2008 Belmont Stakes Entries and Odds

2008 Belmont Stakes Entries and Odds
by Kenneth Strong, Chief Horse Racing Handicapper, Predictem.com

Big Brown draws Post 1 for Triple Crown bid in 2008 Belmont Stakes

June 4, 2008 – Big Brown drew Post 1 for the 140th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday but it’s not likely the post will make much difference.

Big brown has already proven he can break from anywhere and dominate, and the distance of the Belmont Stakes gives him lots of time to recover should someone bother him early. It’s more likely, with his tactical speed and sharp turn of foot, that he’ll dictate how the race runs from a pace perspective. Big brown has been listed as the 2-5 morning-line favorite, which seems a little low, but everything points to the fact that he has about an 80 percent chance of winning the race, so the odds are close to being right on.

Japanese import and likely second choice Casino Drive (7/2) will break from Post 5 with new jockey Edgar Prado, who has twice upset Triple Crown bids. In 2002, Prado rode Sarava to win the Belmont Stakes after Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem stumbled at the break. In 2004, Prado guided Birdstone to win the Belmont, derailing the previously undefeated Smarty Jones. Those winners worth both huge longshots. Now Prado is on the second choice.

Big Browns regular rider Kent Desormeaux rode Casino Drive to win the recent Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park, but obviously he had to choose Big Brown for Saturday’s Triple Crown bid.

Casino Drive looks like he could be a powerhouse long-distance runner, but he lacks seasoning. Big Brown has the seasoning, but may have to bow to Casino Drive in the pedigree category with regards to stamina. Casino Drive is a half brother to Belmont Stakes winners Jazil and Rags to Riches.

A mile and a half can sneak up on horses that look like stars. Some have hidden endurance cracks in their pedigree. Many just can’t get the distance effectively in Grade 1 company. And besides getting the mile and a half distance, Big Brown must also get around the sweeping long Belmont Park turn on a foot that may or may not be 100 percent. If a safety pin could be the undoing of the great Spectacular Bid, a quarter crack that stings even a little could put a stop to Big Brown’s bid to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in history. Big Brown is the most talented horse in the field but

Will the foot hold? Can he get the distance?

Below are the entries with post positions, horses, and morning-line odds for the 140th running of the Belmont Stakes-G1. Post time on Saturday, June 7, 2008 is approximately 6:25 EST.

2008 Belmont Stakes Entries by Post Position, Horse (Odds) and Jockey

1. Big Brown (2/5) Desormeaux

2. Guadalcanal (50-1) Castellano

3. Macho Again (20-1) Gomez

4. Denis of Cork (12-1) Albarado

5. Casino Drive (7/2) Prado

6. Da Tara (30-1) Garcia

7. Tale of Ekati (20-1) Coa

8. Anak Nakal (30-1) Leparoux

9. Readys Echo (30-1) Velazquez

10. Icabad Crane (20-1) Rose