The final leg of the Triple Crown is here in the form of Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Unfortunately, there will not be a Triple Crown winner, which takes some of the excitement out of the race. The positive news is that it leaves a wide-open field of eight horses, and from a betting standpoint it’s an ideal situation. There is not a heavy favorite, and realistically one could make a case for the majority of the field having a chance. There are some horses returning from their last outing in the Kentucky Derby, while Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer will also be a serious contender. Despite not having a possible Triple Crown winner, we’ll be analyzing and breaking down all the odds and finding the best Belmont Stakes betting picks and predictions, as well as some exotics, longshots, trifectas and exacta box horse racing picks.
2021 Belmont Stakes Expert Betting Picks and Preview
The big thing to note about the Belmont Stakes is the distance of a mile and a half. That is longer than both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and it’s a distance most horses are unfamiliar with. This brings in more strategy, as keeping reasonable fractions up front and making sure there is enough left for the long stretch run are crucial to success.
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Belmont Stakes: Saturday, June 5 | 6:47 p.m. ET
Let’s dive into the field and break down who presents the best betting options.
- Bourbonic 15-1
- Essential Quality 2-1
- Rombauer 3-1
- Hot Rod Charlie 7-2
- France Go De Ina 30-1
- Known Agenda 6-1
- Rock Your World 9-2
- Overtook 20-1
This is a pretty wide-open field, and even with just eight horses there are reasonable prices across the board. Essential Quality sits as the 2-1 favorite right now, but those odds can and will change as more money is wagered.
Need help making your Belmont Stakes betting picks? Horse racing betting expert Ben Rasa is joined by Josh Engleman in a ConTENders video to give you the ultimate Preakness betting guide with picks, predictions and best bets to make.
Essential Quality (2-1) was the favorite in the Kentucky Derby and after a respectable fourth-place finish is the likely post time favorite here. Luis Saez is aboard once again, and Essential Quality should have a much easier time navigating a field of eight as opposed to all the traffic from the Kentucky Derby. He should be able to handle the longer distance, and the only thing to knock is the price. He can be thrown into exactas and trifectas, but the 2-1 is not ideal.
Rock Your World (9-2) is another Kentucky Derby horse who was a non-factor in the race finishing 17th. That race is a complete throw away, as he was bumped at the start and was never able to get to the front like he wants to. With only seven other horses here, jockey Joel Rosario will have him in a much better position and he could be the pace setter. The distance could be a question mark, but if he gets to the lead alone, this easily could be a wire-to-wire winner.
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Longshots to Watch
Known Agenda (6-1) is not a true longshot, but this is a horse that can win this race. Known Agenda was a trendy Derby pick until he drew the No. 1 post, which really hurt his chances. He ultimately finished ninth, but similar to Rock Your World, that’s an easy result to forgive. Looking at what he did in the win at the Florida Derby is much more important and we can draw on that here. In that race, Known Agenda registered a 112 speed figure and was getting stronger as the race went on. That type of closing speed will be fantastic here, as the additional distance sets up for that type of run. Todd Pletcher trains and Irad Ortiz is aboard so all the connections check out and unlike Essential Quality we are getting a very reasonable 6-1 odds.
Belmont Stakes Winner: Known Agenda 6-1
Known Agenda will benefit from the added distance more than anyone else. Both Essential Quality and Rock Your World may have more talent, but depending on what the situation looks like for the pace setters, this could unfold perfectly for Known Agenda. Add in that he is at a much better price at 6-1 than the 2-1 on the favorite, and it’s a worthwhile risk to take. Bettors also can and probably should mix and match with some of the favorites, especially in the exotics.
Belmont Stakes Exotics
If you want to bet some exotics, which means things like picking the first- and second-place finishers (exacta) or first, second and third (trifecta), you will have opportunities for big payouts because these are much harder to hit and have much longer odds.
Exacta Box: Known Agenda with Rock Your World with Essential Quality
Obviously Known Agenda is one of the recommendations as the pick to win the race, and he adds a much-needed price horse into the mix. Depending on risk tolerance and bankroll, one can add a number of horses in, but the other priority is Rock Your World. He has the best chance of taking this wire to wire. Adding in Essential Quality is conservative as the betting favorite, but with a good price on Known Agenda, it is OK to eat the chalk there. Overall, it’s a wide-open race that could produce quality payouts especially if Known Agenda is able to get the job done at 6-1.
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