Overview of 2018 Belmont Stakes Entries

PP1. Justify (4-5)

Justify enters the Belmont with an opportunity to become the 13th Triple Crown winner. He has convincing wins in his first four races. Not until the Preakness Stakes has he had any companion near him at the wire. Good Magic tried to match strides with him in the Preakness until the turn for home, he fell back then Bravazo and Tenfold tried to catch Justify at the 1/8th pole, Justify won by a half-length. Justify recent training records indicates that has steady improved since the Preakness.  Justify should be the one setting the pace, which will about a 2-minute mile pace.

PP2. Free Drop Billy (30-1)

In 2018 Free Drop Billy has recorded a second, third, and third in three Kentucky Derby preps. He had a bad start in the Derby and finished 16th. For Free Drop Billy to have a chance he needs a fast pace to run at the leaders through the stretch.

PP3. Bravazo (8-1)

Bravazo finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby and in the Preakness was close to Justify at the wire. He needs to be close to Justify down the backside and press Justify through the turn for home to have a chance to out duel Justify down the lane.

PP4. Hofburg (9-2)

Hofburg finished second to Audible in the Florida Derby on March 31, his stakes debut. He finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby, a race he encounters trouble from the start at the gate to clear running and bumping during the race. He was able to find clear running down the lane and was able to pass several horses in the stretch. He likes to be a closer but he and Bravazo could be running together down the backside in the Belmont.

PP5. Restoring Hope (30-1)

Restoring Hope proved in the Pat Day Mile Stakes, his most recent start, that he does not like a sloppy track, finished 12th. He was third in the Wood Memorial Stakes behind Vino Rosso. He needs a fast pace to have a chance of being on the board.

PP6. Gronkowski (12-1)

He has won his last four starts in England, all on synthetic surfaces.  He has a grinding out running style that should suit him well for the Belmont.  The Belmont is the best field he has faced and running on the dirt for the first time maybe an even bigger issue. He will receive some betting action for his Rob Gronkowski and Chad Brown connection but even with those he should be consider a long shot for hitting the board.

PP7. Tenfold (12-1)

In 2018, he won two races at distance of 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park, and then ran a fifth in the Arkansas Derby. In the Preakness Stakes he rallied through the stretch to finish third, a neck behind runner-up Bravazo and only three-quarters of a length behind Justify. He should be running at the leaders as the field turns for home. The early pace will determine if he a can out kick the lead pack down the stretch.

PP8. Vino Rosso (8-1)

In 2018, he won the Wood Memorial Stakes, a three-length win to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. In the Derby, he raced wide throughout and was not a factor in the race. He did show a solid kick in the Derby and was able to finish ninth. He and needs a fast pace to catch the front runners for him to have a chance.

PP9. Noble Indy (30-1)

Noble Indy scored back-to-back wins at Gulfstream Park to start his career last winter and then finished third in the Risen Star Stakes and recorded a win in the Louisiana Derby. In all four of his starts, he has been on the lead or near the front. In the Kentucky Derby, Noble Indy he showed little on the sloppy track by finishing 17th. Don’t be shocked if Noble Indy is sent to front to set the pace.

PP10. Blended Citizen (15-1)

He likes to be running behind the pace. He broke his maiden in the 1 1/8 mile Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 12th on dirt.  Given his proven ability to run over the Belmont’s dirt track, and his closing kick could find a place on the board.

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