Belmont Stakes 2018: Betting Odds & Picks

Lynette Rowe
June 13, 2018

Trainer Bob Baffert watches Triple Crown hopeful Justify workout at Belmont Park, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. Justify will attempt to become the 13th Triple Crown victor when he races in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Saturday.

And while there was no pent-up anguish this time around to vigorously stoke enthusiasm, Justify, ridden by the 52-year-old ironman Mike Smith, did not disappoint the crowd as he captured the 150th Belmont Stakes and become just the 13th Triple Crown victor.

"This horse ran a tremendous race, he's so gifted", said Mike Smith, who at 52 is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.

Justify led all the way in New York's Belmont Stakes winning by 1 3/4 lengths to gain immortality as horse racings 13th Triple Crown victor.

"From his first start, you could see that he was a very, very impressive colt", John Gunther of Langley, B.C., who bred Justify at his Kentucky farm, told CTV Vancouver before the race.

Among the possibilities: the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 29 at Monmouth Park in Nw Jersey; the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar outside San Diego on August 18; and the $1.25 million Travers at Saratoga in NY on August 25. Gronkowski likely would have been even closer to Justify at the wire had he not shown his inexperience by failing to switch leads for a significant portion of the stretch run.

American Pharoah was the last horse to win the Triple Crown, capturing horse-racing's storied trifecta in 2015.

Like "Big Red", as Secretariat was lovingly called, Justify (an even bigger "Big Red", at 16.3 hands and 1,380 pounds, compared to a typical 1,100-pound thoroughbred), drew the No. 1 post. He's been training at Saratoga since the Kentucky Derby and should be fresh after not running in the Preakness.

How many horses have managed to win the Kentucky Derby without a foundation racing as a 2-year-old?

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"You can't doubt him now, there's no way", said Bill Mott, trainer of third-place Hofburg. He didn't compete as a 2-year-old.

Justify is taking on nine rivals, the largest number that a potential Triple Crown victor has ever faced.

Justify defied all the odds on his way to achieving Triple Crown immortality.

"Our focus was on each race as it came up, and now we can take a deep breath and just see how the horse is, " Walden said.

"I actually thought maybe he's not going to break today".

Vino Rosso finished fourth, followed by Tenfold, Bravazo, Free Drop Billy, Restoring Hope, Blended Citizen and Noble Indy. We watched him rush up like he was a Quarter Horse, make a quick right-hand turn, then turn left, pinned [Bravazo] on the rail.

Justify (1), with jockey Mike Smith up, crosses the finish line to win the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y.

Justify held off a late-charge from Gronkowski, named after Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowskim, the the Giants beat in Super Bowl XLVI. More than $10 million was bet on the race.

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