Horses That can Win the Belmont Stakes in 2019
The 2019 edition of the Belmont Stakes is likely not going to go down in history as an all-time great edition of the race. The winner of the Derby isn't here. Neither is the disqualified winner. And Bob Baffert is skipping the race. There are still a couple of really good horses here, but they are joined with a bunch of runners we have to learn about on the fly.
I am truly obsessed with the Triple Crown and I have to work much harder than normal to find things to be really excited about when it comes to this race, so I can only imagine that it is not exactly crashing through the consciousness of the casual fan. But it's still a Triple Crown race, and a horse will still go down in history as winning one of the three biggest races a three-year-old can win.
It looks like we are going to have about nine horses in the field, but not all nine of them are serious contenders. Here's a look at, realistically, the horses that can win the Belmont (Odds are from BetOnline):
War of Will (+200): We have to start with the Preakness winner, though he isn't likely to be favored in the race. His Preakness win was well deserved and quite impressive. But that is the type of race he is built to run in. This one could be a bit more of a stretch. He does not have the breeding for the distance as much as some of the other runners do, and he is the only horse here facing the toll of having run in all three Triple Crown races. I have lots of respect for the horse, and for the connections, so I am certainly not going to rule him out. But I sure don't see much value in this price.
Tacitus (+150): This horse is very likely going to be the Derby favorite, and he deserves it. He didn't look comfortable early on in the Derby and never really seemed to embrace the sloppy track, but he showed some nice heart in the stretch and moved up to fifth at the line - ultimately fourth after the disqualification. It was a solid effort. But that's not the point here. The horse had won two graded stakes before the Derby, so we know he has plenty of class. But that's not the point, either. Really, it's all about the fact that Tacitus was sired by Tapit. Tapit is a grandson of Belmont winner A.P. Indy and the great-grandson of two Triple Crown winners - Seattle Slew and Secretariat. He was bred to produce winners of this race. And he has - three since 2014, starting with Tonalist followed by Creator and Tapwrit. So, we have a really classy horse in a pretty soft field with breeding that screams success here. Of course, he is a deserving favorite. And a very possible winner.
Everfast (+600): I will admit I completely wrote this horse off heading into the Preakness. He was a late entry in the race, and he had done nothing to make us feel like he belonged. And early on he trailed the field and looked like he was living up to my expectations. But as he rounded the final corner into the stretch, he just kept moving forward. He never stopped and wound up finishing a surprising and respectable second - at 29/1. He still has never won a race, which is obviously a problem. But he is another grandson of A.P. Indy, and his damsire is Awesome Again, the Breeders' Cup Classic winner who sired Classic winner Ghostzapper, among many other top horses. There is decent stamina here. The price feels a little crazy, but I'm not going to totally rule him out this time.
Intrepid Heart (+1000): This horse has run only three times in his career, and his only stakes outing was a third. He is taking a big step up here. Probably too big. But trainer Todd Pletcher gets some respect after having won this race three times. And, like Tacitus, this is a son of Tapit. And his damsire, Touch Gold, won the Belmont to ruin Silver Charm's Triple Crown bid in 1997. The breeding is certainly here. It may not be enough. However, in a field lacking depth like this one, he's a player.
Spinoff (+2500): This is the second Pletcher horse in the field. I really respect the owner and breeder, too - Wertheimer et Frere has won four Breeders' Cup races, with three of them by the all-time great race mare Goldikova in the Mile. His sire, Hard Spun, was fourth in the Belmont in 2007 after finishing second in the Derby and third in the Preakness. So, the breeding is decent. But the horse had a truly disastrous Derby, finishing 18th and showing absolutely nothing down the stretch. That's why he is at such a fat price.
The one thing that makes me take a second look at him, though, is what Pletcher has done in the past. He has won this race three times, and two were with horses that were coming off hideous showings in the Derby. Palace Malice set the pace in the 2013 Derby, ran very hard into a wall, and faded to 12th. But then he pulled away in the stretch of the Belmont to win decisively. And Tapwrit got hit hard coming out of the gate in the Derby in 2017. He wound up finishing sixth, but that was a very flattering result and he wasn't a real factor. In the Belmont - a race that lacked both the Derby and Preakness winner that year - he pulled away late to win by two lengths. Spinoff hated the sloppy track of the Derby, and Pletcher knows how to get ready for this race. At the very least there is value in this price.
Doc's Sports is offering $60 worth of free member's Belmont Stakes picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top horse racing handicappers or for any of the Triple Crown races. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free .
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
Most Recent Belmont Stakes Handicapping
- 2021 Belmont Stakes Predictions: Expert Betting Analysis and Free Picks
- Best Belmont Stakes Trifecta Bets: Analysis and Expert Predictions
- 2021 Belmont Stakes Long Shots: Expert Advice and Betting Tips for Finding Value
- 2021 Belmont Stakes Pace Scenario: Expert Analysis and Predictions
- Ranking Belmont Stakes Field Entries by Breeding Pedigree
- Belmont Undercard Races Feature Top-Level Racing Action
- Expert Belmont Stakes Betting Advice: Live Long Shots Can Provide Big Payday
- Bourbon War Odds to Win the 2019 Belmont Stakes with Picks and Predictions
- Everfast Odds to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes with Expert Predictions
- Intrepid Heart Odds to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes with Expert Predictions