In a decision that isn’t surprising at all, Justify is the 4/5 favorite in 2018 Belmont Stakes odds. The curious part about this is that he’s also emerging from the inside post, alongside the rail. Considering that he’s overcome sloppy conditions twice, a dense field of very talented rivals and crazy fog in the Preakness, it’s hard to imagine a bad draw impacting Justify this coming weekend.
Perhaps the biggest surprise comes in the form of the second choice. Hofburg is the 9/2 second choice after a 7th place finish in the Kentucky Derby. He’s been marked as a late bloomer – so there’s that – and his training has been flat out great, but it’s still a curious place considering the other options on the board. Granted, I’ve been wrong before with this analysis as I incorrectly assessed Tenfold (12/1 in 2018 Belmont Stakes odds) ahead of the Preakness as well.
Bravazo comes in at 8/1 alongside Vino Rosso, and I think it’s blasphemous. If any horse has continually outperformed his expectations, it’s Bravazo. What more does this horse have to do? The major blemish on his record is that forgettable Louisiana Derby performance where he drifted to 8th place. Since then he finished a respectable 6th at the derby and was the runner-up at the Preakness Stakes. It’s impossible to completely trust him given how the oddsmakers slight him, but a standalone place bet with those odds seems apt.
Also seemingly in the mix is a fan favorite. Gronkowski is finally making his Triple Crown debut after battling mild illness following his migration from the United Kingdom. The big, burly and exciting prospect is being handed a 12/1 mark in 2018 Belmont Stakes odds and is an irresistible flier play on name value alone. I’m a sucker for these types of things.
Free Drop Billy, Noble Indy and Restoring Hope are the longshots on the board.
Also in play is Blended Citizen, the 2018 Peter Pan winner, who is being gifted 15/1 odds of his own and shares intrigue along the lines of Hofburg.
What makes the 2018 Belmont Stakes odds so interesting is that there is truly no, clear cut second choice despite the presence of Hofburg. Any – if not all – of your exotic plays should involve Justify in some form or another, and a hedge on him to win outright seems like the smart strategy. He’s too talented and the hope of winning a straight bet on a Triple Crown champion is too juicy of a memory to pass up. But there’s a smattering of alternative choices here that could spoil the party. Amongst the outsiders, Bravazo and Gronkowski seem to be garnering the most traction but this is truly a “pick your poison” type of affair.
No matter where you play, do not miss out on the chance to witness history in the making. NBC will begin coverage at 4pm, with additional coverage throughout the weekend on NBCSN, while TwinSpiresTV will also be broadcasting the action alongside a wager pad which allows you to place bets, track the odds and view all the incredible action from Belmont Park this Saturday afternoon.
2018 Belmont Stakes Odds and Posts – Saturday, June 9th at Belmont Park
1 1/2 Miles – 3 Year Olds – $1,500,000
|1||Justify (KY)||Mike E. Smith||126||Bob Baffert||4/5|
|2||Free Drop Billy (KY)||Robby Albarado||126||Dale L. Romans||30/1|
|3||Bravazo (KY)||Luis Saez||126||D. Wayne Lukas||8/1|
|4||Hofburg (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||126||William I. Mott||9/2|
|5||Restoring Hope (KY)||Florent Geroux||126||Bob Baffert||30/1|
|6||Gronkowski (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||126||Chad C. Brown||12/1|
|7||Tenfold (KY)||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||126||Steven M. Asmussen||12/1|
|8||Vino Rosso (KY)||John R. Velazquez||126||Todd A. Pletcher||8/1|
|9||Noble Indy (KY)||Javier Castellano||126||Todd A. Pletcher||30/1|
|10||Blended Citizen (KY)||Kyle Frey||126||Doug F. O’Neill||15/1|