Belmont Stakes Picks to Win and Longshots: Our Staff’s Best Bets and Sleepers for the First Triple Crown Race
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- The 152nd Belmont Stakes will run on Saturday afternoon at 5:42 p.m. ET (TV: NBC), and No. 8 Tiz the Law is the 6-5 favorite.
- He's followed by No. 2 Sole Volante (9-2), No. 9 Dr. Post (5-1) and No. 1 Tap It To Win (6-1).
- Below you'll find our staff's picks to win the race, including an array of favorites and longshots, and odds for all 10 horses in the field.
The 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes is set to take place on Saturday, June 20 at 5:42 p.m. ET on NBC.
At the time of writing, the field is set for 10 horses with No. 8 Tiz the Law (6-5) expected to be an odds-on favorite by the time the horses get into the gate.
While Tiz the Law will be the horse to beat, there are a couple of contenders in the field including No. 1 Tap It To Win (6-1), No. 2 Sole Volante (9-2) and No. 9 Dr. Post (5-1).
Should you build your card around Tiz the Law? Or should you try and beat him? And which longshots in this field are worth playing, either to win or underneath in your exotics?
Our experts try to answer those questions with their favorite win-bets and longshots for the 2020 Belmont Stakes:
2020 Belmont Stakes Best Bets
Belmont Stakes Win Bets
No 1. Tap It To Win (6-1)
If you want a horse with upside who could either wire this field with the one-turn configuration or fall flat after setting the early fractions, Tap It To Win could be the “now” horse.
He recorded a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in an allowance race just 16 days ago, which matches up with the best in this field, and he has the type of early speed that typically plays well on the Belmont track.
A major class hike is a significant concern, but if he improves in the third start of his form cycle, he could be difficult to catch in the stretch run.
Pick: No. 1 Tap It to win (6-1)
No. 9 Dr. Post (5-1)
After one try early in his two-year-old season right here at Belmont last year, Dr. Post went to the sidelines for eight months so that he could continue to grow and mature.
Dr. Post was back in action in March, winning at first asking at Gulfstream and posting a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. Trainer Todd Pletcher stretched him out in his next start, where Dr. Post won against non-graded stakes company at Gulfstream.
The latter race showed how talented Dr. Post really is as he had nowhere to go and was stuck between horses in the stretch, but once he had daylight he had a swift kick that got him home first.
This is clearly a step up in class for Dr. Post, but Pletcher has three Belmont Stakes wins to his name and jockey Irad Oritz Jr. has won 14 of 46 mounts during this Belmont meet.
Look for Dr. Post to be just off the pace with Tiz the Law. Whoever has the bigger kick from there will win and with Dr. Post coming into the prime of his three-year-old form, compared to Tiz the Law, Dr. Post has a chance to prevail.
Pick: No. 9 Dr. Post (5-1)
No. 8 Tiz the Law (6-5)
The biggest mistake anyone could make when handicapping this race is overanalyzing the field. And picking anyone other than morning-line favorite Tiz The Law would be doing just that.
The dual Grade I winner is the class of this very weak field and will have his way in the opening leg of the Triple Crown series. Trainer Barclay Tagg has sent his colt out twice so far this year, with both races coming after extremely long layoffs, much like this start in the Belmont. On both occasions, he bossed the opposition en route to winning the Grade III Holy Bull and Grade I Florida Derby.
Tiz The Law drew the No. 8 post for the race, which is going to allow jockey Manny Franco to put him in his usual position stalking the pace before launching his attack turning for home.
I am confident Tiz The Law wins the Belmont by open lengths.
Pick: No. 8 Tiz the Law (6-5)
Belmont Stakes Longshots
No. 10 Pneumatic (8-1)
This lightly raced son of Uncle Mo was less than two lengths behind Maxfield, who was at one point the Kentucky Derby favorite, in a graded stakes race at Churchill Downs on May 23.
It’s also worth noting that trainer Steve Asmussen also has Jungle Runner entered in the Belmont Stakes as a likely rabbit, similar to his setup for the late-running Creator when he won the 2016 Belmont Stakes.
The betting public is largely focusing on Sole Volante as the deep closer to hit the board, but Pneumatic could be sitting on the best race of his career, and his stablemate may give him an honest pace set up on the long backstretch run.
Pick: No. 10 Pneumatic (8-1)
No. 4 Modernist (15-1)
My favorite longshot play in this field is Modernist.
I highly doubt that come post time we will see him at 15-1, but nonetheless you will still get a good price.
Modernist most recently finished third in the Lousiana Derby after being caught wide for most of the race. While he will need to step up from that effort his Beyer Speed Figures have continually improved in each of his three-year-old races and he is 2-for-2 at this distance.
Jockey Junior Alvardo, who has ridden Modernist in each of his five career starts, has been hot during the current meet Belmont meet, winning 18% of his mounts.
Trainer Bill Mott is not known for pushing his horses in the morning so seeing his most recent 5F workout in 59 seconds, a bullet, tells me he’s ready to go.
Pick: No. 4 Modernist (15-1)
No. 5 Farmington Road (15-1)
The quality of this field leaves a lot to be desired and you can’t poke too many holes in Tiz the Law, but I will try.
What concerns me about the favorite are weak company lines and his last performance, which I thought was awfully dull and lacked explosion.
In fact, I take issue with the speed rating given to his last performance over what is always a fast Gulfstream Park track. He covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:50 flat while Farmington ran faster than that in his last two outings, at a generally slower Oaklawn Park track, and one of them was in the slop!
I think the last race demonstrates that this horse is very vulnerable in this race so I’m just generally against him. I’ll take my shot with Farmington Road.
Pick: No. 5 Farmington Road (15-1)
No. 4 Modernist (15-1)
If you are looking for a live long shot, Modernist is your horse. The Grade II Risen Star winner is flying under the radar, but has been working well for trainer Bill Mott.
He was a solid third in the Grade II Louisiana Derby in his most recent start, but I am giving him a pass due to the fact he broke from the 14th post and had to work overtime in the first quarter to get himself in position to have any chance at finishing in the money.
Modernist is very similar to Tiz The Law in terms of tactics, so I anticipate those two sitting right off pacesetters Fore Left and Tap It Win.
Like Franco, jockey Junior Alvarado is a regular rider on the New York circuit and knows his way around “Big Sandy,” which is a big advantage in my opinion. The only question is whether he can out-kick Tiz The Law coming down the lane. Definitely worth a shot to pull the upset.
Pick: No. 4 Modernist (15-1)
2020 Belmont Stakes Odds
|1||Tap It To Win||6-1|
|8||Tiz the Law||6-5|