The Triple Crown is now on its third and final leg. There won’t be another Triple Crown-chasing colt like American Pharoah, or even Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, but the 2016 Belmont Stakes will hardly lack in intrigue. Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator will be gunning for another huge victory, but can another horse mount a serious challenge to the big favorite?
Let’s check out what some horse racing experts have to say about that and see whom they picked to win the 2016 Belmont Stakes. And for more Belmont Stakes coverage, check out our complete preview of the big race here.
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Expert Picks and Predictions for the 2016 Belmont Stakes
Matt Fitzgerald’s early Preakness Stakes preview does not take into account Nyquist’s removal from the field due to high blood count. But even when Nyquist was still considered part of the field, Fitzgerald already had Preakness winner Exaggerator going on to win the Belmont, with his rival Nyquist coming in third.+120 to win. Fitzgerald also likes Exaggerator’s chances due to his jockey, Kent Desormeaux’s successful history at Belmont Park. He has a pair of second-place finishes and third-place finishes, as well as a win in 2009.
Meanwhile, Fitzgerald has Stradivari finishing second to Exaggerator. The three-year-old made quite a name for himself after a strong finish to grab third place at Pimlico, and is priced at +700 to take the final leg of the Triple Crown.
America’s Best Racing
Mike Curry’s Top Three
- Cherry Wine
Mike Curry of America’s Best Racing didn’t explicitly come up with definitive picks for Belmont, but he did list down three horses who are on the rise as the big race nears.
Obviously, Exaggerator tops the list after his very impressive win at Pimlico. But hot on his heels is Destin, who had a respectable sixth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby. Destin didn’t run at the Preakness, so he should be fresh and ready to go for the Belmont. With Nyquist out of the picture, Curry believes Destin (+1,100) could be the biggest threat to Exaggerator.
And third of Curry’s list is Cherry Wine, who grabbed second spot ahead of Nyquist in the Preakness. Cherry Wine is a deep closer, a style that isn’t particularly effective at Belmont. But Cherry Wine is running just as well as any horse at the moment, which is why Curry believes he has as a very good chance to crack the top 10.
Much like Curry, J. Keeler Johnson of Blood Horse didn’t go so far as to pick an outright winner for the Preakness Stakes. But he did highlight two horses who could fare well.
Again, similar to Curry, “Keelerman” likes Destin in Belmont. Although Destin doesn’t possess incredible starting speed, Keelerman views the colt as someone capable of setting the pace, which could see him leading the pack early on. Keelerman also notes Destin’s pedigree, as well as his trainer Todd Fletcher’s success in Belmont over the years, as more reasons why he has a decent shot to win.
Meanwhile, Keelerman also likes Governor Malibu‘s consistency. The colt has finished third or better in all seven of his career races. He’ll be well-acquainted with Belmont Park after finishing second in the Peter Pan Stakes at the track. Governor Malibu also has a very good pedigree, and a trainer in Christophe Clement who won the 2014 Belmont with Tonalist. For anyone looking for a nice long shot bet, Governor Malibu’s +1,600 odds to win should look pretty intriguing.
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