Saturday, October 2 at Belmont Park features one of the most important events of the New York racing year: the 2021 Woodward Stakes. It will be an exciting day at Belmont Park, but even if you cannot make it to the park for the big race, you can enjoy all of the excitement by betting the race online!
With a purse of $500,000, the 1 1/8-mile Woodward Stakes drew a field of six. What it lacks in size it makes up for in quality, as it drew handicap-division stars like Code of Honor, Maxfield, and Art Collector. All six of the entrants in the 2021 Woodward Stakes are familiar to horseplayers based in New York, as they have raced at the local tracks and are conditioned by some of the best trainers based in the Empire State.
Woodward Stakes Horses
This is the official field for the 2021 Woodward Stakes including post positions, trainers, and jockeys:
- Dr Post (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz)
- Maxfield (Brendan Walsh/Jose Ortiz)
- Art Collector (Bill Mott/Luis Saez)
- Mo Gotcha (Naipaul Chatterpaul/Jalon Samuel)
- Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey/Paco Lopez)
- Forza Di Oro (Bill Mott/Junior Alvarado)
As the race draws closer, sportsbooks will begin to offer odds on the Woodward Stakes. As you plan your wagers, your best bet is to sign up for one or more top online sportsbooks, and then be ready to lock in your price when you can get an overlay on your selection.
Woodward Stakes Handicapping
Now that you know who is running in the 2021 Woodward Stakes, let’s start handicapping the race!
Woodward Stakes Contenders
With several speed horses entered in the field, the #2 Code of Honor is well placed in this spot. He sat closer to the pace than usual last out under aggressive rider Paco Lopez, who returns for the Woodward, and the Shug McGaughey trainee’s form over the Belmont course is excellent. He should be able to sit just off of a contested pace and make a smart run in the lane.
The speed brigade includes three of the six runners in the field. Longshot #4 Mo Gotcha should be part of the pace early; he has even shown sprint speed in the past, wiring a seven-furlong race not long ago. However, he’ll have enough contention to think that he’ll find himself overmatched once the real running begins.
#6 Forza Di Oro should get an outside pressing trip, just at Mo Gotcha’s flank. He still has to prove himself at the top level, as he set the pace before weakening to third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) last out. But, the move to Belmont, the shortening to nine furlongs, and the extra experience gained from that start do give him upside.
#3 Art Collector should be forward, but he is tactical enough to work a good trip sitting just off of Mo Gotcha and Forza Di Oro. He has won two races in a row going a mile and an eighth, and his earlier form going shorter suggests this one-turn configuration will not thwart him. He also keeps Luis Saez, who not only has a strong rapport with him but is also one of the hottest riders in America.
#2 Maxfield has shown pace versatility throughout his career, though his new blinkers may keep him a little closer to the pace than he typically sits. That may help him at Belmont, where closers tend to be a little pace-compromised. A mile and an eighth may be close to his upper limit distance-wise, but his Stephen Foster (G2) over the distance was good enough to suggest he can handle it.
#1 Dr Post, trained by New York mainstay Todd Pletcher, has an uphill battle in the Woodward. He still needs to prove himself against top-quality older horses like the ones he faces here, his Belmont form is hit-or-miss, and his later-running form may leave him with a little too much to do over a track like Belmont.
Woodward Stakes Day Wagering
In the Woodward Stakes, you can wager on the same horse racing bets that most tracks in North America offer. You can bet to win, meaning the horse must run first. You can bet to place, meaning the horse must run first or second. A show bet means the horse must run first, second, or third. Across the board means betting a horse to win, place, or show.
You can also shoot for a bigger score with exotic wagers. An exacta requires picking the first two horses in order, the trifecta the first three in order, superfecta the first four. Boxing these wagers cost more but ensure you have every order covered, so your horses can finish in any order.
You can also pick winners in multiple races. A Daily Double requires you to pick the winners of two races in a row. A Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5 require you to pick winners of 3, 4, and 5 races in a row.
Woodward Stakes Bets
Here are the best bets for the 2021 Woodward Stakes:
- $20 to win - #5 Code of Honor
- $1 exacta box - #5 Code of Honor and #3 Art Collector
- $0.50 trifecta key - #5 Code of Honor with #3 Art Collector, #6 Forza Di Oro, and #2 Maxfield
Where to Bet the Woodward Stakes
Now that you know about the contenders, the wagers, and the best bets to make, it’s the right time to bet the Woodward Stakes online! Get to know the top racebooks, which all offer excellent odds and incentives for Woodward Stakes bettors. Those include rebates and even sign-up bonuses. All of these sportsbooks offer trusted deposit and cash-out options and are excellent for betting horse races the whole year through.