Belmont Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – Belmont Park, Saturday 8th June 2019

In terms of North American horse racing, there aren’t too many races bigger than the Belmont Stakes. The Triple Crown event has long been one of the best attended spectacles of the season, previously bringing in over 100,000 people to Belmont Park in New York.

Since 2015, the capacity at the course has been capped at 90,000 due to overcrowding concerns but this is more than enough to create a rapturous atmosphere. Last summer those in attendance roared the sensational Justify on to victory and this year’s favourite Tacitus looks like following in his footsteps.

Top Tips

Tacitus to win @ 7/4

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

Nicknamed the Test of the Champion, this one and a half mile battle stands as the oldest and final leg in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. It is run at Belmont Park, a course known for being one of the fairest around thanks to its wide turns and long homestretch. Recently published data also shows that it’s one of the safest American courses too due to the meticulous way the surface is maintained.

SurfaceDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Dirt 1m 4f 1 $1.5m 10 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

War of Will struck gold in the Preakness Stakes three weeks ago but winners of that contest generally haven’t fared too well in the next Triple Leg stage. Justify and American Pharaoh are the only horses since 2006 who have managed to win both races.

Historically favourites have fared well in the Belmont but more recently this has not been the case. During the last 15 renewals, only three shortest-priced options have gotten themselves first past the line.

2018 Justify 4/5 Bob Baffert Mike Smith
2017 Tapwrit 5/1 Todd Pletcher Jose Ortiz
2016 Creator 16/1 Steve Asmussen Irad Ortiz Jr.
2015 American Pharaoh 3/4 Bob Baffert Victor Espinoza
2014 Tonalist 9/1 Christophe Clement Joel Roasrio

Analysis: Draw gives Tacitus the edge

The draw is always subject to a great deal of analysis in these big American classics. On the face of things, a spot on the very outside in stall 10 might not sound ideal but it’ll allow Tacitus a greater chance of getting in an advantageous space. This is a view shared by Mark Casse who is pleased with War Of Will’s placement one stall inside of Tacitus.

Tacitus to follow in Tapit footsteps

Juddemonte don’t often have a presence in this race but they make it count when they do. Their three previous Belmont starters have finished first, second and third so they’ll have high hopes for Tacitus here. The three-year-old is in good hands for this race, ridden by Jose Ortiz who won this race in patient fashion two years ago. He’ll likely adopt a similar approach here as Tacitus, who boasts the highest Top Equibase Speed Figure among the field, has the pace to mount a late surge. Not only this, but the favourite is bred for this race with sire Tapit having produced three Belmont winners already.

Crown attempt could take its toll

Part of the reason why the Triple Crown is such a difficult one to achieve is that the races fall in rather quick succession. There’s only five weeks separating them all and as a result sometimes horses aren’t always in peak shape by the final leg. War Of Will (2/1) is the only name on the racecard who attempted both of the earlier legs, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He looked in fine shape when winning the latter but finished over a length behind Tacitus in the former. In his defence though, his effort at Churchill Downs was scuppered by a mid-race traffic jumble, something he can avoid here thanks to his wide draw.

Master Fencer best from the rest

Having finished second to War Of Will in the Preakness, there are some expecting big things from Everfast here. Then a 30/1 shot, he isn’t trading so long here as he seeks to push on from what was a career best showing. A lack of consistency is a big problem of his though so even at 10/1 he’s probably one to avoid.

Making for a more tempting longer-odds option is the Japanese entry, Master Fence (11/1), who recorded a credible sixth place finish during the controversial Kentucky Derby. He failed to light things up back home but by posting an Equibase Speed Figure of 106 on his American debut, this colt could follow in the footsteps of countryman Lani (who came third in 2016).

Final Verdict: Tacitus to win

Tacticus has the form, the pedigree and the draw required to become the latest Belmont Stakes champion. Master Fencer shouldn’t end up too far behind but stick with a place only finish bet for the Japanese colt.

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