For the 1st time since 2010, the Belmont Stakes will not feature the Kentucky Derby or Preakness winner. So how is this going to make this race still one to watch. Well, I can give you a couple of reasons why. First, we have the fact that because there is no clear cut favorite it will give what us bettors call value in a race. Horses like Irish War Cry and Epicharis will get some value as well as Lookin at Lee. In addition to having neither of the Derby or Preakness winner there it also has no Triple Crown for the second straight year. Another reason it will be one to watch is that last year around this time there was a horse named Arrogate. He wasn’t even on the Triple Crown path last year and by the time the season was done in December he had been named Horse of the Year for 2016 of 3-year-olds. Mind you he didn’t even run the Kentucky Derby, Preakness or Belmont so he won MVP without winning or participating in the “Major Races”. So what does that have to do with this year’s Belmont Stakes? It means that any of these horses could be the 3 Year old of the year for 2017.
For Instance Lookin at Lee finished 2nd in the Derby and 4th in the Preakness is the only horse to run all 3 of the Triple Crown races. If he can manage to win this one he will be the front-runner for Horse of the Year. Other story lines include Patch the one-eyed horse from the Kentucky Derby back to challenge the 3-year-olds again. Also, Epicharis the Japanese-bred horse who qualified for the Kentucky Derby but his owners wanted to shoot for the Belmont Stakes.
So what does this mean if you were going to bet on this race? Who would you take and why? Well, in my opinion, I am going to use Epicharis here for the simple fact that he had the option to run the Kentucky Derby and turned it down to focus on this race. I believe he will be sharp and rested and I believe he will show these American 3-year-olds what he is made of.
$10 to Win Place Show on Epicharis (11 horse), $2 exacta and $1 trifecta box Epicharis (11), Lookin at Lee (6) and Irish War Cry (7)
If you want to look at a long shot who has a chance to win this race then look no further than multiplier out of the 10 hole he will be coming home fast. Patch out of the 12 spot at Morning Line of 12-1 he can pay out pretty big if he hits.
Update 5:18 pm I have updated my picks as epicharis has been scratched I am going with multiplier