The final leg of the Triple Crown takes place on Saturday, June 9. The favorite, Derby and Preakness winner Justify, is at +100 on the morning line. Should you bet Justify to win the Belmont? Who are the experts picking as the smart pick? Is there a long shot in the Belmont field that can beat Justify? Click here for live Belmont Stakes odds.
What: 150th Belmont Stakes
Where: Belmont Park | Elmont, N.Y.
When: Saturday, June 9th, 2018
Post Time: 6:37 pm ET
TV Coverage: 4:00 – 7:30 pm ET
Stream: NBC Sports Live
2018 Belmont Stakes Odds & Picks
- Justify +100
- Free Drop Billy +6500
- Bravazo +750
- Hofburg +450
- Restoring Hope +3000
- Gronkowski +2500
- Tenfold +1000
- Vino Rosso +850
- Noble Indy +3000
- Blended Citizen +1750
The 5Dimes Favorite To Win The Belmont: Justify +100
There are plenty of reasons to believe Justify becomes the thirteenth Triple Crown winner on Saturday. He’s undefeated at 5 and 0. His trainer, Bob Baffert, saddled American Pharoah to a Triple Crown sweep in 2015. He was purchased for $500,000. His sire is Scat Daddy while his mother’s sire is Ghostzapper.
Yep, there are plenty of reasons to believe Justify takes it. But, there are also reasons to believe Justify is a bad bet. His speed ratings have declined since his awesome Santa Anita Derby win. That implies that he peaked in the Santa Anita Derby. Not only that, but the Belmont will be his sixth race since Feb. 18. That’s a lot of running for a 3-year-old.
The Smart Pick To Win The Belmont Stakes: Hofburg +450
Trained by Bill Mott, who campaigned the great Cigar in the early 1990’s, Hofburg should improve big time off his decent but unimpressive run in the Kentucky Derby. The son of Tapit had no chance after brushing at the start and steadying twice. Still, he ended up finishing seventh by 6.75 lengths. He was behind over 17 lengths at the second call. That means even though he had a brutal trip, he fought on.
Mott should have him geared up to win the Belmont Stakes. His breeding suggests the 1 ½ mile Belmont distance won’t be an issue. His dad, Tapit, sired the last two Belmont Stakes winners, Creator in 2016 and Tapwrit last year. His mom’s sire is Touch Gold. Touch Gold beat Silver Charm, a Baffert trainee racing for the Triple Crown like Justified, in 1997.
The Longshot Belmont Stakes Pick: Restoring Hope +3000
Most believe the other Baffert trained horse has been entered to serve as a rabbit for Justify. That’s not the case. Baffert gets all of his horses ready to win, not serve as rabbits. That’s especially true for Restoring Hope whose owners Gary and Mary West have been Bob Baffert clients for years.
Why is Restoring Hope entered if not to be Justify’s rabbit? First, he’s been working better than any horse in the Belmont Stakes field. Second, his sire, Giant’s Causeway, is one of the top sires on the planet. Also, his mom was sired by Tapit. Beware the other Baffert on Saturday.