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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

GETTING READY FOR THE CLASSIC MILE AND A HALF CHAMPION’S TEST

By HRI Foreign Staff — The conclusion of this year’s Triple Crown will take place on Saturday, June 11, from Belmont Park, when the 2022 Belmont Stakes closes out the prestigious horse racing spectacular.

Will This Year’s Belmont Stakes Crown a Divisional Champion?

Are we going to bear witness to three Triple Crown races with a different winner? Or can the 80-to-1 underdog Rich Strike shock the world yet again?

The Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is expected to race in Belmont Stakes, but Early Voting, who claimed first place at Preakness Stakes, is unlikely to return, with the potential of complete retirement.

The highly touted Epicenter couldn’t deliver his supporters a first-place winning ticket. Still, Steven Asmussen trained 3-year-old placed second at both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, showing his true worth as a top contender. With that said, and although he hasn’t been completely discarded from the race, owner Ron Winchell commented that it’d be a “stretch” if Epicenter competes at the third and final race on the Triple Crown calendar.

In light of our early news, let’s look at the horses we believe will boast a significant presence at Belmont Park alongside the current betting odds.

2022 Early Belmont Stakes Odds

Mo Donegal [5-2]

We The People [7-2]

Rich Strike [5-1]

Creative Minister [6-1]

Nest [8-1]

Ethereal Road [10-1]

Skippylongstocking [13-1]

Barber Road [14-1]

Golden Glider [20-1]

Kuchar [33-1] 

Rich Strike has undoubtedly come a long way since he arrived in Louisville, from an 80-1 winning price tag at the Kentucky Derby to a 5-1, 4th placed favorite at Belmont.

Caesars New York sportsbooks will undoubtedly receive a significantly higher number of tickets on Rich Strike than they did during the Triple Crown opener, but we must remember, oddsmakers didn’t undervalue Rich Strike; it was merely his coming out party. The likes of Kuchar, Golden Glider, and Barber Road are the least likely to win Belmont, but every horse competing in this race owns the potential to be a star.

Rich Strike [5-1]

Rich Strike was dripping with betting value heading into the Kentucky Derby, but those expecting to receive the same price tag at Belmont will be sadly mistaken.

After powering through the field to win the Run for the Roses on May 7, it’s no surprise that Rich Strike is now among the favorites for the last leg of the Triple Crown in Belmont. Trained by Eric Reed, this colt has placed in the top three from five of his previous seven appearances, and it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see him place once again.

Rich Strike missed the Preakness, so his legs are well-rested, and he’s had more than enough time to prepare for the Belmont.

A Victory Would Not Shock Observers This Time Around

Creative Minister [6-1]

Creative Minister collected his invitation to the Preakness Stakes after a notable performance on the undercard at Churchill Downs.

The 3-year-old arrived at Pimlico Racecourse, and although success wasn’t obtainable, he placed third behind Early Voting and Epicenter. With both of those horses absent from Belmont, Creative Minister is not only a viable horse to be entered, but he owns the attributes to be an outsider capable of winning it all.

Experience is undoubtedly a factor, but Creative Minister finished in 1st or 2nd during his first three career starts, and I give him a great chance of placing in the top three at Belmont.

Mo Donegal [5-2]

Mo Donegal is the betting favorite for a reason. Despite this position on the betting table failing to achieve success in the Triple Crown series thus far, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt boasts three first place and two third-place finishes from his first five career runs.

We last saw Mo Donegal in Louisville, where he finished in 5th place behind a group of highly talented horses. Despite failing to place at the Kentucky Derby, those legs have been rested as the 3-year-old wasn’t entered into the Preakness.

Mo Donegal is experienced on the Belmont course, having already picked up a first and third-place finish here in 2021. Of course, Rich Strike and company aren’t going to hand him an easy race, but if he gets off to a strong start, it isn’t easy to envision any other horse outclassing his combined pace and experience.

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One Response

  1. “The Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is expected to race in Belmont Stakes, but Early Voting, who claimed first place at Preakness Stakes, is unlikely to return, with the potential of complete retirement.” Complete retirement?????? And another one leaves before we really ever learned just how good he really might be. So miss the days when the best of the best stayed around for their four year old campaigns. The trend now turning to the exit ramp before even the start of the summer of their three year old campaigns.

    “Money, money, money, show me the money.” Sad for the sport.

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