2018 Belmont Stakes Predictions
Will Justify become the 13th Triple Crown winner in U.S. Thoroughbred racing by emerging victorious in the 2018 Belmont Stakes on Saturday? Which horses will complete today's Belmont tri-fecta?
Here are my predictions for the 2018 Belmont Stakes. I took the chalk in the Preakness Stakes and it panned out with Justify winning, but my other selections (Quip and Diamond King) shot craps. I'll look for better results tonight.
To Win: Justify (5/9)
It's almost unfathomable that we went decades without a Triple Crown winner and now we could see two in less than five years. That said, I believe we will, as Justify is too talented. He's 5-for-5 in a career that didn't even begin until February 18 of this year. In fact, no contender even sniffed him until the Preakness Stakes three weeks ago. After being challenged by Good Magic early, Justify had to fend off Bravazo and Tenfold late and that's what he did, winning by a half-length. I don't expect today to be easy because there's no doubt fatigue could set in. Still, I don't see another contender in the field that has the talent to beat him.
To Place: Vino Rosso (17/2)
I'm going with a Todd Pletcher horse because he won the last two Belemont Stakes and Vino Rosso has the pedigree to challenge today. Vino Rosso won his first two career starts late last year in impressive fashion before contesting two Kentucky Derby prep stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. He underachieved in both starts, rebounded to win the Wood Memorial Stakes by three lengths and then finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby. Ultimately, I don't see Bravazo or Tenfold having enough stamina to do accomplish what they did in the Preakness Stakes so I'm going with Vino Rosso as the challenger to Justify.
To Show: Hofburg (15/4)
The horse with the next-best odds in the Belmont Stakes is Hofburg at 15/4. A talented but inexperienced colt, Hofburg finished second to Audible in the Florida Derby on March 31, which was his stakes debut. He finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby, passing several horses in the stretch after finding trouble at the start. He's been training at Saratoga since the Kentucky Derby and should be fresh after not running in the Preakness. I expect him to finish somewhere on the board this evening.