New Yorkers always appreciate the Belmont Stakes, which is the biggest race in the state every year. But in 2020, the $1 million Belmont has extra meaning as heavily favored Tiz the Law is a New York-bred, trying to become the first state-bred to win the race since Forrester did it in 1882. He will face stiff competition from his longshot rivals including Max Player and Fore Left.
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Belmont Stakes Entries
Betting on the Belmont Stakestypically requires great skill because there are varying factors unseen in other races. The 1 ½ mile contest often has plenty of horses that have run twice in five weeks coming back to run a third time to complete the Triple Crown, and they often face new shooters who have had extra rest. In 2020, the Belmont Stakes is completely unique in that it is the first leg of the Triple Crown with the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes postponed until September 5 and October 3, respectively. It has also been shortened from 1 ½ miles to 1 1/8 miles to accommodate the fact that no American three-year-old has yet to prep past nine furlongs on the year.
Tiz the Law is coming into the race off four wins in five starts, including both of his 2020 prep races, the Florida Derby (G1) and the Holy Bull Stakes (G3). The son of Constitution, who was also a dual Grade 1 winner over nine furlongs, was a Grade 1 winner over the track in 2019 when he won the Champagne Stakes for two-year-olds in impressive fashion over some top rated colts. He would have been favored for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita Park but skipped the race in favor of the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs, where he finished third.
Trainer Barclay Tagg has never won the Belmont, but came here in 2003 with New York-bred Funny Cide, the last New York born horse to win the Kentucky Derby. Funny Cide finished third in the Belmont to the disappointment of the crowd, who had not seen a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Since then, Bob Baffert-trainees American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018) has won the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown.
Facing Tiz the Law will be Max Player and Fore Left. Max Player is a son of hot young sire Honor Code, who is also the sire of Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Honor A. P. He is trained by Linda Rice, who hopes to become the first woman trainer to win the Belmont Stakes. Max Player has won two of three starts; most recently taking the Grade 3 Withers Stakes over nine furlongs at Aqueduct on February 1. The George Hall runner, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario, hasn’t started since.
Fore Left was a late addition to the field. The Doug O’Neill trainee was going to sprint in Grade 1 company on the same card, but was rerouted to the Belmont due to entries being light. He won the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) at Meydan in Dubai on February 6 and hasn’t run since, but he was a classy juvenile with two stakes wins, including one over the Belmont surface a year ago in the June 7 Tremont Stakes. He has won four of his nine starts, with one of those losses coming on the grass. Jose Ortiz, who won the 2017 Belmont Stakes with Tapwrit, will ride.
Belmont Park Betting
Betting at Belmont Parkis similar to betting anywhere else in the United States. Betting a horse to win means the horse must finish first. Place is first or second, and show is first, second, or third. Betting a horse across the board means hitting all three of these at once; the wager costs $6 at a minimum. An exacta is picking the first two horses in order, and “boxing” them means they can finish in either order but costs more. A trifecta is the same for the first three horses, and a superfecta means the top four.
The New York Racing Association also offers Grand Slam wagering, which means picking a horse to finish in the top three in three straight races, followed by selecting the winner of the fourth race of the sequence. Many other tracks do not offer this wager. There is also the Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, and Pick 6 events, as well as the Empire 6, meaning selecting the winner of the last six races on every card.
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Tips for Picking Winners at Belmont
To successfully wager on the Belmont card, keep an eye on the trainers and jockeys that have done well in the past. The race card will include six stakes races worth a total of $2.1 million: the $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1), the $300,000 Acorn Stakes (G1), the $250,000 Jaipur Presented by America’s Best Racing (G1), the $250,000 Woody Stephens Presented by Claiborne Farm (G1), the $150,000 Pennine Ridge (G2), and the $150,000 Wonder Again (G3).
Trainers Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher do exceptionally well in New York, as do Christophe Clement and Bill Mott. Rudy Rodriguez can sometimes pop up with a big horse, and Steve Asmussen won the Belmont in 2016. Trainer Mark Casse continues to improve at Belmont, so much so that he won the 2019 Belmont Stakes with upset victor Sir Winston.
Now it is time to choose a top racebook from the list below:
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