The 151st running of the Belmont Stakes, known as the "test of the champion" because of its grueling 1 1/2 mile distance is this Saturday from Belmont Park in Elmont, NY and has a much smaller field at 10 horses than the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.  The final leg of horse racing's coveted Triple Crown should be quite exciting and is generally the most difficult to handicap due to the length of the race.

The 9/5 morning line favorite is the 10 horse Tacitus who finished third in the Kentucky Derby.  He has the speed to win this race and is well rested since he skipped the Preakness.  Tacitus won both the G2 Wood Memorial and G2 Tampa Bay Derby earlier this year and has the pedigree and experience to prevail at Belmont Park.

Preakness winner War of Will, who is the second favorite at  2-1 odds, drew the 9 post and is a dangerous horse.  Had it not been for original Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security getting in his path, then War of Will could have been looking to become the fourteenth Triple Crown winner.  Never the less, he is an impressive horse who should finish in the money.

The 8 horse Intrepid Heart is coming in at a 10-1 longshot, recently ran 3rd at the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park on May 11 could very well finish in the money as well due to a favorable post position and the fact that he is familiar with the racetrack.  Another interesting fact is that Intrepid Heart has raced only three times (winning twice), the fewest of the Belmont starters, hence being fresh and ready to be a heavy contender in this race.

Finally, one should take a look at the 5 horse Borbon War, who's a 12-1 longshot.  He finished eighth in the Preakness but has endured exceptional workouts this week and has Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, a three-time Belmont winner aboard, making him another option to put into your exotic bet.

Here are my picks, I like War of Will to win, Tacitus to place and Bourdon War to show.  I would suggest betting a 9-10-5 trifecta box, which will cost $6.  If you feel like really taking a risk, then put a shekel on a 9-10-5-8 superfecta.  Post time for the Belmont Stakes is 4:48 pm MST, let's hope its a thrilling conclusion to the Triple Crown.



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