Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes attracted 8 entrants, including Preakness winner Rombauer, at today’s post position draw for the final jewel in the 2021 Triple Crown. The Belmont Stakes will be Race 11 on a 13-race card that begins at 11:35 am ET. Post time for the main event will be 6:49 pm ET.
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The balanced Belmont field lacks a clear-cut favorite, though Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher and beaten chalk Essential Quality (post 2) is expected to start as the public choice. He’s the 2-1 morning line favorite. Hot Rod Charlie (post 4), third in the Derby, and Rombauer (post 3) also will attract attention.
The pace of the Belmont Stakes figures to come from Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World, who starts from post 7. He and Hot Rod Charlie appear the most naturally gifted speed horses in this mile and one-half contest. Rock Your World's draw outside of Hot Rod Charlie may be advantageous if they choose to press. But you’d expect Rock Your World to be sent from the outside, clear and cross over under Joel Rosario. Either way, that pair should set the table with Essential Quality just off the first flight and Rombauer in mid-pack. Both of those pursuers are well-drawn to save ground into the first of a pair of expansive turns.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, a 3-time Belmont winner (2007, 2013, 2017) sends out three in the field, led by Curlin Florida Derby champ Known Agenda (post 6), along with Wood Memorial upsetter Bourbonic (post 1) and local Peter Pan third Overtook (post 8). Known Agenda may be the more tactical of the trio and figures to be midflight under the nation’s 3-time reigning champion jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
The international flavor of this Belmont Stakes includes France Go De Ina (post 5), the Japanese-based colt who finished seventh in the Preakness. UAE Derby winner Rebel’s Romance, who has been training in New York for several weeks, was forced to drop out of the Belmont on Tuesday just prior to entries, due to a leg infection.
No one has you covered for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes like our team at 1/ST. Be sure to download the Belmont Stakes Wager Guide, which will be updated Thursday with exclusive 1/ST BET app artificial intelligence selections, workout analysis and expert handicappers coast to coast.
The field for the 153rd Belmont Stakes (with jockeys & NYRA track morning line odds):
#1. Bourbonic (Kendrick Carmouche) 15-1
#2. Essential Quality (Luis Saez) 2-1
#3. Rombauer (John Velazquez) 3-1
#4. Hot Rod Charlie (Flavien Prat) 7-2
#5. France Go De Ina (Ricardo Santana Jr.) 30-1
#6. Known Agenda (Irad Ortiz Jr.) 6-1
#7. Rock Your World (Joel Rosario) 9-2
#8. Overtook (Manny Franco) 20-1