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Belmont Stakes Betting: He’s started only four races, yet Hofburg is a trendy pick after finishing a respectable seventh at the Kentucky Derby in his last race. The chestnut blossomed during a break after his debut as a 2-year-old resulted in a fourth-place finish at Saratoga. Returning to the track six months later stronger and more mature, he handed Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott a victory in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park. In his first graded race, Hofburg rallied to finish second to Audible at the Florida Derby, earning enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.
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: 1-1-0
Career Earnings: $227,950
Belmont Stakes Odds at BookMaker.eu: +700
Liking what he saw from his horse after only three starts and one win, Mott sent Hofburg to the Kentucky Derby where he finished seventh. Mott is known for his conservative approach so if he puts his chestnut in these spots, it’s safe to assume he knows what’s best. Though the finish at Churchill Downs was somewhat disappointing, it wasn’t because of Hofburg’s running. He had to steady several times and once he got going it was too late to finish in the money. He opened with the fifth-best odds at +700 among the 14 early possibilities.
Why Hofburg Will Win the Belmont Stakes
He hasn’t raced a lot so he should be ready to go. And there are several horse racing experts who are extremely high on Hofburg, despite just one victory in four starts. The chestnut looked like a different horse when returning to the track after a lengthy absence, winning his debut as a 3-year-old and pressuring Audible for a runner-up finish in Florida in his first graded race.
Hofburg seems to enjoy longer distances and he was groomed for this race. Four of the last six Belmont Stakes winners skipped the Preakness, and Hofburg could contest if he runs a tighter race. Mott said after the Kentucky Derby that he “seemed to have a lot left” and that will help on the longer track at Belmont.
Why Hofburg Won't Win the Belmont Stakes
He lacks experience on the big stage and will be included in a field with horses that have more seasoning and others that have shown more speed. It’s hard to gauge his ability since the Kentucky Derby was on a sloppy track and that was Hofburg’s first real test. And while it’s nice to be well-rested for such a big event, the fact that Hofburg has so few races on his resume could actually work against him.
The Final Verdict
After watching Hofburg push Audible at the Florida Derby and seeing his marvelous stretch run at Churchill Downs, there’s no denying the talent is there. He also has strong bloodlines. His father Tapit sired three of the last four Belmont Stakes winners, and that can’t be overlooked. If Justify is to be denied his Triple Crown, Hofburg is one horse that can certainly do it. However, he’s still raw and like we saw at the Kentucky Derby he gives ground in a crowded field. He would need to run a perfect race to win and he won’t be able to do that.
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2018 Belmont Stakes Contenders