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Belmont Stakes Betting – California Chrome Gathers The Triple Crown Jewels

Posted by on 6/4/2014 11:37:44 PM

The Belmont Stakes is the final jewel in the Triple Crown of horse racing, and it is called the “Test Of The Champion” for a reason. It is run on dirt over 1 ½ miles, the longest of all the Triple Crown races, and it can feel like 10 miles with a sloppy track. The purse is $1.5 million, with $800,000 going to the winner, but there is something bigger on the line this year.

California Chrome has cruised to win the first two legs, and while this race will be tougher, he’ll end a 36-year drought and win the Triple Crown.

What : Horse Betting

When : Saturday, June 7th, post time TBA (around 6:45 PM ET)

Where : Belmont Park, Elmont, NY

Pick : California Chrome

California Chrome is the star of the show and his winning runs at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes have been, if nothing else, comfortable. He has looked solid throughout the races, and jockey Victor Espinoza knows when to pick up the pace, and the colt responds. He has had a lot of attention on him in the last few weeks, but California Chrome seems like he can handle it.

Commanding Curve finished second to California Chrome at the Kentucky Derby, then his handlers held him out of the Preakness to keep him fresh for this race, which happens a lot. However, many keep pointing to his sixth-place finish at the Grade-2 Risen Star in February as to why he was a darkhorse at the Derby, and Commanding Curve needs to prove he can be consistent.

Commissioner came in second in the Grade-2 Peter Pan Stakes last month as he hasn’t run in a Triple Crown race yet, and he has two finishes of second or third in four graded-stakes races. But he finished sixth in the other two races, so again, it is about consistency with this horse.

General A. Rod improved on an 11th at the Kentucky Derby to come in fourth at the Preakness, and the poor result at the Derby is sure to scare some people off him, which means you could find some good value here. Outside of the Derby, this colt seems to be in the mix a lot and all you need to do is be around at the end of the Belmont.

Matterhorn might be the longshot of the Belmont Stakes as he broke his maiden on his first try, then he finished 10th in an allowance race after three months off. He rebounded to finish third in another allowance race and then fourth at the Peter Pan, but that still isn’t encouraging to a lot of people and it would be a shock if he finished in the top three.

Matuszak has finishes of fourth and six in a pair of Grade-2 races, the Remsen and the Jerome, and he recently finished second in the non-graded Federico Tesio, so there is some speed there. It is a matter of having enough speed to compete in a Triple Crown race and the length of the Belmont could be a major issue for this colt.

Medal Count has been on the sidelines since finishing eighth at the Kentucky Derby, so he should be well-rested to take another shot at California Chrome. Coming in second at the Grade-1 Blue Grass might have been slightly misleading as it was on a synthetic surface and this will be his fourth start on dirt. In those three starts, Medal Count hasn’t finished higher than fifth.

Ride On Curlin’ followed up his seventh at the Derby by finishing second at the Preakness, and he has been a solid threat throughout the Triple Crown season, at least to battle to finish behind California Chrome. A top-three finish at the Belmont would probably point this colt towards the Breeders’ Cup in November, you would think.

Samraat opened his career with five straight wins, then followed up a second at the Grade-1 Wood Memorial with a fifth at the Derby. He should be rested and ready to go on Saturday and being the only horse bred in New York, Samraat could have more fans on his side cheering him on down the stretch.

Tonalist won the Peter Pan to get into the Belmont, and it was his graded-stakes debut, but the Belmont could be too much for him. He needed two tries to break his maiden, then Tonalist finished second in an allowance race and now he is facing a Triple Crown field. That is a lot to ask.

Wicked Strong followed his win in the Wood by coming in fourth at the Derby, and then he sat out the Preakness, so this is another horse that will be rested and ready to make a run at California Chrome. That win in the Wood was his only finish better than third in four graded-stakes races.

How It Will Play Out

If you’re looking outside of California Chrome, Ride On Curlin’ is a good choice as he is always around the front, but it’s hard to look past the colt from the west coast. California Chrome seals the Triple Crown on Saturday.

Belmont Stakes Betting Pick: California Chrome

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