American Pharoah Solid Betting Favorite to Make History
American Pharoah will enter the starting gate on Saturday in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) as the heavy betting favorite to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is at betting odds of 10-13 at Bodog to win the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
American Pharoah will have jockey Victor Espinoza in the irons. The jockey will be making his third attempt at history, coming up short in the Belmont aboard War Emblem in 2002 and California Chrome last year.
Trainer Bob Baffert will bid for the Triple Crown for the fourth time. Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem each came up short in New York.
Standing in American Pharoah’s way are seven foes, five of which he beat in the Kentucky Derby. However, while American Pharoah then went to Baltimore two weeks later to win the Preakness, those five were resting and will be a fresh group on Saturday with a five week break between races.
Among those is Frosted, who is the 11-2 second choice in the wagering at Bodog. The colt won the Wood Memorial (G1) and then rallied to finish fourth in the Run for the Roses, beaten 3 ¼ lengths.
Materiality checked in sixth in the Kentucky Derby after a very impressive victory in the Florida Derby. The Todd Pletcher trainee does have an excuse - he was off a beat slow and ran into some traffic troubles.
The colt will be making just his fifth career start in the Belmont Stakes and among the field appears to have the most upside. His odds at Bodog are 13-2.
Six of the last 12 Belmont stakes winners ran in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness. In fact, the last Belmont Stakes winner that competed in the Preakness Stakes was Afleet Alex in 2005, winning both.
It has been nearly four decades since we have seen a Triple Crown winner, and odds are we could witness history on Saturday in New York.
Michael Dempsey will be providing his full card handicapping report for Belmont Stakes Day at turfnsport.com.