Weekly Top Props Odds and Predictions - Belmont Stakes
by Dave Schwab - 6/3/2013
This upcoming Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, marks the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes, which is the final and most grueling test of all three Triple Crown races for three-year-old thoroughbreds. While all eyes will be on the projected duel between Kentucky Derby winner Orb against Oxbow, the surprising winner of this year’s Preakness Stakes, Sportsbook.ag has decided to make things even more interesting with odds for a couple of head-to-head matchups and other props surrounding the outcome of this race.
If you are interested in wagering on the head-to-head matchup between the first two Triple Crown race winners, then the current money line on Orb would be -155 as the favorite and +125 on Oxbow. Orb has been opened as the co-favorite to win the Belmont Stakes along with Revolutionary at +350. Oxbow is listed as the third-favorite at +600.
The last time a horse that won the Derby went on to win the Belmont was back in 1995 when Thunder Gulch won the first and last leg of this fabled trio of events. While that may not paint too solid of a picture for Orb’s chances to do the same thing this Saturday, the value in the head-to-head odds to finish ahead of Oxbow still lean heavily in his favor.
Oxbow’s impressive wire-to-wire run in the Preakness to win as a mild longshot at 15/1 is not something you see every day in Grade I stakes races of this stature due the talented fields they draw. The current prop bet odds that a horse does the same thing in the Belmont Stakes is +500 for “yes” and -700 for “no”. This may be a prop to avoid altogether given the risk involved on a no wager, but that would still be the best way to go. The Belmont covers a distance of 1 ½ miles, which is a quarter mile longer than the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. The top horses in this race are trained for endurance to go that extra distance, making it very difficult for a front runner to maintain a fast pace the entire way.
Another prop bet has a horse named from the letters A-M winning the Belmont at +175 and a horsed named from the letters N-Z winning it at -200. Considering that the Top 3 favorites all fall into the second category, this is obviously why the odds have been set this way. Looking at a few of the contenders that fall into the first grouping, the two with the best odds to win at +1200 are Freedom Child and Golden Soul.
This will be Freedom Child’s first Triple Crown race, but this three-year-old colt that is trained by Tom Albertrani is coming off a victory in the Grade II Peter Pan Stakes at this very track on May 11. The more interesting pick would be Golden Soul. He is trained by Dallas Stewart and ridden by Robby Albarado and coming off a strong second-place finish at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby after opening as a 50/1 longshot. The other horses in the first group are Always in a Tiz, Frac Daddy, Giant Finish, Incognito and Midnight Taboo, and they are all currently listed at +3000. So the question you have to ask yourself when it comes to betting on this prop is can Golden Soul pull off the upset.
The prop bet odds for margin of victory in the Belmont has 1 to 2 ¾ lengths at +200, 3 lengths to 5 ¾ lengths at +300, ½ length to ¾ length at +400, 6 lengths to 7 ¾ lengths at +700 and 8 lengths to 10 ¾ lengths at +1000. The odds the race is won by a head or neck are +800 and by a nose at +1000.
This year’s Belmont features a closely-matched field with a handful of horses all having a legitimate shot at winning. I would automatically rule out any distance over two lengths given the parity that exists between these top contenders. The extra distance of this race will have a tendency to spread things out a bit down the stretch, but in the end I see the most value lying in the favored odds of 1 to 2 ¾ lengths as the actual margin of victory for the Belmont Stakes.
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