Belmont Stakes Tips & Analysis: Is Intrepid Heart the Bet?
War of Will is the lone soldier to go through the five-week grind of the Triple Crown. Coming off his Preakness Stakes win he finds himself playing second fiddle to a local, fresh horse, Tacitus. But there are cases to be made for the other seven runners.
Belmont Stakes Odds 2019
- Tacitus: 9/5
- War of Will: 2/1
- Master Fencer: 8/1
- Intrepid Heart: 10/1
- Bourbon War: 12/1
- Everfast: 12/1
- Sir Winston: 12/1
- Spinoff: 15/1
- Tax: 15/1
- Joevia: 30/1
Play these Belmont Stakes 2019 Odds at:
Tacitus (9/5): Does Freshness Make a Difference?
In a word, yes. Having five weeks off between the Kentucky Derby and Belmont historically has made a difference. Tacitus ran a huge fourth in the race, ultimately moved up to third because of the disqualification.
His jockey Jose Ortiz categorized him as a horse that was still figuring things out when he made his first start this year and clearly he has figured things out. Everyone here at Belmont that has watched him train has commented how he floats over the surface.
Distance should not be an issue as his stallion Tapit has produced three Belmont Stakes winners. My only problem is I think he will be overbet because he will be considered the home horse from New York.
War of Will (2/1): Will the Grind Get to Him?
It took him some time to get over his Kentucky Derby run from an energy perspective, and Mark Casse said that it has been the same between the Preakness and Belmont. He did state that War of Will did pick up his energy in both instances, and watching him train, it’s impossible to disagree.
He has a perfect post position and will be forward in the race and he has seemingly endless European distance pedigree which offsets any concern of getting the distance. I prefer War of Will over Tacitus, by a slim margin because of the ability to establish better early position.
Intrepid Heart (10/1): The Pick to Click
This is my top selection. He’s by Tapit, again a producer of three Belmont Stakes winners, and he is a half brother to Commissioner, who was second in the Belmont Stakes. He is trained by Todd Pletcher, who has won the Belmont Stakes three times, and this colt has good early speed.
I love the equipment change to add blinkers this race, as Pletcher has said that Intrepid Heart has been too focused on just staying with his competition in his races and not showing his full ability. He should be close to 10-1, so he is worth a strong win bet on Saturday.
Spinoff (15/1): More Early Positional Speed
He didn’t handle the sloppy conditions in the Kentucky Derby, and he had a wide draw which caught up with him. Spinoff is out of the mare Zaftig, who won the Grade I Acorn Stakes at the age of 3 right here at Belmont. So, the pedigree is there.
He has impressed me the most when it comes to watching these horses train this week at Belmont Park. He bounced on and off the track in the mornings, and he has to be used as a long-shot runner underneath in exotics at the very least.
Everfast (12/1): Did the Real Runner Show Up in the Preakness
At 30-1, Everfast shocked everyone in the Preakness Stakes with his second-place finish, except his trainer Dale Romans, who says that he knew all along that this horse was going to run that kind of race in Baltimore.
Now whether that’s “Coach-Speak” or honesty, it is tough to ignore that he was the only horse running on late in the Preakness. I do think that he appreciated that approach of dropping out of it and waiting for a fast pace to develop.
Also, as I stated, it’s hard for deep closers to rally and win this marathon. Hopefully the light bulb went on and remains on for a horse that has been so inconsistent. Romans has stated to me multiple times this week that he expects a win from Everfast, a statement I have not heard before from him before a race in a long time.
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