Other Sports: NFL College Football NBA Basketball College Basketball Baseball NHL Hockey Soccer MMA Boxing Nascar Golf Online Casinos

How to Bet

Handicapping

Other Great Sites

Belmont Stakes Picks

2016 Belmont Stakes-G1, Race 11, Belmont Park, Saturday, June 11, 2016
3-Year-Olds, 1 1/2-miles, Dirt, Purse: $1.5 million

Belmont Stakes Analysis

Exaggerator could be his own worst enemy in the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes today, and that's probably the only thing that can get him beat as the 9/5 morning line favorite.

Jockey Kent Desormeaux finally figured Exaggerator after timing his move wrong four starts ago in the San Felipe-G2. Since then it's been relatively clear sailing for the son of champion Curlin. He romped in the sloppy Santa Anita Derby-G1 three starts ago, encountered enough trouble to keep him out of the win photo in the Kentucky Derby-G1, although he likely wouldn't have won, and then came back to win the muddy Preakness-G1 in his last start after a perfect trip in which favorite Nyquist got into a suicidal duel.

Exaggerator did however, show something new in the Preakness. He made two moves, one to get into contention earlier than usual and another to win the race. That could stand him well in Saturday's Belmont, but it could also be his undoing. Desormeaux knows he's got two moves in his horse now, and he'll likely try to use one early and one late in a race with much less speed than his last.

Gettysburg looks like the speed of the race, but he also appears out classed and he doesn't look like he'll get the distance. We're thinking he'll be followed closely by Governor Malibu, Stradivari, Destin, and recent maiden breaker Seeking the Soul. The rest of the field is composed of relatively deep closers, a running style which doesn't generally work in the Belmont at 1 1/2-miles.

Interestingly, the two horses we think have the best shot at an upset are conditioned by a trainer we're not really a fan of, but in this case they have the angles, the riders, and possibly the talent going for them.

Destin will be ridden by top New York rider Javier Castellano and he may be better than he looks. He finished sixth beaten seven lengths in the Kentucky Derby after winning both the Sam F. Davis-G3 and Tampa Bay Derby-G3 against lesser competition. The Derby was a big step up in class for Destin and he made a decent bid before tiring. The rider certainly wasn't abusing him late, so maybe he was saving something for a better day, like today. Destin should sit close and make a bid into the stretch, but we're just not sure whether he can get the distance, or whether he can outrun his talented stablemate Stradivari.

Stradivari made just his fourth lifetime start in the Preakness Stakes after winning a maiden race at Gulfstream Park by 11 1/4-lengths and an allowance race at Keeneland by 14 1/2-lengths. He was actually right beside the much more seasoned Exaggerator in the Preakness when that one made his winning move, but couldn't keep pace late. Still, he outran his trainer to finish fourth beaten only four lengths in the Preakness and he fits one of our favorite angles of running s strong race on the class raise and coming back for a second start in the same class. Improvement is often forthcoming in these situations, especially with good horses that have achieved the higher level of fitness required to win in the new, faster and better class.

One or both of the Pletcher trainees and Exaggerator should fight it out for the top two spots in this year's Belmont Stakes, and the remainder of the field of generally over-rated closers will fight it out for the spoils.

At 4-1 or better Stradivari probably offers decent betting value. There's no question he has serious talent, and he also gets the services of top jockey John Velazquez. Destin could beat his stablemate with an absolutely perfect trip, and both will have to hope that Exaggerator's jockey makes a mistake in timing his moves. At a less than inviting odds, we're going to pick Exaggerator on top because he's the proven class and talent of the field, but we'll spend our win-place money on Stradivari and play a smaller saver amount on Destin.

In the Belmont Exacta we'll take Stradivari top and bottom with Exaggerator and Destin, with extra boxes on the Destin-Stradivari combo just to try to make a score. We'll also box all three in lesser exactas, play them in a trifecta box and use all three in all four spots in 20-cent Belmont Superfectas, just in case some crazy longshot like the improving but nutty Lani slips into the mix.

Could happen.

Free Picks

Santa Anita Picks - (Currently in Season) Free daily picks from one of North American's most popular race tracks!

Belmont Picks - (Currently in Season) Free daily Belmont Park predictions from the winningest horse handicapper on the net!

Aqueduct Picks - (Currently out of Season) Bet like a Pro! Take Kenny's picks to the track with you and increase your odds of winning!

Del Mar Picks - (Currently Out of Season) Kenneth gives his award winning race day predictions for all the races at Del Mar!

Saratoga Picks - (Currently Out of Season) Get free daily predictions each day of the racing season from the best pro horse handicapper on the planet!

Los Alamitos Picks - (Currently Not Covering) Professional horse racing handicapper Ken Strong gives Predictem readers his take on the races at Los Alamitos!

Betting

Bovada - Bet on horse races using your Credit Card and get a 50% bonus up to $250 in free money!

Weekly Rebates - Find out where you can get weekly rebates of up to 5% on your action! Not net losses, we're talking 5% back on your total risked amount!

Kentucky Derby Futures - Take long odds on your favorite horse way before the Derby starts and get paid HUGE for correctly selecting the winning horse!

Horse Racing

Kentucky Derby Betting - K. Strong dives deep into the betting and handicapping aspects of the Kentucky Derby.

Preakness Stakes Betting - The second jewel of the Triple Crown!

Belmont Stakes Betting - The 3rd jewel of the Triple Crown and logest of the trio at 1.5 miles long.

Understanding Betting on Horses - How does it work? We cover the bases plus explain exotic bets.

About Kenneth Strong - Get tips, advice and award winning information from one of the nation's best horse handicappers!

Horse Racing Books and More