Horse racing is back to take center stage in sports with a field of 10 racing for the Belmont Stakes.
Often referred to as the “Test of the Champion,” the Belmont is normally the longest of the three Triple Crown races at one and one-half miles. The Preakness is the shortest of the three, followed by the Kentucky Derby as the second-longest.
However, with the change in order, this year’s running has been shortened. The Belmont Stakes will now be run at a mile and an eighth, making it now more of a prep race for September’s Kentucky Derby.
Fans will not be present at Saturday's historic running. Additionally, Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde discusses why arguably the sport's biggest name, longtime trainer Bob Baffert, will be absent from Belmont Park this year.
2020 Belmont Stakes Time, Location & Odds:
Start Time: 5:42 PM EST
Location: Belmont Park - Elmont, New York
TOP CHOICES: Listed by post number, name, and odds:
#8 Tiz The Law (6/5):
The favorite at 6/5, Tiz The Law is the clear horse to beat.
He has a “home-field advantage” after 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 enters the Belmont Stakes on a two-race winning streak with wins at the Holy Bull Stakes and the Florida Derby. He will most likely be a clear “key” horse on all horizontal wagers.
#4 Modernist (15/1):
Bill Mott possesses the clear “grinder” of the race, and would add extreme value to any exotic tickets. He will make his first start since a third-place finish in the Louisiana Derby three months ago. This deep closer and son of Uncle Mo has a huge chance to hit the board at double-digit odds.
#10 Pneumatic (8/1):
When choosing between Steve Asmussen’s two entrants, my formula leans heavily here. Pneumatic, who also has bloodlines to both Tapit and Uncle Mo, should be able to easily handle the distance on Saturday and should be used underneath on all tickets.
#3 Max Player (15/1)
Linda Rice will look to become the first female trainer to win a Triple Crown race. Max Player has immense potential to accomplish the feat but he enters the race 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. The addition of Joel Rosario in the saddle is something all bettors should take note of here.
#9 Dr. Post (5/1):
Todd Pletcher has this horse trending in the right direction after winning the Unbridled Stakes on April 25 at Gulfstream Park. He has won two of his first three career races and the Pletcher/Ortiz combo is one all bettors should always respect.
#1 Tap It To Win (6/1):
He will look to try and take the field wire to wire fighting for that position with Fore Left. 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.
#2 Sole Volante (9/2):
Patrick Biancone will wheel Sole Volante back into action on only 10 days rest. After an impressive win in Sam F. Davis, Sole Volante returned after a three-month layoff with a hard-fought victory at Gulfstream Park. He faced a difficult matchup versus a tough field on June 10; when he came from the clouds to win going away.
#7 Jungle Runner (50/1), #6 Fore Left (30/1)
Belmont Stakes Formula Rankings:
- #8 Tiz The Law
- #4 Modernist
- #10 Pneumatic
- #3 Max Player
- #9 Dr. Post
- #1 Tap It To Win
- #2 Sole Volante
- #5 Farmington Road
- #6 Fore Left
- #7 Jungler Runner
Belmont Stakes Betting Breakdown: Win, Place, Show
It will be hard for Tiz the Law to be defeated at ‘Big Sandy’ on Saturday, and with the race being shortened he will only need to win going around one turn as opposed to the two turns normally demanded in the Belmont Stakes.
My top play will involve using Tiz the Law on top with Modernist and Pneumatic underneath in second for exactas. Although my breakdown of the race does not see Tiz the Law being beaten, I will play a few smaller “protective” wagers.
TOP Exacta Part-Wheel: 8 / 4,10
Protective Exacta P/W: 3, 4, 9, 10 / 8
TOP Trifecta Key: 8 / 4, 10
Trifecta Part-Wheel: 8 with 3, 4, 9, 10 with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9,10
Protective Trifecta P/W: 4,10 / 8 / 1,2,3,4,5,9,10
Lastly, BUSR bettors can actually wager on whether the winning jockey in his post-race interview will wear a mask during his televised interview! The odds are currently evenly split at odds of -115 on both sides. There are some unique wagers being offered out there, so as we always say here at SI Gambling, “Be sure to shop around!”