The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the Triple Crown races, and at 1 1/2 miles on the dirt, is a dinosaur with so few main track events carded at twelve furlongs these days. With the short five week span for three gruelling races under scale weight of 126 pounds over three very different tracks and three different distances, it takes a very special horse sweep the series. So much so that only eleven horses have completed the task, and the last one, Affirmed, was back in 1978. When Shackleford held off Animal Kingdom in the Preakness, that ended the possibility of a Triple Crown winner in 2010, but unlike last year, we will have the much-anticipated "rubber match" on Saturday.
Thanks to injuries, poor performance in preps, or just plain lack of ability at the distance, the Belmont often gets a short field of horses. While traffic trouble, a major issue in the Derby, shouldn't be an issue here, once again 3-year-olds are being asked to do something they've never done and conditioning will be key. Major factors which separate the likely winners of the Belmont are weighed out in this analysis, as we did for the Derby and Preakness fields.
Like the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, we have compiled some of the more profitable angles used to select a Belmont Stakes winner in recent years, and applied them to the possible entrants. Some novice horseplayers mistakenly believe a long race immediately favors closers when in fact the Belmont favors stalkers. As well, the 4.00 Dosage Index angle is stronger in the Belmont than in the Derby where it's mostly used, but as you might expect, the cutoff is dropped to 3.00 for this stamina test as only 5 winners in 25 years (the last being Sarava in 2002) had a higher DI.
Below are the contenders we analyzed in order of preference. The contenders selected are the ones who are confirmed or likely to enter as of today. Always remember that this profile is for the winning position only and any horse can still finish in the money. You can view the past performances of these horses free at DRF.
The first 2 horses scored equal points and are listed alphabetically:
Animal Kingdom tied for top ranking in this year's Belmont analysis. He comes to New York off his close second in the Preakness after winning the Derby, earning him a sharp prep in a preferred race, 3 weeks out. His dosage index is under 3, he has run triple digit Beyers twice, has won a stakes race this year, and has enough starts as a 3-year-old. His only knocks are a lack of foundation at two (just 2 starts) and his off-the-pace running style.
Mucho Macho Man tied with the Derby winner for top ranking this year. He qualifies on dosage, number of starts at 2 and 3, has a stakes win this year (the Risen Star), and coming from the Preakness he will run on 3 week's rest. On the downside his 6th place finish at Pimlico was not a sharp prep, and he has yet to run a 100+ Beyer figure.
Stay Thirsty finished a disappointing 12th in the Kentucky Derby, not a sharp prep, and is running on 5 weeks rest. As well he has a top Beyer of 89. He does have enough starts this year and last, won the Gotham this year, stalks the pace, and qualifies on Dosage.