The Belmont Stakes will be run on Saturday with California Chrome the odds-on favorite to win the Triple Crown.
California Chrome drew the No. 2 post-position this week for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. As of early, Thursday morning, California Chrome was the 3 to 5 favorite for the race scheduled for a 6:52 pm ET post time.
Wicked Strong did not race in the Preakness following a fourth place finish in the Kentucky Derby and is the second choice in Saturday’s race at 6 to 1.
Wicked Strong has raced twice at Belmont Park as a two-year finishing a strong second in September of 2013 in his debut before winning for the first time in October of 2013.
On the other hand, California Chrome will be racing at Belmont Park on Saturday for the first time. All of the 11 horses to complete the Triple Crown had raced at least once at Belmont prior to the Belmont Stakes.
Unlike in the two previous races in the Triple Crown, trainers favor having an inside post for the race.
According to data obtained on Bovada and sportsbook.com, 11 winners of the Belmont Stakes have started in the No. 2 spot, with the last, Tabasco Cat 20 years ago.
Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown, also was in the No. 2 post-position when he ran off to a 31 lengths win back in 1973. That day Secretariat set the Belmont Park track record that still stands today.
This race is considered by trainers to be a jockey’s race. The length will seem like a marathon for the horses, which makes the postposition not as much of a factor.
Tonalist is third in betting at 8 to 1 for the race, according to betonline and topbet. Tonalist did not race in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness and has only four races in his career. However, the horse won its last race on May 10.
For some, the biggest threat to California Chrome winning the Triple Crown is Ride on Curlin. The horse is currently 12 to 1 and is the only other horse besides Chrome to enter all three events of the Triple Crown this year.
Ride on Curlin was seventh in the Derby and second in the most recent Preakness. Curlin, his father, was third in the Derby in 2007, first in that year’s Preakness and finished second in the Belmont, losing out to Rags to Riches the filly.
The mile and a half race is longer than any entrant in the race has run during their careers and longer than most will run again.
On trainer said it is difficult for anyone in the Belmont field to say the mile and a half on a dirt track is their horse’s strong suit.
The Field for the 2014 Belmont Stakes
No. 1 – Medal Count 20 to 1
No. 2 – California Chrome 3 to 5
No. 3 – Matterhorn 30 to 1
No. 4 – Commanding Curve 15 to 1
No. 5 – Ride on Curlin 12 to 1
No. 6 – Matuszak 30 to 1
No. 7 – Samraat 20 to 1
No. 8 – Commissioner 20 to 1
No. 9 – Wicked Strong 6 to 1
No. 10 – General a Rod 20 to 1
No. 11 – Tonalist 8 to 1