With the 2014 Belmont Stakes less than 24 hours away, this look at some of the top horse racing experts’ choices to win the third and final leg of the Triple Crown will help you narrow your betting selections as you prepare to wager on the nation’s longest horse race this Saturday evening.
Updated 2014 Belmont Stakes Morning Line Odds
- Medal Count (20-1)
- California Chrome (2-5; opening morning line was 3-5)
- Matterhorn (30-1)
- Commanding Curve (15-1)
- Ride On Curlin (12-1)
- Matuszak (50-1; opening morning line was 30-1)
- Samraat (20-1)
- Commissioner (30-1; opening morning line was 20-1)
- Wicked Strong (10-1; opening morning line was 6-1)
- General a Rod (30-1; opening morning line was 20-1)
- Tonalist (8-1)
Who Are The Horse Racing Experts Picking To Win The Belmont Stakes
"The more things change, the more they stay the same," said Horse Racing TV (HRTV) expert and former jockey Zoe Cadman. "Much like the (Kentucky) Derby and much like the Preakness, my Belmont pick has to be California Chrome."
"Through all the rigors of the Triple Crown, this horse has actually put on weight. The pictures of him the past few days, compared to pre-Derby are absolutely unbelievable. I like the fact that he got post position No. 2 and one thing that needs to be taken into consideration is ground loss."
Cadman’s picks after Chrome are Tonalist to place and Ride On Curlin to show.
"It’s a rider’s race, and everyone in the jockeys’ room will make Victor Espinoza earn his way around the track. He’s going to have to be like Garmin and recalculate his tactics and strategies as he faces challenges," said retired Hall of Fame jockey and NBC analyst Jerry Bailey.
"Having experienced disappointment, I’m kind of skeptical to even go out on a limb to think that it’s going to happen this year. But California Chrome’s done nothing wrong, and he should have a trouble-free trip. And the question is, does he have enough stamina to get the job done?"
— Belmont Stakes (@BelmontStakes) June 4, 2014
Former jockey and current NBC analyst Donna Barton Brothers picked California Chrome to win, but didn’t sound very confident.
"I feel like California Chrome has about a 30 to 40 percent chance to win, which gives him about a 60 to 70 percent chance to get beat. The No. 2 post isn’t necessarily advantageous because the break will be even more important to him than if he had the 5 post, because it’s kind of down in there and he’s got to get out. Whereas if he was in the 5 hole, he could just break and let it unfold the way it unfolds. If I had to pick right now, I’m just going to say California Chrome because I want him to win. I’m biased. I want all the positive energy to flow his way."
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey says that statistics are against California Chrome pulling off the incredible Triple Crown feat.
"The last three races are the ones I paid the most attention to, and I think he’s been very dominant. Do I think he’ll win the Triple Crown? I hope he does for the people and for racing. But the percentages say no."
Retired jockey and MSG and HRTV racing analyst Richard Migliore summed up his picks succinctly.
"California Chrome is my pick to win because he has seemed to flourish under the workload. I just don’t see any chinks in his armor. I like Tonalist for second because he is a very talented colt, had a great prep in the Peter Pan and should love a mile and a half. For third, Wicked Strong seems to have really improved since the Derby."
"When you get horses like Wicked Strong and Tonalist, who have proven they are good horses and have time between races, that is what makes it so hard for the California Chromes, who ran the middle leg, to win the Triple Crown," said veteran trainer Todd Pletcher who will have two entrants in the field (Matterhorn and Commissioner).
New York Racing Association TV analyst Andy Serling said betting on California Chrome is bad business.
"California Chrome is probably a fair price at around 2-1, but he’s going to be more like 3-5, so from a betting perspective he’s as bad a bet as you’ll find at the racetrack," Serling said. "But you want him to win so much that you’ll be happy to rip up your tickets if he beats you. There are three horses that are the most likely to beat him: Wicked Strong, Ride On Curlin and Commanding Curve. Of those, I think Ride On Curlin will be the best price commensurate to his chances of winning."
"I thought all along this might be his best distance," says Billy Gowan of Ride On Curlin.
— NYRA (@TheNYRA) June 4, 2014