Betting Impact: Angels Fire Joe Maddon
• NBA Finals Betting Preview
• NBA Finals MVP Betting Primer
• NBA Finals Best Bets
• Avalanche Favored to Win Stanley Cup
• Bold NFL Betting Predictions
• 2022 Fantasy Football Deep Sleepers
• Herbie Reed’s Journey