The final chapter in the race for the Triple Crown will be written at the Belmont Stakes. Will American Pharaoh (pictured with trainer Bob Baffert) rise to the throne that has eluded every contender for the last 37 years? Pharoah will break out of the No. 5 post position in this Saturday’s race as the 3-year old colt is the 3/5 Belmont Stakes Morning Line odds on favorite to win.
"I’m very happy with the draw," said Espinoza, who came to Belmont with chances at the Triple Crown in 2002 with War Emblem and last year on California Chrome. "I’m feeling lucky this year. Third time’s the charm."
Standing between American Pharoah and the winners circle are seven other runners and 12 furlongs (1.5 miles). One of those runners is being trained by Nick Zito who has thwarted TWO Triple Crown hopefuls with a 30-1 horse: Da’Tara (39-1) in 2008 and Birdstone (34-1) in 2004 and he is hoping he has another upset up his sleeve when he pits the 30-1 Frammento from post position four against the Triple Crown hopeful.
Frammento: 30-1 odds in Belmont; trainer Nick Zito has thwarted Triple Crown with a 30-1 horse: Da'Tara 39-1 (2008), Birdstone 34-1 (2004)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 3, 2015
A Closer Look At My 2015 Belmont Stakes Win-Place-Show Picks
Win: American Pharoah, 3/5
The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has every right to win the Belmont Stakes and become the sports’ twelfth Triple Crown winner. Pharoah has done no wrong since his stunning 7 length Preakness win where he left his competition in his wake. By any measurement, he’s the best horse in the race. The only knock is whether or not you believe that he can get the distance. But you can say that about any of his competition as well.
American Pharoah hits the track at Belmont Park. On Saturday he will try & win the first Triple Crown in 37 years. pic.twitter.com/8i5TX24Dz4
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 3, 2015
The key for American Pharoah will be Victor Espinoza’s ride. Espinoza sort of blew it on California Chrome last year. Will he blow it this year? That’s the only real consideration because the horse is so tractable that no matter where he breaks, Espinoza should be able to get him in a good position for the win.
Place: Materiality, 6/1
The son of Afleet Alex, who won the Belmont Stakes in 2005, did an awesome job to pick up sixth place by 7 ¾ lengths in the Kentucky Derby. Materiality is likely to go right to front. If his rider can ration his speed, he’s going to be very tough to run down. He has the breeding, the trainer in Todd Pletcher and the style to win the Belmont Stakes on June 6. But, is he as good as American Pharoah? He probably isn’t which is why playing him to finish second is the way to go.
— HRTV Belmont Stakes (@HRTV) June 4, 2015
Show: Madefromlucky, 12/1
Madefromlucky is Todd Pletcher’s other Belmont runner. The thing about Madefromlucky is that based on his Peter Pan victory he’s finally putting it altogether. Other three-year-olds might have thrown in the towel for the year after losing to American Pharoah in the Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby. Not Madefromlucky. The Lookin At Lucky sired colt decided to run right by his Peter Pan rivals for a big confidence building win in his last. He could be getting good at the right time for a Belmont upset win.
Todd Pletcher says both Materiality and Madefromlucky give him the impression 1 1/2 miles won't be a problem. pic.twitter.com/1j0qHecR5r
— Christie DeBernardis (@CDeBernardis) June 3, 2015
Post Positions and Morning Line Odds each horse running in the 2015 Belmont Stakes:
|Post Position||Horse||Jockey||Trainer||Morning Line Odds|
|1||Mubtaahij||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Michael de Kock||10-1|
|2||Tale of Verve||Gary Stevens||Dallas Stewart||15-1|
|3||Madefromlucky||Javier Casellano||Todd Pletcher||12-1|
|4||Frammento||Mike Smith||Nick Zito||30-1|
|5||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||3-5|
|6||Frosted||Joel Rosario||Kiarin McLaughlin||5-1|
|7||Keen Ice||Kent Desormeaux||Dale Romans||20-1|
|8||Materiality||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||6-1|
Belmont Stakes Fun Facts
2:24.00 – Secretariat (1973)
Record Victory Margin:
31 lengths – Secretariat (1973)
Most wins by a jockey:
6 – Jim McLaughlin, Eddie Arcaro
Most wins by a trainer:
8 – James G. Rowe, Sr.
Most wins by an owner:
6 – Belair Stud (1930, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1939, 1955)
6 – James R. Keene (1879, 1901, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1910)