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Belmont Stakes Betting: An unknown to this year’s Triple Crown series but not to racing aficionados, Blended Citizen will compete in the Belmont Stakes after skipping the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Needing additional points to qualify for the Derby, Blended Citizen ran in the Blue Grass Stakes using a strong close to finish fifth in a field of 14. However, it wasn’t enough to gain him automatic entry in the Run for the Roses leaving him as an also-eligible. Instead, the bay colt made his next start at Belmont Park in the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes, using a powerful finish to pick up his first victory on a dirt track and becoming a contender for the Belmont Stakes.
The 150th running of the Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday, June 9, 2018 with post time set for 6:40 p.m. ET at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Catch the Belmont Stakes live on NBC.
Career Record: 3-0-2
Career Earnings: $406,854
Belmont Stakes Odds at BookMaker.eu: +1400
It took five starts to pick up his first victory and apparently Blended Citizen likes the view from the top. He opened his career on dirt tracks finishing no higher than fifth in his first three starts before switching to grass. In his second turf run he rallied for a 1 1/4-length victory at Del Mar and has three wins in his last six starts. Blended Citizen claimed a victory in his first graded race at the Jeff Ruby Steaks when he used blinkers for the first time and had a second straight run with jockey Kyle Frey. Trainer Doug O’Neill returned to the dirt track with a strong fifth-place showing at the Blue Grass before winning the Peter Pan by almost two lengths to become a contender at +1400 for the Belmont Stakes.
Why Blended Citizen Will Win the Belmont Stakes
Blended Citizen will be making his 11th career start at Belmont and he seems to be getting stronger with two wins in his last three starts, all of them coming since the colt debuted with blinkers. “I think the blinkers helped him focus and not run immaturely or spotty,” O’Neill said of the equipment change. Blended Citizen has also benefitted from the ride of Frey, who has had the mount in the last four races.
The fifth-place finish in the Blue Grass wasn’t as bad as it appears. Blended Citizen got caught in traffic and was forced to change his course down the stretch. He still had a quality showing behind Good Magic. And the switch to dirt will also be beneficial, according to O’Neill. “He’s always worked well on dirt,” the trainer said.
Why Blended Citizen Won't Win the Belmont Stakes
It’s happened before when a horse doesn’t race in the first two legs of the Triple Crown only to win The Test of the Champion Belmont Stakes. But it is rare. And it’s hard to take a horse that’s won just three of 10 starts seriously. The distance at Belmont will also be a factor. Blended Citizen’s longest run was a 1 1/4-mile maiden special weight race where he finished ninth.
The Final Verdict
Just because he didn’t run in the first two Triple Crown series races, we can’t completely dismiss Blended Citizen. He’s a late bloomer and won the competitive Peter Pan in his last outing, showing a powerful stride and explosive closing speed. He also has the chance to become the eighth horse to win the Peter Pan-Belmont Stakes double, which would be a feather in the cap of O’Neill. However, he hasn’t come close to running this distance and that likely keeps him off the board.
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2018 Belmont Stakes Contenders