Belmont Stakes: Contenders and Predictions

The 2023 Belmont Stakes will be Race 12 on June 10th at Belmont Park. Post time is set for 6:02 PM CT. This Grade I race is one and 1/2 miles and has a purse of $1,500,000. There are nine horses in the field this year. Last year’s winner was Mo Donegal.

Let’s take a look at the field.

Forte was supposed to be the Kentucky Derby favorite before being scratched. He has not raced since but as last year’s Breeder’s Cup Juvenile winner and the winner of the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, he deserves to be the favorite here. Forte prefers to run late and the added length of the one and a half mile Belmont Stakes should help him.

Angel of Empire returns off a 3rd place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

Red Route One comes off a 4th place finish in the Preakness. He likes to sit off the pace and should be a horse who will continue to run late if some horses tire with the added distance. He just hasn’t shown the closing speed to actually win.

Tapit Trice is known for having terrible breaks out of the gate. He recovered in the Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass Stakes to go on to win. But in the Kentucky Derby his bad start meant there were too many horses to be stuck behind to recover. With only eight other horses in this field it’s not quite as important, but something that drops him down in my rankings.

National Treasure comes in off the Preakness win in what was a very slow paced Preakness. He should be one of the speed horses here, but the lead is more difficult to hold on to during the long stretch in the Belmont.

Arcangelo deserves a look. He shouldn’t be too far off the pace and has a late a late kick that could surprise here. He comes off a win in the Peter Pans in his last.

Hit Show drew the rail in the Kentucky Derby and didn’t get much of a shot. He should be near the pace, but hasn’t shown the closing kick of some of the others in his past races.

Tapit Shoes has just one win over five career starts, but is coming off a speed figure in a 2nd place finish in the Bath House that could content with this field. He should press National Treasure for the lead.

Il Miracolo finished 6th in the Florida Derby two starts back and did win an optional claiming race in his last but is clearly the weakest horse in the field.

I’ve ran the Belmont Stakes 1,000 times in simulations. Below are the results of those races.

Quick Wrap and Betting Strategies

Most Likely to Win: 6 Forte

My Bet: 3/6/8 Exacta Box

Superfecta: 6-8-2/3/9-2/3/9

Long Shot: 3 Arcangelo (8-1), 9 Red Route One (15-1)

I’m hoping Tapit Shoes will challenge National Treasure early, setting up a run for Forte Arcangelo and Angel of Empire late. With none of these horses running this far before there is some questions and I like to side with the best late runners in that scenario.

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