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Horses: Belmont Stakes Betting Preview

With the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes coming up on Saturday, California Chrome continues to take the majority of the betting action, currently at 4-5 in fixed betting odds at Bovada.

The colt was installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite by Belmont Park for the third jewel of the Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is seeking to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed accomplished the feat in 1978. Since that time, 12 horses have swept the first two jewels of the Triple Crown but failed to win the Belmont Stakes.

The latest was in 2012 when I’ll Have Another was scratched on the eve of the race due to a tendon injury. In the two previous years a Triple Crown was at stake, both Big Brown and Smarty Jones went down to defeat at betting odds of 1-5. [ Check out California Chrome Belmont props as well ]

Wicked Strong is the second choice in the betting at 6-1. The colt last raced in a fourth place finish in the Kentucky Derby, bypassing the Preakness. That strategy has worked well, as seven horses since 2000 have lost the Derby, skipped the Preakness, and won the Belmont Stakes.

Ride On Curlin is third in the advanced betting at odds of 7-1. The colt had a troubled seventh place finish in the Run for the Roses and rallied to finish a good second in the Preakness, beaten 1 ½ lengths by the winner.

The new shooter Tonalist is next in the wagering at 17-2. The colt made his stakes debut in the Peter Pan Stakes over a sloppy Belmont Park main track on May 10. The last Belmont winner to skip the first two jewels of the Triple Crown was Ruler On Ice in 2011.

Bovada is offering a wide variety of prop bets and matchup bets for the race. The current odds on California Chrome finishing in the top three is 1-6.

Post time for the Belmont Stakes is 6:52pm (ET) and will be broadcast live on NBC.

Belmont Stakes Odds via Bovada (as of June 6):

California Chrome   4-5
Wicked Strong   6-1
Ride On Curlin   7-1
Tonalist   17-2
Commanding Curve   11-1
Medal Count   20-1
Samraat   25-1
General a Rod   28-1
Matterhorn  33-1
Commissioner   33-1
Matuszak   50-1

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The field for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes was reduced by one on Tuesday as trainer Linda Rice announced that Kid Cruz will look for an easier spot than the third jewel of the Triple Crown.

The defection leaves a field of 12, but that may be reduced to 11 as the connections of Social Inclusion will announce on Wednesday whether the colt will go to the Belmont Stakes or race in the $500,000 Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard. Owner Ron Sanchez said the chance of running in the Woody Stephens is “70-30.”

California Chrome continues to be the betting favorite, currently listed at 11/10 at Bovada. That price is up slightly from the even money betting odds the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner was listed as on May 29. A scratch by Social Inclusion would likely drop his price slightly.

Ride On Curlin, who rallied to finish second in the Preakness Stakes, continues to be the second choice in the early betting at Bovada at 11/2. The colt came up 1 ¾ lengths short in Baltimore at betting odds of 10/1.

The new shooter Tonalist and Kentucky Derby runner up Commanding Curve share third choice betting honors at 15/1.

Tonalist won the Peter Pan (G2) over a sloppy Belmont Park main track in his last outing. Since 2007 four of the seven Belmont Stakes winners were making their first start in a Triple Crown race, the latest being Ruler On Ice in 2011.

Commanding Curve makes his first start since running a fast closing second to California Chrome in the Run for the Roses at betting odds of 37/1.  The last two Belmont Stakes winners, Union Rags in 2012 and Palace Malice, raced in the Derby, passed the Preakness, and won the third jewel of the Triple Crown.

Entries and post positions for the race will be drawn on Wednesday morning.

Belmont Stakes Odds via Bovada (as of June 3):

California Chrome 11/10
Ride On Curlin 11/2
Commanding Curve 15/2
Tonalist 15/2
Wicked Strong 17/2
Medal Count 16/1
Social Inclusion 20/1
General A Rod 22/1
Samraat 22/1
Commissioner 33/1
Matterhorn 33/1
Kid Cruz 40/1 (Will not run)
Matuszak 50/1

Belmont Stakes Props

2014 Belmont Stakes - Margin of Victory - Will it be two lengths or more?
No - 5/7
Yes - even money

2014 Belmont Stakes - Winning time
Under 2:30.00 - 5/7
Over 2:30.00 - even money

Will California Chrome win the 2014 Triple Crown?
No - 2/3
Yes - 11/10

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California Chrome remains the big favorite for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 7, currently at odds of even money at Bovada in early betting.

The colt arrived in New York last week riding a six-race winning streak including winning the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 1 ¾ lengths and the Preakness Stakes (G1) by 1 ½ lengths.

The colt faces several challenges, the most notable being the 1 ½ miles of the race, a distance he has never travelled and probably never will again. It appears 10 or 11 challengers will line up in the starting gate attempting to derail his Triple Crown bid.

The colt is seeking to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed swept the three-race series in 1978.

Second choice in the early betting at Bovada at 5/1 is Ride On Curlin, who will be the lone other runner that competes in all three Triple Crown races this year. After a seventh-place finish in the Run for the Roses, the colt came with a good late run to finish second behind the winner in the Preakness.

Four runners that competed in the Derby and skipped the Preakness will come into New York fresh including Commanding Curve (15/1), who was a fast closing second in the Derby, and Wicked Strong (9/1), who was fourth.  The Derby fifth place finisher Samraat (20/1) will also attempt to turn the tables, as will Medal Count (14/1), who was eighth.

One of the biggest dangers in the race may be newcomer Tonalist, who won the Peter Pan Stakes (G2) on March 10 over a sloppy track at Belmont Park. The colt is currently the co-third choice in early betting at 15/2.

The 2014 Belmont Stakes will be run on what will be the richest day of racing in Belmont Stakes history. There are nine additional stakes including five Grade 1 events: the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap, the $1 million Ogden Phipps, the $1 million Manhattan, the $750,000 Longines Just a Game, and the $750,000 Acorn.

In total, the 13-race card will be worth $8 million, making the card the second-richest day on the North American racing calendar behind only Breeders’ Cup Saturday.

NBC Sports Network will pick up the action for the early stakes at 2:30pm (ET) with NBC broadcasting the Belmont Stakes at 4:30pm (ET).

Belmont Stakes Betting Odds Update via Bovada (as of May 29):

California Chrome 1/1
Ride On Curlin 5/1
Commanding Curve 15/2
Tonalist 15/2
Wicked Strong 9/1
Medal Count 14/1
Samraat 20/1
Commissioner 33/1
Matterhorn 33/1
Social Inclusion 33/1
Kid Cruz 40/1
Matuszak 40/1

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With “Nasalgate” in his rearview mirror, California Chrome will head to the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on June 7 as the heavy favorite, seeking to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

Sportsbook.ag opened the colt as the -115 betting favorite for the race, where the colt will face a field likely to number 11 including a pair of formidable foes that finished behind him in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness.

Danza (+800) checked in third in the Kentucky Derby and is back for trainer Todd Pletcher to attempt to turn the tables on the favorite. Pletcher is also pointing Intense Holiday, who was 12th in the Kentucky Derby, and Commissioner, who was second in the Grade 2 Peter Pan in his last outing.

Second choice on the opening lines was Ride On Curlin at +500. The colt rallied to finish in the runner-up spot in the Preakness Stakes, beaten by 1 ½ lengths. The colt was seventh in the Run for the Roses and appears likely to appreciate the extra ground of the 1 ½ mile distance of the Belmont Stakes.

The 2014 Belmont Stakes will be run on Saturday, June 7 at Belmont Park on what will be the richest day of racing in Belmont Stakes history. There are nine additional stakes including five prestigious Grade 1 events: the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap, the $1 million Ogden Phipps, the $1 million Manhattan, the $750,000 Longines Just a Game, and the $750,000 Acorn.

In total, the 13-race card will be worth $8 million, making New York’s Spring Championships the second-richest day on the North American racing calendar behind only Breeders’ Cup Saturday.

Contenders for the 2014 Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes:

HORSE - Owner - Trainer - Sportsbook.ag Odds
CALIFORNIA CHROME - Steven Coburn & Perry Martin - Art Sherman - -115
COMMANDING CURVE - West Point Thoroughbreds - Dallas Stewart - +1200
COMMISSIONER - WinStar Farm - Todd Pletcher - +3500
DANZA - Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners - Todd Pletcher - +800
INTENSE HOLIDAY - Starlight Racing - Todd Pletcher - +3500
KID CRUZ - Vina Del Mar Tb's & Black Swan - Linda Rice - +5000
RIDE ON CURLIN - Daniel J. Dougherty - William Gowan - +500
SAMRAAT - My Meadowview Farm - Richard Violette, Jr. - +2500
SOCIAL INCLUSION - Rontos Racing Stable - Manuel Azpurua - +3000
TONALIST - Robert S. Evans - Christophe Clement - +1200
WICKED STRONG - Centennial Farm - James Jerkens - +1200

Belmont Stakes Props via Bovada:

Will California Chrome win the 2014 Triple Crown?
Yes -120
No -120

2014 Belmont Stakes - Margin of Victory - Will it be two lengths or more?
Yes EVEN
No -140

2014 Belmont Stakes - Winning time
Over 2:30.00 EVEN
Under 2:30.00 -140