Derby and Preakness winner American Pharoah will break out of the No. 5 post position in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes as the 3-year old colt tries to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Is there a horse in the field that can beat American Pharoah at the Belmont?
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 5, 2015
American Pharoah won the Preakness last month from the dreaded No. 1 post position and jockey Victor Espinoza had to hustle his ride out of the gate that day to avoid getting pinned in on the rail, but from the No. 5 position he should be able to use the horse’s tactical speed to place him anywhere he wants in the race.
"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."
Here are my top choices on which horses you should bet on to beat American Pharoah at the 2015 Belmont Stakes.
Bet These Horses To Beat American Pharoah At The Belmont Stakes
2015 Belmont Stakes
Date: June. 6, 2015
Start Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
Location: Belmont Park, Elmont, New York
TV Info: NBC
Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Distance: 1 1⁄2 miles (12 furlongs)
Purse: US $1.5 million – 1st: $800,000
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Materiality, 6/1 (pictured)
The more I look at the race, the more I realize that there is a good chance of Materiality taking the lead and then running off for the win. Materiality is sired by Afleet Alex who won the Belmont Stakes in 2005. He’s got the lungs to get the distance for sure. He also got an education in the Kentucky Derby. It was the first race where he had to close against horses. He responded well after having some trouble down the backstretch. If he’s on the engine in the Belmont, he’ll have a good shot at going gate-to-wire because it’s hard to imagine jockey Victor Espinoza aboard American Pharoah pushing this guy too early on in the race. Todd Pletcher, who is tearing it up at Belmont Park, trains.
The other Pletcher horse deserves a ton of consideration to win the Belmont Stakes on June 6. Madefromlucky looked great winning the Peter Pan, the local prep for the Test of Champions. Madefromlucky has been training very well going up to the race. He appears to be a horse for course at Big Sandy, the nickname for the Belmont dirt strip, and should relish the 1 ½ mile distance since he was sired by Lookin At Lucky. Madefromlucky’s grandsire is Smart Strike who sired Curlin. Curlin finished second in the Belmont Stakes. Pletcher’s got a hot hand to take down American Pharoah on Saturday.
— HRTV Belmont Stakes (@HRTVinsider) June 4, 2015
If American Pharoah does push Materiality early on in the race, Mubtaahij could be the one to back. The fact that he appears to be thriving at Belmont makes him a tough horse to leave off of the exotic tickets. But, you can make a case for Mubtaahij to win the race as well. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. knows how to ride at Belmont about as well as anybody on the grounds. He’s a young jockey that really understands pace. He’s also somewhat aggressive, meaning that he’ll probably have Mubtaahij about 3 to 4 lengths off of American Pharoah and Materiality. The grandson of Dubai Millenium could get it done on Saturday.
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)