The Triple Crown of horse racing will not be achieved in 2017, but that doesn't mean the Belmont Stakes will be ignored by horse race bettors.
The 149th running of the race will take place Saturday June 10th, and both the Kentucky Derby Winner, Always Dreaming, and Preakness Stakes Winner, Cloud Computing, will bypass the third of the big three races.
Belmont Stakes betting has installed Preakness Stakes' runner-up Classic Empire as the de facto favorite.
Without the other two horses running, online bookies have placed Classic Empire at 2/1 odds.
Classic Empire finished fourth and second, respectively, in the last two races; making him online bookies favorite.
Second favorite, Epicharis (19/4), didn't run either the Kentucky Derby nor the Preakness Stakes.
Jockey Christopher Lemaire's horse will be fresh, which could allow him to beat the competition.
Meanwhile, Belmont Stakes betting sees Lookin' at Lee at 5/1 following his second place Kentucky Derby and fourth place Preakness finishes.
5 Belmont Stakes Betting Trends
- Classic Empire, despite not winning either previous Triple Crown race, is attempting to come back on short rest following the first two legs of the crown.
It will have been five weeks since the Kentucky Derby when the race starts on Saturday. And only three horses in 15 years have run both the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and then won the Belmont Stakes.
The 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was the last to do it. Can Classic Empire win the race?
He is at 2/1 odds, but history over the last decade and a half doesn't make it look likely that a win will take place.
Online bookies may want to set max betting limits on Classic Empire, but that
- Trainer Todd Pletcher has two horses running in the Belmont Stakes: Tapwrit (13/2) and Patch (18/1). Pletcher has trained two previous winners in 2007's Rags to Riches and 2013's Palace Malice.
Both horses ran the Kenucky Derby, but not the Preakness Stakes. Online bookies should see these horses as possible underdogs, but be aware that some horse race bettors will over bet on the two.
- Since the 2005 winner, Afleet Alex ($4.30), took top prize, only one other Belmont Stakes betting favorite has won the race.
That happened in 2015 with American Pharoah paying $3.50.
- American Pharoah was the last Belmont Stakes winner to run in the Preakness Stakes as well.
Only four of Belmont's previous 18 winners have run the second leg of the Triple Crown. Fatigue has played a factor in deciding the race.
- In 2002, horse race bettors received the best exacta payoff from the Belmont Stakes. Sarava (70-1) finished ahead of Medaglia d'Oro (16-1). The $2 exacta paid $2,454.
Keep an eye out for a lightly-run horse by the name of Twisted Tom (12/1). What's so special about this horse?
His trainer is Chad Brown, the same man who trained Preakness Stakes winner Cloud Computing.
The 2017 Belmont Stakes could be the redemption that Classic Empire is looking for.
However, with two jewels of the Triple Crown ran already, a fresh horse could surprise everyone, even online bookies.
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