Horse racing is ready to take center stage in the sports world this Saturday with 10 horses set to run at the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park.
The Triple Crown would have normally been completed by now. But due to COVID-19, the dates completely changed this year. The Kentucky Derby has been moved to September 5th while the Preakness will take place on October 3rd. For the first time ever, the now $1 million Belmont Stakes, normally the final race of the Triple Crown, will now be the first to take place this Saturday, June 20th.
On Wednesday, we learned where each Triple Crown hopeful will break from. With those post positions being drawn, sports bettors now have their first look at the opening odds.
The Belmont Stakes is often referred to as the “Test of the Champion,” since it is normally the longest of the three Triple Crown races at one and one-half miles. The Preakness is usually the shortest of the three races, followed by the Kentucky Derby as the second-longest. However, with the change in order, the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes has been shortened in 2020. It will now be run at a mile and an eighth, making it now more of a prep race for September’s Kentucky Derby.
Early 2020 Belmont Stakes Time, Location & Odds:
Start Time: 5:42 PM EST
Where to Watch: NBC Sports
Location: Belmont Park - Elmont, New York
Breaking down the Belmont Field
A look at the opening Belmont Stakes betting odds shows Tiz The Law as the favorite at odds of 6/5 and will break from post position No. 8. Tiz the Law has a home-field advantage after previously dazzling in the Champagne at a distance of a mile at Belmont Park last October.
Tiz The Law has won four of his first five career starts and comes into the Belmont Stakes on a two-race winning streak with wins at the Holy Bull Stakes and the Florida Derby.
Patrick Biancone’s Sole Volante (9/2) will jump back into action on only 10 days rest and is listed as the second overall betting choice after drawing post position No. 2.
After an impressive win in Sam F. Davis, Sole Volante returned after a three-month layoff with a hard-fought victory at Gulfstream Park versus a tough field on June 10; when he came from the clouds to win going away.
Mark Casse’s Tap It To Win (6/1) checks in as the fourth overall betting choice after drawing the rail and he could very well be the most dangerous threat to Tiz The Law on Saturday.
Casse won last year’s Belmont Stakes with Sir Winston, while also taking down the Preakness Stakes with War of Will. One of the expected pacesetters will look to repeat his impressive June 4 win at this very same Belmont Park.
Todd Pletcher, winner of three career Belmont Stakes, has a great shot to win the race again this year.
Pletcher’s Dr. Post at odds of 5/1, who won the Unbridled Stakes on April 25 at Gulfstream Park, has won two of his first three career races and checks in as the third overall betting choice on the board after drawing outside post position No. 9.
Another of Pletcher’s entries, Farmington Road (15/1), is an outsider according to the opening odds but is one who could definitely crash the party on the bottom of all exotic wagers.
Linda Rice’s Max Player (15/1) has immense potential, but he enters the Belmont Stakes off an extended layoff; last racing back on February 1. In his last start, he opened eyes with a victory in the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack; closing strong down the lane.
When choosing between Steve Asmussen’s two entrants, Jungle Runner (50/1) and Pneumatic (8/1), my formula leans heavily towards the latter. Pneumatic should easily be able to handle the distance on Saturday and garner attention on both trifecta and superfecta tickets.
Lastly, Bill Mott’s Modernist, projects to be among those upfront on the early pace, and could very well outrun his odds of 15/1.
Belmont Stakes Odds at a Glance:
- Tiz The Law (6/5) - Post 8
- Sole Vilante (9/5) - Post 2
- Dr. Post (5/1) - Post 9
- Tap It To Win (6/1) - Post 1
- Pneumatic (8/1) - Post 10
- Jungler Runner (50/1) - Post 7
- Modernist (15/1) - Post 4
- Max Player (15/1) - Post 3
- Farmington Road (15/1) - Post 5
- Fore Left (30/1) - Post 6
Be sure to check back later this week, when I handicap the entire race and let you know how you should bet the race as well as any standouts who offer extreme value on the Belmont Day undercard!