Multiplier came into the Preakness as a lightly-raced horse who had shown flashes and hoped that his inexperience would be overcome by his talent. That wasn't the case. Now he's a slightly more experienced colt who needs to run a better race by far than he did in the Preakness - in a much tougher race - to be a factor in the Belmont. Does he have it in him? Sure. Will it happen? I wouldn't bet my house on it - or anything I really cared about, for that matter.
Last race: This is a horse that is good with being well off the pace early on and waiting for his time late. Even by that sense, though, it sure felt like he was perhaps a little too casual out of the gate in the Preakness. He was eighth in the 10-horse field from just out of the gate right up until the top of the stretch. By the wire he was up to sixth, but the two-spot improvement wasn't because he was moving well but rather because he held his ground when others faltered. It was a really flat effort. On the plus side, it wasn't an effort that would take a lot out of him, so he should have plenty left for the Belmont.
Prior experience: There isn't a whole lot to cover here. The horse only started racing in late January and has raced once a month since. The first three races were maiden outings at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. He improved each time, finishing third and then second before the win. Then, in April, it was time for his stakes debut. He headed to Hawthorne for the Illinois Derby and won. It wasn't a dominating win, but it still counts. So he came into the Preakness with a two-race winning streak and he was unbeaten in graded stakes. Of course, given the races he had been in, and the general lack of experience, he hadn't really proved much.
Trainer: Brendan Walsh has one of the oddest stats lines I can ever remember seeing. He has 134 career starts, which isn't many. Eleven of those wins have been in graded stakes, though. To have that percentage of wins in the highest level of races is almost impossible for the best of the best, never mind for a guy who is reasonably new to being on his own. Walsh spent a decade working for racing superpower Godolphin Stables, though, so he has more credibility and better connections than your average guy at this stage of his career. Winning a Triple Crown race would obviously multiply (see what I did there?) that credibility, but it's hard to imagine him getting that here.
Jockey: Joel Rosario rode the horse for the first time in the Preakness, and despite not having a great day it appears that horse and rider will have another outing together. Rosario had a heck of a streak starting in 2013. Over the course of 13 months he won the Derby with Orb, the Dubai World Cup with Animal Kingdom, and the Belmont with Tonalist. And he led the nation in earnings in 2013 and was second the next year. He rides in New York these days and is having a decent meet at Belmont right now, so it's not a bad decision to have him on board.
Breeding: Compared to many horses in this race, the breeding here isn't ideal. He is a son of The Factor, who was at his best closer to a mile than at classic distances or longer. He's a young sire who has yet to establish himself. Damsire Trippi was another strong miler, and he now stands in South Africa. Add it all up and you have a horse in Multiplier that isn't nearly as well suited by breeding for this test as many of the other horses in the field. That will be tough for him to overcome here.
Odds: The oddsmakers at Bovada are not at all convinced by this horse - and given his breeding, the lack of experience, and his flat outing in the Preakness, they shouldn't be. They have him at +2500 to win the race, which, as I write this, has him tied as the longest shot on the board in the prospective 14-horse field. It feels very likely that his post time odds will drift significantly higher than this.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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