The mid-runners at this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes will all be long shots with goliaths like Animal Kingdom and Nehro leading the pack, but to count out any colt that has made it to this stage in his career would be a mistake.
So below is a list of the best of the rest who aren’t exactly long shots, but are far from favorite too. I have listed each horse along with their betting odds, and my pick at the bottom.
Belmont Stakes Mid Runner Odds
1. Master Of Hounds (Odds: 11-2) – After finishing fifth in the Kentucky Derby, Master Of Hounds, and his jockey Garrett Gomez will look to shock the crowd at Belmont Park. The Irish colt will have a lot to overcome in the final leg of the Triple Crown though, coming out of the 1st postposition, which can be considered a disadvantage. But Master Of Hounds does have an advantage at the spot that most wouldn’t if he gets squeezed early on: closing from the back of the pack toward the end, as he did at Churchill Downs. At 11-2 odds, it would not be a great play even if the long shot did pull out the victory around the final turn of the Triple Crown.
2. Stay Thirsty (Odds: 20-1) – Stay Thirsty will again have to prove that he can get out of a funk, having finished terribly for the second straight time finishing dead last in the Kentucky Derby. His recent go-round at Churchill Downs shows that it would be crazy to lay anything down on this horse, as he has shown time and time again that he cannot compete with Grade I horses. After being clearly overmatched in the Kentucky Derby a few weeks back, he will face similar competition this Saturday at Belmont Park.
4. Santiva (Odds: 14-1) – Santiva will be ready for the 143rd Belmont Stakes, and his preparation this past week has proven so. Out of the mid-runners, I like this horse the best. His last two races he finished ninth and sixth, but this is only his fourth race of the year, and I expect it to be a surprise to most. The sixth place placer at the Kentucky Derby has looked great in his preparation since arriving in New York on Tuesday, and I expect a top-three finish for the horse.
5. Brilliant Speed (Odds: 14-1) – Brilliant Speed has yet to prove that he can succeed on a dirt track, but he will have one more chance at Belmont Park. The distance of the race should not be an issue for Brilliant Speed, but that doesn’t quite add up to a win. Trainer Tom Albertrani will have his hands full, as Brilliant Speed will match up against his toughest competition of the year during this final race of the Triple Crown. Brilliant Speed’s jockey, Joel Rosario, is one of the best, but will also have his work cut out for him as he will try to get rid of the “synthetic surface specialist” label that Brilliant Speed has earned throughout his career.
My Mid Runner Betting Pick – The favorite out of this group has to be Master Of Hounds, but don’t count Santiva out. I wouldn’t expect either Stay Thirsty or Brilliant Speed to be in contention at Belmont, but with mid-runners, there can always be a surprise.