Belmont Stakes Field 2021: Horses Worth Backing for Final Triple Crown Leg

0 of 3

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    The 2021 Belmont Stakes features an interesting blend of proven and unproven horses vying for the chance to enter the history books as a Triple Crown race winner. 

    Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer headlines the field and is looking to win a second Triple Crown jewel. He didn’t enter the Kentucky Derby, and Run for the Roses winner Medina Spirit will not be making the trip to New York as his connections await a second sample test after he failed a drug test in Kentucky. 

    Rombauer will still see plenty of top competition, though. There are seven other horses who will be running at Belmont. The race is called the Test of the Champion for a reason. The grueling mile-and-a-half track is a tough test for any horse. 

    Even without a Triple Crown at stake, this is one of the sport’s premier races. The course also has a way of yielding surprising results, and given the favorite was 12-1 on the morning line at the Preakness, it should be a thrilling race again. 

    Here’s a quick rundown of the post positions and odds for the field.

    1. Bourbonic 15-1

    2. Essential Quality 2-1

    3. Rombauer 3-1

    4. Hot Rod Charlie 7-2

    5. France Go de Ina 30-1

    6. Known Agenda 6-1

    7. Rock Your World 9-2

    8. Overtook 20-1

    Posts and Odds via Belmont Stakes

    As we prepare for the 153rd running of the historic race, here’s a look at three horses that are worth backing. 

1 of 3

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Known Agenda came into the Kentucky Derby as the No. 5 points earner in qualifying racing, putting him a cut below Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie when it came to odds. 

    However, the dreaded No. 1 post draw at Churchill Downs doomed his chances from the start and left him with little opportunity to show off his talent. 

    When you take out the disappointing ninth-place showing at the Derby, he begins to look like a better bet at the Belmont. Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won the race three times, opted not to enter his colt in the Preakness in what seemed to be an indication that he would perform better in Elmont, New York. 

    His run at the Florida Derby is among the best performances in the field. He posted an Equibase speed figure of 112 while outrunning an 11-horse field over a 1⅛-mile course. 

    Curlin has sired a Belmont winner in Palace Malice already and finished second in the race himself. 

    Known Agenda has the talent, pedigree and training to pull off an upset here. 

2 of 3

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Essential Quality went off as the favorite at the Kentucky Derby, but he was bested by Medina Spirit, Mandaloun and Hot Rod Charlie. 

    Unlike Known Agenda, Essential Quality didn’t have a bad race or misfortune. He just didn’t have the form on the day. That shouldn’t have bettors believing the horse won’t bring his A game on Saturday, though. 

    Trainer Brad H. Cox is feeling good about his horse’s success thus far and is optimistic it will continue in New York, per the Paulick Report:

    “This horse has put us in this position and we feel very fortunate to be a part of it. He’s accomplished so much already, being a champion two-year-old. But at some point, he’ll be retired to stud and it’s our job now to continue to add to his legacy. A Grade 1 win at 3 is going to be huge for this horse and we’re hopeful it can happen in the Belmont.”

    Essential Quality’s pedigree should also provide backers with an extra sense of confidence. His sire, Tapit, has produced three Belmont winners. 

    Essentially, he’s a colt bred for the distance and had the talent to be a two-year-old champion. The Belmont is another chance for him to shine. 

3 of 3

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    For all the theoretical reasons to back Essential Quality, there is the fact that Hot Rod Charlie has already outrun him in an American Classic. The Doug O’Neill-trained horse enters the race as the leading finisher in this year’s Kentucky Derby. 

    He should be well rested, too, after his connections bypassed the Preakness and targeted the Belmont instead.

    Hot Rod Charlie has been good to bettors who have placed him to hit the board. He’s only finished outside of the top three in two races out of eight and has yet to do so in 2021. 

    His pedigree is reliable as well. Oxbow—who sired the colt—raced in all three American Classics, finishing first in the Preakness and second in the Belmont. 

    That’s enough to believe he’s been bred for the distance and will have enough to be in the mix once again when they head down the final stretch in New York on Saturday. 

Read More

Written by 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *