Justify will be aiming to become just the 13th horse in the past century to capture the Triple Crown on Saturday when he leaves the post as the 10/11 favorite on the Belmont Stakes odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The three-year-old Chestnut colt has been dominant in his short career, going undefeated in five career races, and can become the second Bob Baffert-trained horse to win the Triple Crown since 2015 with a victory in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
While this year’s Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes both proved to be rain-soaked affairs, the sloppy tracks in those races provided ideal conditions for Justify, who was bred to run in the mud. Justify powered to victory by 2.5 lengths at the Kentucky Derby, paying out on 13/4 odds, but claimed victory by a far narrower margin two weeks later at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, edging out Bravazo by a half-length as a 11/25 wager.
There currently is no rain in the forecast for Saturday afternoon, setting the stage for Justify to face stiff competition on a cool, dry track.
A trio of horses that took on Justify in the Kentucky Derby remain his closest competitors on the Belmont Stakes betting lines, with Hofburg pegged at 9/2, ahead of Bravazo at 15/2, while Vino Rosso trails at 9/1.
Hofburg followed up a spirited second-place finish in the Florida Derby with a solid seventh-place run in the mud at Churchill Downs as an 18/1 bet, and returns to action after skipping the Preakness Stakes.
Bravazo’s second-place finish in the Preakness Stakes as a 20/1 wager is the closest any horse has come to beating Justify, and also marks a dramatic improvement after the Seattle Slew descendant ran to a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
Expected to challenge Justify as a 16/1 wager on the Kentucky Derby odds after running to a thrilling victory in the Wood Memorial on a dry track at Aqueduct, Vino Rosso finished a distant ninth in the mud at Churchill Downs, and will start well outside from the No. 8 post on Saturday.
Tenfold follows at 10/1, ahead of Blended Citizen at 18/1, but it is Gronkowski that has captured the attention of bettors as a 25/1 wager. The Chad Brown-trained colt stormed to victory in four straight races before being forced to withdraw from the Kentucky Derby, reportedly due to an infection.
However, Gronkowski will be entering uncharted territory in the Belmont Stakes, which marks his first race longer than one mile.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports