Best Odds and Horses to Bet on the 2018 Belmont Stakes
Come the 2018 Belmont Stakes, the best offshore sportsbooks won’t be hard-pressed to justify their love for Justify. The chestnut colt won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. As a result, he could become the first Triple Crown winner since American Pharoah in 2015. When Justify first started racing, it seemed as if he was all alone in the track. He won the 2018 Maiden Special Weight in February by 9½ lengths. He then won the 2018 Allowance Optional Claiming in March by 6½ lengths. Justify started to feel the heat in the 2018 Santa Anita Derby in April. He won that one by three lengths. He then proceeded to win the Derby and the Preakness by 2½ and ½ lengths respectively. It doesn’t take a math wiz to the law of diminishing returns is applying to his margins of victory.
Justify won’t be racing alone either on June 9th at Belmont Park in New York. Nonetheless, he remains the odds-on favorite to win the Test of the Champion. Not a little of that has to do with Bob Baffert, his trainer. As you may recall, Baffert also trained Pharoah. Moreover, Baffert is expected to put Justify on a similar training regime. This regime includes training at Churchill Downs before shipping to New York a few days prior to the Belmont Stakes.
Justify followed the same m.o. at both the Derby and the Preakness. He broke well on both races, allowing him to set the pace. This strategy has served him well considering the close finishes in both contests. That was especially true at the Preakness, which featured a blanket finish. There, Justify posted his lowest Beyer Speed Figure (97). Baffert ain’t sweating that, though. If anything, it makes him more confident. “You can’t bring it all the time,” he said. “This will set him up for the next one.” It is worth noting Justify didn’t run as a two-year old. That makes his achievements all the more impressive.
The next-best candidate for the best offshore sportsbooks is Bravazo. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained horse almost ensured there would be no Triple Crown winner. He lost the Preakness Stakes to Justify, in the words of Maxwell Smart, “by that much.” He could still rain on Justify’s parade, though. “The secret to training racehorses is to be able to read the horse, figure out what he needs or doesn’t need,” Lukas said. So he’s more of a Horse Reader than a Horse Whisperer. At least he doesn’t read to the horse, which would be plain weird. Though a reading of Black Beauty could presumably inspire Bravazo to win the Belmont Stakes.
Next in line at the best online sportsbook sites would be Tenfold. Tenfold finished third at the Preakness behind Justify and Bravazo. It was, however, a moral victory, all things considered. The loss by a total of three-quarters of a length is the closest a Winchell-owned colt has been to a win in a Triple Crown. “We were third with Gun Runner,” Winchell Thoroughbreds’ racing and bloodstock manager David Fiske said. “But he wasn’t a homebred, and [Tenfold] is. And three-quarters of a length, that’s pretty close.”
Finally, for now, there is Hofburg. He went 1:13.43 in six furlongs on the Oklahoma training track on Friday. According to Hall of Famer Bill Mott, this allows him to give it his “best shot” at the Belmont Stakes. For Mott and Hofburg, and other horses and trainers, the goal is not so much to win, but that Justify loses. “We have a lot of respect for Justify, but on the same token, we don’t want to hand him the Belmont on a silver platter. If he wins it, we’re going to make him work for it,” Mott said.
Odds taken from MyBookie Sportsbook.