Belmont Stakes Picks by the Iceman
The 150th Belmont Stakes takes place on Saturday from Elmont, NY as Justify attempts to become just the 13th horse to capture the Triple Crown; a feat that is so rare, that it has only been accomplished by one horse in American Pharaoh since 1978. The mile and a half distance, the longest of the three coveted races, has destroyed many horses' chances of winning the Triple Crown in the past, and broken the hearts of countless racing fans over the years.
To break it down, 4-5 favorite Justify will be running his fifth straight race since February 18, and it's worth noting that he hung on by a thread to beat Bravazo in the Prekaness, if the race had been any longer, like the Belmont is, he would have probably lost. Combine that with the fact that some other contenders include Bravazo, Todd Pletcher-trained Noble Indy, Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso, and Hofburg, the son of Tapit, who has sired three of the last four Belmont winners, including the last two, and the field is pretty competitive.
One thing that is possible for Saturday at Belmont Park is rain and a sloppy track, if that occurs then Justify would have a distinct advantage, as he won the Derby and the Preakness on muddy tracks. Despite a close victory in the Preakness and the possibility of being a bit tired from the rigor of numerous races, I like Justify to win the Belmont and solidify his place in horse racing history.
He is just simply too good of a horse, has the stamina, agility and speed to seal the deal. By no means will this be an easy race for him, but I feel that Justify has what it takes to accomplish this nearly mythical achievement. My second and third place horses include Hofburg and Bravazo. I would box the 1-4-3 trifecta, and if you feel like putting a shekel on a superfecta, I'd say go with 1-4-3-9. Good luck and enjoy the Belmont!