2014 Belmont Stakes Picks
ELMONT, NY (The Spread) - After predicting the top three finishers in order at the Preakness Stakes, here are our picks for the 2014 Belmont Stakes.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, California Chrome remains the favorite to win the Belmont Stakes at 4/5, while Wicked Strong has the next-best odds at 6/1 and Ride On Curlin is 15/2. Tonalist at 17/2 and Commanding Curve at 10/1 have comparable odds, while Samraat (20/1), Medal Count (22/1) and General A Rod (28/1) are the mid-range long shots. The contenders with the longest odds in the field are Commissioner (33/1), Matthorn (40/1) and Matuszak (50/1).
2014 Belmont Stakes picks:
WIN: Wicked Strong (6/1)
There's a reason we haven't seen a Triple Crown winner since 1978. The Belmont is the longest race of the Triple Crown and the distance can often be a huge determent to contenders that raced in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Fatigue won't be an issue for Wicked Strong, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby and who was held out of the Preakness. He suffered a trip in the Derby but rallied to nearly finish in the money. Wicked Strong has the resume (he won the Grade I Wood Memorial early this year), the pedigree (Hard Spun finished in the money in all three 2007 Triple Crown races) and the value (6/1 odds) to at least finish in the money today. We like him to pull off the upset.
PLACE: California Chrome (4/5)
History and fatigue are not on California Chrome's side heading into the Belmont and neither are his odds (at least for bettors). There's no question he's a special horse but there's no value in those 4/5 odds. Even if you collect, you'll wager $5.00 to win $4.00 back, so you're better off taking a shot on another contender. Big Brown looked unbeatable in 2008 after he won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. But he never competed in the Belmont, finishing a disappointing ninth as a huge favorite behind Da'Tara, among others. We don't recommend laying the wood tonight.
SHOW: Commissioner (33/1)
Consider Commissioner our deep sleeper. First and foremost he's rested after not competing in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and we talked earlier about how fatigue will play a factor tonight. Second, he rebounded from a sixth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby to finish second in the Grade II Peter Pan and also has a third-place showing in the Sunland Derby on March 23. But we also love his pedigree, which includes A.P. Indy, who won the Belmont Stakes in 1992 and also had eight victories throughout his career. The finish in the Arkansas Derby was uninspiring but we still like Commissioner to surprise today.
The 2014 Belmont Stakes will take place tonight at 6:30PM ET from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The track record belongs to Secretariat at 2:24 in 1973.