Before you play NESN’s Belmont Stakes Challenge, make sure you study for the test.
Handicapper Kirk Rockwell is one of the best in the business at betting horses and he’s a valuable resource for anybody looking to gain a stronger understanding of the industry. Rockwell basically grew up at Pompano Park in South Florida and he’s spent over half his life studying and watching races.
Rockwell helped us cash with Early Voting at the Preakness three weeks ago.
“Mo Donegal is the closer to watch at Belmont,” Rockwell told NESN. “He finished fifth in the Derby and closed late with (jockey) Irad Ortiz, Jr., but ran out of time. He beat Early Voting at the Wood Memorial down the stretch. Early Voting had the speed and Mo Donegal chased him down late thanks to the longer track.
“The Belmont is a mile and a half, so you’ve got more leeway to run down the lead. Mo Donegal has the ability to catch anybody late because this is the longest Triple Crown race. He’s also got plenty of rest without running the Preakness. And I love the combination of Irad (Ortiz) and Todd Pletcher.”
Belmont Stakes odds via TVG:
(1) We the People 2-1
(2) Skippylongstocking 20-1
(3) Nest 8-1
(4) Rich Strike 7-2
(5) Creative Minister 6-1
(6) Mo Donegal 5-2
(7) Golden Glider 20-1
(8) Barber Road 10-1
“I’ll be using Mo Donegal in the exotics with Creative Minister and Barber Road,” Rockwell said. “If you exacta box those three horses with the favorite — We the People — that’s a solid ticket. Barber Road has the best jockey upgrade with Hall of Famer Joel Rosario on top.”
Uncle Kirk likes We the People, but not to win the race.
“He’s going to be the speed horse that tries to get out in front,” Rockwell explained. “It’s very, very rare that a three-year-old can go a mile and a half out in front like that. We the People won an allowance race and just hasn’t raced at this class before. When you have one lone-speed horse with six others stalking him, that doesn’t really set up for success.”