For the first time in three years, the Belmont Stakes will be contested without the Triple Crown hanging in the balance. Nyquist came to the Preakness Stakes as the undefeated Kentucky Derby champion, but he left Pimlico with his first blemish. Exaggerator captured the second leg of the Triple Crown, and now, all of us in the horse racing world are hoping to see the rubber match between these two run on the second Saturday of June.
You can find horse racing odds at BookMaker.eu at the online racebook.
It was a brilliant day for Exaggerator and the Desormeaux brothers, the rider and trainer for this champion colt. Nyquist had been like kryptonite to Exaggerator. He had tried four times in the past to best his nemesis, coming up short all four times. But he had his day at the Pimlico, albeit on an off track.
Those in the Nyquist camp could point to the rain and the sloppy track in Baltimore as the reason for the issues in the second leg of the Triple Crown, but great horses overcome in all instances. Nyquist couldn't get the job done, but he was immediately pointed toward the Belmont Stakes after the race was over, as was Exaggerator.
In a way, even though the Belmont Stakes won't be featuring a horse going for the Triple Crown, the race could be even more intriguing than the Preakness. Most in the horse racing world realized just how weak that field was which went up against Nyquist. Outside of Exaggerator and the late-charging Cherry Wine, there wasn't much of a threat from any of the colts, but the field at the Kentucky Derby is set to be significantly stronger.
Lani will surely be back for the third leg of the Triple Crown, but the fact that he finished ninth at Churchill Downs and fifth at Pimlico tells us to throw him out of the equation. Tampa Bay Derby winner, Destin will be back for trainer Todd Pletcher after he failed with Stradivari at the Preakness Stakes. Creator could return to the Triple Crown field after skipping out on the Preakness, as could Suddenbreakingnews and Brody's Cause.
The Peter Pan Stakes winner usually goes on to race in the Belmont, but Unified, the odds-on and undefeated winner of that race last week, isn't ready to race 1 1/2 miles, and his connections understand that. However, the second place finisher in that race, Governor Malibu as well as the fourth place finisher, Adventist are both pointed towards the Belmont Stakes for the time being.
Mor Spirit and Stradivari are both considered as possible for the Belmont Stakes, but neither has been pointed in that direction as of yet. Cherry Wine will be watched over the course of the next few days to see if he can make the trip to Belmont Park as well.
Others will surely throw their name in the ring for the Belmont Stakes, but these are sure to be the primary contenders.
Suddenbreakingnews, Destin and Brody's Cause finished fifth, sixth and seventh at the Kentucky Derby respectively, and though none of the three were truly a threat to Nyquist, they're all hoping that the extra rest and the added distance will prove to be a problem for him.
The distance surely won't be an issue for Exaggerator though, a colt which ran a much different race at the Preakness than he ran at the Derby. He was taken from the middle of the pack instead of the rear of the field and put on a huge charge around the far turn to take the lead. Just as Nyquist never gave up the lead when he got to the front at the Kentucky Derby, Exaggerator wasn't going to be denied.
Early odds indicate that Exaggerator would be the slight favorite over Nyquist to win the longest leg of the Triple Crown. Once again though, no one is expected to have odds anywhere near either of these top three-year old contenders.
Load your betting bankroll from your smartphone or tablet with BookMaker's new cashier feature! Depositing and withdrawing funds from your account has never been easier.
BookMaker's live betting platform means you always have access to odds and lines to every sporting event. Click here, and start wagering right now! The Belmont Stakes will go to post at 6:35 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Belmont Park. The race will be televised live on NBC.