Belmont Stakes 2023: Lack of pace helps National Treasure

Rowan Ward
By , Updated on: Jun 5, 2023 08:00 PM
Belmont Stakes 2023: Lack of pace helps National Treasure

The third and final jewel of the Triple Crown, the 2023 Belmont Stakes, is coming up at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on Saturday, June 10. The 1 ½-mile race draws the best three-year-old colts in the country for their toughest challenge yet. However, the spoils are rich: $1.5 million, and the knowledge that your horse passed the Test of the Champion.

The spoils are rich for horseplayers, too. With the distance and the testing surface, the Belmont Stakes is also one of the betting races at Belmont Park. This year’s field will live up to that excitement. From champion Forte to Kentucky Derby favorite Angel of Empire to Preakness winner National Treasure, the challenge of handicapping the Belmont is real, and the payouts will be great.

National Treasure To win the Belmont Stakes

Keep reading to find out the best horses to play in the race, and the best places for betting the Belmont Stakes online!

Belmont Morning Line Odds

These are the official entrants for the 2023 Belmont Stakes, along with their post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning line odds:

  1. Tapit Shoes (Brad Cox/Jose Ortiz) - 20/1
  2. Tapit Trice (Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez) - 3/1
  3. Arcangelo (Jena Antonucci/Javier Castellano) - 8/1
  4. National Treasure (Bob Baffert/John Velazquez) - 5/1
  5. Il Miracolo (Antonio Sano/Marcos Meneses) - 30/1
  6. Forte (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz) - 5/2
  7. Hit Show (Brad Cox/Manuel Franco) - 10/1
  8. Angel of Empire (Brad Cox/Flavien Prat) - 7/2
  9. Red Route One (Steve Asmussen/Joel Rosario) - 15/1

Keep in mind that, if you bet at the track or an OTB, you are not guaranteed the morning line: it is just the track’s best estimate for post time prices. The odds will change all the way until the gates spring open.

The best bet is to play the Belmont Stakes online. Online sportsbooks not only offer the convenience of betting the race anywhere, but they offer fixed odds wagering on major horse races. That way, you can lock in the best prices on your Belmont Stakes pick, and be confident that you know what you’ll collect when your horse wins.

The odds for major Belmont Stakes contenders at top online sportsbooks are below:

Angel of Empire+350+350+350
Tapit Trice+400+300+350
National Treasure+600+500+600
Hit Show+1000+1000+1200

Belmont Stakes Online Betting

Taking a few minutes now to choose where to bet the Belmont Stakes online can pay huge dividends on race day and all year long. There are many options for horse racing and sports betting online, but our expert reviews of the best online sports betting sites will make your decision easy.

All of our recommended sites offer market-leading odds, trusted payouts, and great user interfaces. Our reviews also help you make sense of the deposit bonuses, referral benefits, and horse racing rebates that can help you supercharge your bankroll on Belmont day, and all year long!

These are the best sites for betting the Belmont Stakes online:

Belmont Handicapping

Now that you have your betting account set up, it is time to handicap the Belmont Stakes.

Belmont Park Handicapping Tips

Belmont Park is not structured like most American dirt tracks. Instead of being eight or nine furlongs around like most major American dirt tracks, the course at Belmont is a full mile and a half around. This means jockeys who are not used to riding it can run the risk of moving too early, underestimating the size of the far turn or the length of the stretch run.

Many of the jockeys riding in this year’s Belmont Stakes are quite experienced over the course. The three leading jockeys at the current Belmont meet have calls in the Belmont: the leading rider into Belmont week, Jose Ortiz, rides Tapit Shoes. Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides Forte, while Manuel Franco will pilot Hit Show.

There is also a common Belmont Stakes fallacy that a closer who ran on late in a shorter race will, by definition, prefer the longer Belmont distance. However, that is no slam-dunk. Horses don’t have to be right on the front end, but to have the best chance of winning the Belmont a horse should have enough tactical speed to stay in touch with the leader through the early fractions of the Belmont Stakes.

Belmont Stakes Contenders

National Treasure has every right to get a perfect trip in the Belmont Stakes. Yes, he got things his own way in the Preakness last out, but there is every chance that happens to him again at Belmont. Il Miracolo may try to make a race of it early, but National Treasure is classy enough to keep going when he empties out, and may be fast enough to just clear off early and kiss the field goodbye.

National Treasure To win the Belmont Stakes

Todd Pletcher sends out a pair in Forte and Tapit Trice. Forte is preferred. Though he missed the Kentucky Derby, he has worked well twice since and has improved as the distances have gotten longer. Tapit Trice, on the other hand, will have to handle a tricky inside draw and he did not finish as well in the Kentucky Derby as his pedigree and previous race form suggested he should have.

Angel of Empire also looks ready for another good effort. He improved sharply through the Risen Star and the Arkansas Derby, and he finished with good vigor to be third in the Kentucky Derby as well. Though that late-running style could be a liability in the Belmont Stakes, he is consistent and he proved in the Arkansas Derby that he does not need a fiery pace up front to run well.

Belmont Stakes Longshots

Arcangelo, winner of the Peter Pan (G3) at Belmont last out, can take another step forward in the Test of the Champion. In terms of pace, he should be able to get a nice, cozy trip just behind National Treasure and perhaps Il Miracolo. He should get first run on the leaders. This should suit an improving horse who proved in the Peter Pan that he can handle the course nicely.

Arcangelo also has the best Belmont Stakes distance pedigree in the field. He is by Arrogate, a newer sire whose progeny have improved with distance. Underneath, he is out of a mare by Belmont super-sire Tapit out of a granddaughter of Better than Honour. Better than Honour is the dam of Belmont Stakes winners Jazil and Rags to Riches.

Tapit Shoes also deserves consideration for exotics. He will need to break well from the rail, but his running style should get him up in closer range to the frontrunners than so many of the other contenders in the race. His rider Jose Ortiz is not only experienced at Belmont, but he is the current leading rider, meaning he should be able to carve out the best possible trip for Tapit Shoes.

Free Belmont Picks

These are the best bets for the 2023 Belmont Stakes:

  • $20 to win - #4 National Treasure
  • $1 exacta key - #4 National Treasure with #3 Arcangelo, #6 Forte
  • $1 trifecta key - #4 National Treasure with #3 Arcangelo, #6 Forte, #8 Angel of Empire
  • 20 cent superfecta key - #4 National Treasure with #1 Tapit Shoes, #3 Arcangelo, #6 Forte, #8 Angel of Empire
National Treasure To win the Belmont Stakes

Meet the author

Rowan Ward

Rowan has been a regular at the Chicago tracks for over a decade and has also been to some of the biggest racing events including the Breeders' Cup, Kentucky Derby, and Woodbine Mile. Since then their writing has appeared in their own blog and across the horse racing in...

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