Three Challengers to Justify in Belmont
Even though Justify is the odds-on favorite to win the 2018 Belmont Stakes, is there anyone that can challenge him this evening? Here are three contenders that could upset the Triple Crown challenger on Saturday evening.
Challenge 1: Hofburg
Hofburg finished second to Audible in the Florida Derby on March 31, which was his stakes debut. He then finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby while passing several horses in the stretch after finding trouble out of the gates. Hofburg has plenty of talent and untapped potential, making him an intriguing bet to upset Justify this evening. His best race could be enough to upend Justify's Triple Crown bid.
Challenger 2: Vino Rosso
A Todd Pletcher-trained horse has won this race three times since 2007 since Vino Rosso is an intriguing challenger based on that fact alone. (Pletcher has also finished second three times and third twice so even if Vino Rosso doesn't upset Justify there's a good chance he finishes somewhere on the board.) Vino Rosso won his first two career starts last year in impressive fashion, then won the Wood Memorial Stakes after a rough start to his three-year-old career. In the Kentucky Derby, he raced wide throughout and never contended but did continue on through the stretch to finish ninth.
Challenger 3: Bravazo
If you watched Bravazo run in the Louisiana Derby chances are you didn't have him on your card for the Kentucky Derby. Despite his 66/1 odds as a long-shot at Churchill Downs, Bravazo finished a respectable sixth. Two weeks later, he emerged to nearly catch Justify in the Preakness Stakes and now has everyone's attention. He should stay in close proximity to Justify down the backstretch but whether enough he has the talent to pull off the upset remains to be seen.