The final leg of the 2022 Triple Crown of Horse Racing happens on June 11 when top three-year-olds head to Elmont, New York, to run in the 1 ½ mile Belmont Stakes. Dubbed the Test of Champions, the Belmont is one of the most grueling races of a horse’s career. Check out a list of who’s out, who’s possible, and who’s in so you can plan your bets against the Belmont Stakes Odds.
Potential Belmont Stakes Field: Who’s In, Who’s Out, Who’s a Maybe
2022 Belmont Stakes
- When: June 11, 2022
- Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY
- TV / Streaming: NBC / Peacock
- Distance / Surface: 1 ½ miles over dirt
Who’s Out: Epicenter, Early Voting, Secret Oath, Taiba, Messier
Steve Asmussen trained Epicenter finished second in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Asmussen knows his horse would likely finish in the top three at the Belmont, but million dollar three-year-old races happen in the summer. Steve doesn’t want to take the chance of Epicenter burning out before the summer racing season starts.
Shortly after wiring the Preakness field, Early Voting trainer Chad Brown said his runner would skip the Belmont and race in the Travers Stakes. It makes sense because Brown has had great success at Saratoga.
Wayne Lukas gave Secret Oath a shot versus the boys. She ran great, but it wasn’t good enough for Lukas to try the fellas again in the Belmont Stakes. Instead, Lukas will freshen his star filly and run her at Saratoga.
Both Taiba and Messier are on the bench until the Del Mar meet, which begins in July. Expect both to show up in the Swaps and then to take on their elders in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic.
Who’s Possible: Howling Time, Skippylongstocking, Nest, Ethereal Road, Kuchar
Howling Time won an allowance race at Churchill Downs on May 21, the same day as the Preakness. Trainer Dale Romans is on the fence.
Skippylongstocking finished fifth in the Preakness. Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. believes the horse ran well enough to have earned a shot. But Saffie doesn’t want to burn Skippy’s chances of racing in the Haskell, Travers, or a lower level three-year-old event like the Pennsylvania Derby.
Todd Pletcher saddled Rags to Riches to a victory over Curlin in the Belmont Stakes. He thinks Nest is good enough to beat the boys on June 11. But this race should come up tough. So Pletcher could decide to wait for the big filly and mare races at Saratoga during the summer.
Ethereal Road won the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard. D. Wayne knows his horse is good enough to win the Belmont. However, Ethereal Road is a closer. It’s tough to run down lone speed and with Early Voting and Epicenter out of the race, We the People could be loose on the lead.
Kuchar is a talented front-runner. But the same connections, owner WinStar Farm and trainer Rodolphe Brissette, plan on running We the People. If Kuchar goes, it seems like Winstar will be trying to beat themselves since both horses want to run on the lead.
Who’s In: Golden Glider, Barber Road, Creative Minister, We the People, Rich Strike, Mo Donegal
Golden Glider ran hard to pick up second in the Grade 2 Peter Pan, the local prep for the Belmont. However, We the People demolished the field. So there’s no reason to believe Golden Glider can touch We the People in the Belmont.
If trainer John Ortiz tells jockey Reylu Guitierrez to race for a paycheck, Reylu will hold Barber Road back and wait to make a single run. There’s almost no chance Barber Road races fast enough in the later stages to fill out the exacta. But Barber could plop up for third.
Creative Minister is turning into a solid racehorse. However, the Belmont is three weeks after he finished third behind Epicenter and Early Voting in the Preakness. There’s a chance Creative Minister bounces at underlay odds.
Both Mo Donegal and Rich Strike, the Derby winner, are deep closers. Neither will be close enough to We the People to touch him.
If you’ve read between the lines, you know that We the People is as close to a lock as you’re going to find in horse racing. The Peter Pan winner should take the lead and cruise to an easy win. Unless another speed horse joins the Belmont fray, We the People is the one to back.