After taking a pass on the Preakness Stakes following a respectable run at the Kentucky Derby last month, Tacitus will return to action in Saturday’s running of the Belmont Stakes as a +200 favorite on the horse racing odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Tacitus benefited from Maximum Security’s controversial disqualification from the Kentucky Derby, lifting the William Mott-trained colt into third place and his fourth straight finish in the money going into the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Tacitus enjoyed steady success on the road to the Kentucky Derby, posting victories in his first two career graded stakes races, including the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial, which lifted him among the favorites in the Run for the Roses as a +600 wager. He will start on the extreme outside on Saturday after landing the No. 10 gate in this week’s draw.
However, Tacitus is expected to face fierce competition this weekend from War of Will, who closely trails on the Belmont Stakes odds at +225.
The only horse that will see action in all three races that make up this year’s Triple Crown of American Thoroughbred Racing, War of Will is coming off an impressive victory at the Preakness Stakes that paid out on +400 odds.
The Mark Casse-trained colt was forced to settle for a seventh-place finish at the Kentucky Derby after being involved in a late-race incident that cost Maximum Security the win, extending a disappointing run that started with a ninth-place finish at the Louisiana Derby.
And while War of Will drew onto the rail at both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, he will now line up alongside Tacitus in Saturday’s race after drawing the nine-post, setting the stage for an epic battle between the two favorites.
Further down the odds to win the Belmont Stakes for Saturday, Master Fencer sits at +700, just ahead of Intrepid Heart at +800, while Bourbon War joins Everfast at +1000.
The first-ever Japanese horse to race in the Kentucky Derby, Master Fencer tallied a pair of wins in six career races in Japan before making his North American debut with a steady sixth-place finish at Churchill Downs, exceeding expectations as a +6600 longshot.
A third-place finisher last time out at last month’s Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park, Intrepid Heart will likely represent trainer Todd Pletcher’s best chance to claim a fourth career Belmont Stakes win. With veteran jockey John Velazquez aboard, Intrepid Heart will likely be in the thick of the competition right from the start of Saturday’s race after drawing the eight-post, alongside War of Will.
Thumbnail photo via Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports Images