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Belmont Stakes Betting: Known more for being named after New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski, the horse is set to make his debut on an American race track at the Belmont Stakes after winning four of six starts in Britain. Gronkowski began his career with a pair of starts on turf and finished no better than second. A transition to all-weather synthetic surface tracks produced four straight wins for the colt, including triumphs at the Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes and Burradon Stakes to earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby field. However, an illness prevented him from competing at Churchill Downs, but his handlers are confident he’ll run at Belmont.
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: 4-1-0
Career Earnings: $135,644
Belmont Stakes Odds at BookMaker.eu: +3500
A little over a month since a minor infection forced him out of the Kentucky Derby, Gronkowski is scheduled to make his racing debut on American soil in the Belmont Stakes. Chad Brown has taken over as trainer from Jeremy Noseda, and since Gronkowski’s arrival in the States and overcoming the ailment that forced him out of the Derby, Brown said Gronkowski came to him in “outstanding condition.” He’s unlikely to finish on the board and opened as a +3500 longshot, but Gronkowski had a strong finish in his last start to win the 1-mile Burradon Stakes. However, that race was on a straight course with no turns and jockey Jamie Spencer understands his horse’s grinding style.
Why Gronkowski Will Win the Belmont Stakes
He’s never raced in the States and he’s never been on a dirt track, which will count against him at Belmont. Gronkowski is a longshot for a reason and if you believe the rest of the field will decide not to run, it’s best to stay away from Gronk. Trainer Brown said his horse is over the infection that forced him out of the Run for the Roses, but he hasn’t raced in nearly three months.
That could be a good thing in a field that has several competitors with several starts in that span. Gronkowksi should be rested and over the jet lag from his trip across the pond. But there isn’t anything that points to him upsetting the field in this race.
Why Gronkowski Won't Win the Belmont Stakes
Gronkowski started working with a new trainer immediately after making the trip from Britain and hasn’t had much time with his new handler. “Not having had the horse very long, I’m limited to what I can do and what kind of training regimen I can set up,” Brown explained after Gronkowski’s first official workout since arriving in the States. We also don’t know if he’s fully recovered from the infection that kept him in the stable at the Derby, though Brown said it’s passed.
The Final Verdict
He’s an intriguing horse and not just because of his name. Gronkowksi will be a crowd favorite but he lacks experience on American tracks and making turns. His last outing was at the mile-long Burradon that featured a straight shot to the finish line. He enters the Belmont after four straight victories on the European tour and could surprise since not much is known about him. But he’s racing against a different field and that likely keeps him out of the money.
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2018 Belmont Stakes Contenders