Picking Ponies: Picking Winners at the Belmont

Tyler Vaysman

The Belmont Stakes is one of racing’s finest events, but who takes it all in the third leg of the Triple Crown gamut?

The Belmont Stakes is horse racing’s oldest leg of the Triple Crown, but despite the fact there is no Triple Crown thoroughbred to make history, there is still a horse racing to make it a double, with War of Will racing for what would be his second consecutive win after crossing the wire at the Preakness Stakes in stunning fashion. While most casual observers of horse racing are aware of the Belmont Stakes, there are several more races to keep in mind during the day. Aside from the main event, here are a few horses to keep an eye on.

The Main Event: The Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes are the oldest event of the Triple Crown, and the event deserves its recognition and prestige for good reason. With a purse of $1,500,000 in this years race, $800,000 of which will go to the winning mount and its team of trainers, owners, and of course, the jockey. When analyzing this year’s race, it’s hard to overlook the two frontrunners, War of Will and Tacitus, the favorite of the two.

After Country House’s controversial win when Maximum Security was disqualified from victory in the Kentucky Derby, War of Will earned a quiet place finish in the background, an incredibly respectable finish for a Kentucky-bred colt of his caliber. After placing in the Derby, War of Will went on to win the Preakness convincingly, making him what many would think to be the favorite.

But racing aficionados know that Tacitus is just as capable of a dominating win. War of Will will be breaking alongside the favored Tacitus on the outside post, War of Will getting 9 and Tacitus getting 10, respectively.

While War of Will spent a lot of time running on the inside during the Preakness, his trainer, Mark Casse, has noted that he is not concerned with the outside post given that there are really no bad post positions in the Belmont.

It should be noted that out of the last three Belmont Stakes, a son of Tapit has won. Three of Tapit’s offspring — Tacitus, Intrepid Heard, and Bourbon War — will all be running for a chance to make daddy proud, and also, have him tie the Belmont record for most sired winners.

Tacitus is a worthy favorite, but it’s likely War of Will can give him a run for his money. Don’t count out other runners like Tax or Intrepid Heart. If neither favorite shows up, expect one of the two to have a chance at shocking the world.

Keep These Winners in Mind


While most bettors will be fixated on Tacitus, they won’t be thinking about the horse that placed behind him in his solid finish at the Tampa Bay Derby. Outshine will be running in Race Three, the Easy Goer Stakes. Outshine should be highly respected despite just coming up short against the likes of the Belmont Stakes’ favorite, and certainly deserves a win or place bet in this spot.

Come Dancing

In Race Five, the Ogden Phipps, keep an eye on this mount, which would make it three graded stakes victories in a row. With the only threat in this contest being Midnight Bisou, barring an unthinkable upset, you can even play both in an exacta box or take either to win or place straight-up.

Jaipur Invitational

World of Trouble will look to dominate the pace in this turf dash, and there is no doubt he is capable of doing it. Few horses in this field will be able to match his tempo, and assuming he is able to lead the herd and maintain his stamina, there’s no reason why this isn’t a lock-it-up winner.

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