2023 Belmont Stakes Post Positions: Favored Forte draws No. 6
The 155th Belmont Stakes features a star-studded field that includes four Kentucky Derby entrants, plus this year’s Preakness Stakes winner.
However, all eyes figure to be on Forte, the electrifying Kentucky Derby favorite who was scratched on race day after suffering a foot injury during a late-week training session.
After a month off, Forte is set to make his return Saturday at Belmont Park, and he will do so as the favorite to win horse racing’s final jewel of the Triple Crown.
He also will do so from the same post position that produced last year’s Belmont Stakes winner — a post position that has never delivered back-to-back winners in the storied history of the grueling 1.5-mile race.
Here’s a look at the nine-horse field for the 2023 Belmont Stakes by post position, along with the morning-line odds.
Get sports picks for every league and nearly every matchup on Doc’s free picks page.
2023 Belmont Stakes Post Positions
1. Tapit Shoes (20/1)
One of three Belmont Stakes horses trained by Brad Cox, Tapit Shoes is returning to the track for the first time since finishing second in the Bath House Row Stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 22.
In that race, Tapit Shoes battled fellow Belmont Stakes entrant Red Route One to the wire, losing by a half length.
Tapit Shoes has finished in the money in three of his five career races, but his lone victory came as a 2-year-old in early December.
He’s looking to become the first Belmont winner with odds of 20/1 or greater since Ruler on Ice (24/1) sprung an upset in 2011.
On the bright side, 24 Belmont Stakes winners have started on the rail — more than any other post position in race history. That includes Secretariat — whose finish time of 2:24 set 50 years ago still stands as a record for a 1½-mile race — and Justify, the most recent Triple Crown-winner in 2018.
2. Tapit Trice (3/1)
A chic pick of many bettors to win the Kentucky Derby — especially after Forte scratched — Tapit Trice instead finished a disappointing seventh.
That result snapped a four-race winning streak for the Todd Pletcher-trained colt.
Tapit Trice enters the Belmont with impressive lineage: His sire, Tapit, has produced four Belmont Stakes winners — the most of any horse in more than 100 years.
Tapit Trice will attempt to become the 14th Belmont winner from the No. 2 slot and first since Essential Quality in 2021. Essential Quality’s sire? Tapit.
3. Arcangelo (8/1)
Arcangelo will hit the track Saturday for just the fifth time in his career. However, he’s had recent success on the Belmont dirt, besting eight other horses in the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes on May 13.
That was Arcangelo’s second straight triumph following a victory at Gulfstream Park on March 18.
Fifteen horses have won the Belmont from the No. 3 post, tied for second-most in race history. However, the last was Union Rags in 2012.
4. National Treasure (5/1)
Trained by embattled Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, National Treasure sat out the Kentucky Derby but returned for the Preakness and outlasted the seven-horse field, including Derby winner Mage.
National Treasure went off as the 5/2 second choice at the Preakness despite having posted just one other victory in his career — and that was in his maiden race.
National Treasure has finished in the money in five of his six races, the lone exception being a fourth-place finish at the Santa Anita Derby on April 8.
No horse has won the Belmont from the No. 4 hole since Summer Bird in 2009.
5. Il Miracolo (30/1)
Il Miracolo is the longest shot in Saturday’s field for a reason: He’s won just two of his 10 career races and finished in the money in just three others (all second-place finishes).
One of the colt’s victories did come in his most recent start on May 11. However, it was a low-level optional claiming race that featured just six horses.
The last horse to win the Belmont with odds greater than 24/1 was Da’Tara, who went off at 38/1 and thwarted Big Brown’s Triple Crown bid in 2008.
Il Miracolo at least gets the privilege of breaking from the No. 5 slot, which also has delivered 15 Belmont winners — a list that includes Triple Crown champions Seattle Slew (1977) and American Pharoah (2015).
6. Forte (5/2)
A month ago, Forte was installed as the favorite to win the 149th Kentucky Derby. And as such, he was the favorite to become the first Triple Crown winner since Justify.
Unfortunately, a right front foot bruise knocked the 3-year-old colt out of the Run for the Roses.
Barring any setbacks, Forte will finally get the opportunity to strut his stuff on a huge stage Saturday. Oddsmakers certainly like his chances, as the Todd Pletcher-trained horse was installed a slight favorite over two Kentucky Derby participants — Angel of Empire and Tapit Trice.
The potential good news for Forte: The last three Belmont Stakes winners have left the gate with odds of 5/2 or shorter. That includes last year’s winner, Mo Donegal.
The potential bad news: Mo Donegal became the first Belmont winner since 1999 — and just the third since 1965 — to start from the No. 6 post position. The No. 6 horse has never won the Belmont in consecutive years.
Then again, Forte has hit the wire first in six of his seven career races, including the last five in a row.
7. Hit Show (10/1)
Another Brad Cox-trained horse, Hit Show has been idle since a respectable 5th-place finish at the Kentucky Derby.
Hit Show drew the dreaded rail position at the Derby and went off at 24/1, but he was in the hunt coming around the final turn before fading late. Prior to the Derby, Hit Show had three wins and one second-place finish in five career races.
Hit Show will try to become the first Belmont winner with double-digit odds — and first to fire from the seventh slot — since Sir Winston in 2019.
8. Angel of Empire (7/2)
After Forte scratched from the Kentucky Derby, Angel of Empire went off as the 7/2 favorite and ran a solid race, finishing third behind winner Mage and runner-up Two Phil’s.
Like Tapit Shoes and Hit Show, Angel of Empire is also saddled by Cox. The colt has delivered for bettors in six of his seven career races, with four first-place finishes, one second and one third.
Angel of Empire’s most recent victory was in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 1.
The No. 8 post position has produced seven Belmont Stakes winners, the most recent being favorite Tiz the Law in 2020.
9. Red Route One (15/1)
As previously noted, Red Route One edged Tapit Shoes at Oaklawn Park back on April 22 — just his second victory in nine races.
He followed that win with a fourth-place finish at the seven-horse Preakness Stakes on May 20. Red Route One, who went off as the co-fourth choice at the Preakness with 8/1 odds, also placed sixth in the 10-horse Arkansas Derby.
The No. 9 slot has yielded just four Belmont Stakes winners — and none since 2005 — although the race often has fewer than nine entrants.
Belmont Stakes 2023 post positions & morning-line odds
1 - Tapit Shoes (Cox) (20/1)
2 - Tapit Trice (Pletcher) (3/1)
3 - Arcangelo (8/1)
4 - National Treasure (5/1)
5 - Il Miracolo (30/1)
6 - Forte (5/2)
7 - Hit Show (10/1)
8 - Angel of Empire (7/2)
9 - Red Route One (15/1)
Most Recent Belmont Stakes Handicapping
- Best Belmont Stakes Trifecta Bets for 2023
- 2023 Belmont Stakes Pace Scenario and Handicapping
- 2023 Belmont Stakes Predictions with Recommended $100 Wager
- 2023 Belmont Stakes Post Positions
- Horses that can Win the Belmont Stakes in 2023
- 2023 Belmont Stakes Field - The Belmont Stakes Lineup is set
- Belmont Stakes Odds - Live Horse Racing Betting Odds Updated
- Belmont Stakes Winners
- 2022 Belmont Stakes Facts and Interesting Info
- 2022 Belmont Stakes Long Shots: Expert Advice and Betting Tips for Finding Value