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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

Belmont Stakes Betting Preview, Horses to Watch

Belmont Stakes Action at TVG!

Belmont Stakes
Betting Preview - Part II

Belmont Preview
Trainers to Watch

For the first time, the Belmont Stakes, on Saturday June 20 at beautiful Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., will kick off the Triple Crown. It will be followed by the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, September 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky and the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, October 3 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.

Anthony “The Beast of The Belmont” Stabile has you covered when it comes to these unprecedented times for the Triple Crown. He’ll preview each of the races in the week leading up to the races then provide a full analysis the day before each jewel of the Crown and provide Picks Packs as to how he will play those racing cards! To purchase Stabile’s products, click here!

Handicapping the Favorite

Tiz the Law will be the overwhelming favorite in the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes when he makes his first start in 12 weeks. The question is, how low will his odds be?

Trained by Barclay Tagg and owned by Sackatoga Stable, the connections of the gutsy gelding Funny Cide who finished third in this back in 2003 when his Triple Crown bid was denied, seek redemption with another New York bred in Tiz the Law, the only G1 winner in the field.

After breaking his maiden against fellow NY breds, including eventual multiple stakes winner Dream Bigger, Tiz the Law stepped up to win the prestigious G1 Champagne in just his second start with a powerful stretch run after stumbling start under regular rider Manny Franco.

Franco came under scrutiny for his ride in the G2 KJC at Churchill next out when Tiz the Law suffered what would be his only defeat to date. Over a sloppy track, Tiz the Law was covered up most of the way and didn’t appear to care for the track or kickback that resulted from the pouring rain. When he finally found room in the stretch, he managed just a third-place finish though was beaten just under a length.

Tagg had a game plan for Tiz the Law when he returned to the races – get him to the outside. And when he returned in the G3 Holly Bull at Gulfstream for his first start of the year, Franco did just that. After breaking alertly from post 3, Franco took a strong hold, maneuvered his colt to the outside and eventually drew off to win by three lengths.

His effort in the G1 Florida Derby was a near-carbon copy of the Holy Bull. A bit closer through slower early fractions at the nine-furlong distance of this race, Tiz the Law pounced approaching the far turn and powered home to win by over four lengths.

Keep an Eye On!

Trainer Patrick Biancone will send Sole Volante up from Gulfstream off an allowance win just 10 days ago. Regular rider Luca Panici will make the trip north to ride.

After starting his career with two upset scores from far back, including a minor stakes, on the turf in South Florida last year, Sole Volante started his sophomore season with a third place finish in the one-turn mile Mucho Macho Man, a race in which he made up some ground late that was otherwise dominated towards the front end.

Sole Volante shipped across the Florida peninsula to try the G3 Sam F Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. Back around two turns, but this time on dirt, he made up over a dozen lengths to run down the favorite and power away to an over two length victory.

A month later in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby at the same 1 1/16 miles distance of the Davis, Sole Volante found himself at the mercy of a speed-biased track but still managed to make up a boatload of ground to finish second as the 3-2 betting favorite.

Last out in a money allowance contest at Gulfstream, with the help of his speedy, uncoupled barnmate, Sole Volante, under nothing more than a Panici hand-ride, rolled down the center of the course to win by a little less than a length.

Tap It to Win will be wheeling back in just 16 days from his last effort for the newest Hall of Famer, Mark Casse, who trained Sir Winston to an upset in last year’s renewal of this event.

Tap It to Win, is by Tapit, a sire who has had an amazing run in the Belmont, as one of his sons has finished first, second or third in the last five runnings.

After a second place finish on turf in his debut at Woodbine, Tap It to Win broke his maiden in his first start on dirt on the Travers undercard, with a rail-skimming run on a day where the inside WAS NOT the place to be.

Stretched out in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, Tap It to Win was rank and called it a day early when last by a long way then came back to run just as poorly in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs, his final start as a juvenile.

Casse brought Tap It to Win back in a six-furlong, entry-level allowance contest against fellow Florida-breds at Gulfstream. He sat just off the pace, made the lead on the turn, and moved away to a handy score.

In his most recent outing, going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont in an allowance contest loaded with potential talent, Tap It to Win was dismissed at 6-1 and under new rider John Velazquez, went gate-to-wire in a smashmouth performance, completing the distance in a couple of ticks shy of 1:40. The defections from this race over the past few weeks, namely the Baffert duo, should help his cause as he appears to be poised to be the speed once again.

Though an official decision hasn’t been made, it appears as if Modernist will join Tiz the Law and Max Player as the only graded stakes winners in the field for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who won this 10 years ago with Drosselmeyer.

Winless in his two starts last year, including a third place finish in a one-turn mile at Aqueduct, Modernist broke his maiden in a big way at The Big A in his first start this year when he went gate-to-wire at this distance, by four lengths.

Mott sent Modernist to the Fair Grounds for the G2 Risen Star, a race that was split into two divisions this year. Sitting just off of the pace under regular rider Junior Alvarado over a course that favored front runners, he made the lead turning for home before staving off a couple of late challengers to win in a race that went a bit slower than the earlier division.

Back to the bayou for the G2 Louisiana Derby, run this year at 1 3/16 miles, Modernist was a bit further back and this time fell victim to a speed-biased course, finishing an even third, some four lengths or so behind the front-running winner. Modernist will be making his first start off a 90-day break.

Mott has mentioned the G3 Ohio Derby a week after the Belmont as another option for Modernist but a solid breeze in company with last year’s Belmont Stakes runner up and multiple G2 winner Tacitus seems to have tilted the scales in favor of this.

Belmont Stakes
Long Shot Look?

Linda Rice will look to become the first women to saddle a Belmont Stakes winner when she sends out Max Player with a new rider in Joel Rosario, who was aboard Sir Winston last year.

After a second place finish in his debut at Parx going a two-turn mile, a race in which he closed from far back to miss by less than a length, he came back to cruise to a four-plus length victory when he sat a bit closer to the pace with the addition of blinkers over a sloppy course going the same distance.

Stretched out to the distance of this year’s race, 1 1/8 miles in his next and last start, Max Player closed from a handful of lengths off the pace to win the G3 Withers at Aqueduct. This will be his first start in 139 days.

Belmont Stakes
Projected Field Odds

2020 Belmont Stakes Odds
Horse Trainer Jockey ML Odds
Tiz The Law Barclay Tagg Manny Franco 6/5
Dr Post Todd Pletcher Irad Ortiz 4/1
Pneumatic Steven Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr. 6/1
Tap It To Win Mark E. Casse John Velazquez 10/1
Sole Volante Patrick Biancone Luca Panici 10/1
Modernist Bill Mott Junior Alvarado 12/1
Farmington Road Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 15/1
Max Player Linda Rice Joel Rosario 30/1
Jungle Runner Steve Asmussen Reylu Gutierrez 50/1

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