Preview: Belmont Stakes

It is finally time to have a sports filled weekend, we have the RBC Heritage golf tournament that is currently underway but more importantly, we have the Belmont Stakes on Saturday afternoon. This is my favorite leg of the triple crown, it takes place in my home state of New York and the normal length of the race (a mile and a half) has always made for exciting finishes. This year the race has been shortened and it now becomes the first leg of the crown as opposed to the normal final leg. It changes everything, he changes history but it is still Belmont and it still has a feel of tradition and it will have the ghosts of legends past running alongside today’s thoroughbreds.

I had the unique opportunity to witness history at the hallowed grounds of Belmont Park a couple of years ago. The ProcrastiNation Princess and I were joined by SB and were in attendance for Justify winning the triple crown. SB had the privilege of being there for both Justify and American Pharaoh capturing history. This was my first trip to a triple crown race and the crowd, electricity and atmosphere were all something I will never forget. I will tell you all a quick story about that wonderful trip to Belmont Park. We went for both the Friday and Saturday slate of races. After the Friday at the races we headed to King Umberto’s and as a proud Italian-American who loves to eat, I rate King Umberto’s as a top five Italian restaurant that I have ever eaten at. The three of us entered the restaurant and waited patiently for our table. While we waited, a forty-five year old man, with his mother and brother stood next to us. He was double fisting wine and whiskey, what a combination. He was bumping into everyone and being one of the top ten most obnoxious people I have ever come in contact with. He bumped into my wife and said “watch it”, I got really tough for a minute and said “what did you say tough guy”. He threatened to beat my ass and is brother grabbed him, apologized and dragged him into the dining room of the restaurant. This was a small dining room area, perhaps it was even smaller than where Michael shot McClusky and Solozzo.

Wouldn’t you know it, we were seated right next to the asshole and his family. As we sat there, the tension was mounting, his family tried to take his drinks away from him and like any normal adult would do, he took some plates and threw them against the wall. His brother dragged him out of the restaurant and left his mother there with a disheveled table and the task of apologizing to everyone in sight. What a time to be alive, I thought he was going to smash my head through the wall for good measure on the way out of the door. All in all, it was great, the food was marvelous.

Sorry, for my trip down memory lane, I am sure you are all here to discuss tomorrow’s race and where your hard-earned money should be placed for the stakes race. Let’s take a look at the horses, jockeys and the post positions for the big race.

1. Tap It to Win (6-1)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: John Velazquez

2. Sole Volante (9-2)
Trainer: Patrick Biancone
Jockey: Luca Panici

3. Max Player (15-1)
Trainer: Linda Rice
Jockey: Joel Rosario

4. Modernist (15-1)
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Junior Alvarado

5. Farmington Road (15-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano

6. Fore Left (30-1)
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: Jose Ortiz

7. Jungle Runner (50-1)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez

8. Tiz the Law (6-5) 
Trainer: Barclay Tagg
Jockey: Manny Franco

9. Dr Post (5-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

10. Pneumatic (8-1)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Alright, so the favorite is #8 Tiz the Law, he is basically even money but I have no interest in betting favorites, I rarely ever take a favorite in any race let along one of the triple crown races. Not only do I not take favorites because the payout is not great unless you are unloading a shit pile on that horse, I also don’t think Tiz the Law is going to win the race; so for me, this works out well for the 2020 Belmont Stakes. I am going to give you guys a couple of bets that I like for this race but if I had to pick a winner, it would be the #9 horse Dr Post who is going off at 5-1. I love Irad Ortiz and my Saratoga roots like going with a Pletcher/Ortiz combo to win the Belmont Stakes. They are comfortable with this track, they like the ditance and I believe that Irad is the best current jockey that we have in the sport right now.

Obviously, I will be playing some larger pick 3’s, 4’s and hopefully a big pick 5 with SB but I want to focus on the stakes race for this blog and what I will be playing during this race:

Scor’s Card:
$50 win – #9 Dr Post
$25 Across The Board – #9 Dr Post
$25 Exacta Box – #9/#10/#8
$25 Exacta Box – #9/#10/#8/#2
$25 Across The Board – #4 Modernist

I am throwing #4 Modernist in there because out of the long shots (15-1 or greater) I think he is the best horse. I love the trainer, Bill Mott is an experienced and well-proven trainer and although I don’t love the rider, there is something about this horse that I like.

You can watch the race live on NBC, coverage will begin at 2:45pm and the stakes race will be going off in the five o’clock hour.

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