2017 Belmont Stakes Picks

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D.S. Williamson

June 8th, 2017

The 2017 Belmont Stakes takes place this Saturday, June 10. The top 3 rated three-year-olds in the United States, Derby winner Always Dreaming, Preakness winner Cloud Computing, and two-year-old champ Classic Empire, won't run in the Test of Champions.

Favorite's role has fallen onto Wood Memorial winner Irish War Cry. Is the Graham Motion trainee a lock to win at Big Sandy on Saturday? I don't think so. I actually like a longshot to win the Belmont Stakes. Check out my picks for the 2017 Belmont Stakes!

Win:  10-Multiplier, 15-1

Watch a replay of the Preakness Stakes. Concentrate on the 1 horse, Multiplier. Notice the move that Multiplier makes up the rail to get into a position that could have led to a Top 3 finish? Now, notice how Joel must take his foot off the gas pedal, wait for room, and then re-engage in the stretch?

Unlike what Always Dreaming and Lookin At Lee did in the Kentucky Derby, run along a golden rail, Multiplier ran up a rail that gave him no advantage. Who knows what may have happened if he had gotten a cleaner trip?

The Belmont Stakes is now wide-open due to Classic Empire's defection. That makes Multiplier a legitimate, longshot, winner. Joel Rosario knows Belmont as well as any jockey. Last I checked, trainer Brendan Walsh is winning races at 29%.

Place:  11-Epicharis, 4-1

Without Classic Empire in the field, Epicharis might be the classiest equine to break from the starting gate. His grandsire, Sunday Silence, built the breeding industry in Japan. Sunday Silence won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Breeders Cup Classic. Epicharis's dad, Gold Allure, was a multiple Group 1 winner in Japan. Gold Allure won the Group 1 Tokyo Daishoten at 2,000 meters. 2,000 meters translates to 1.24724 miles.

Epicharis only must deal with Irish War Cry and Meantime on the front end. I think he ends up the favorite before they break from the gates. The race really sets up for him. Plus, international horseplayers are going to be all over him.

Show:  7-Irish War Cry, 7-2

Irish War Cry has a lot of talent. There's no doubt about that. He should get the trip since his sire is Curlin. Again, no doubt. But, one must question which Irish War Cry shows up on Saturday. If the Irish War Cry that wants to run shows up, forget it. He could win by 4 lengths. But, if the Irish War Cry that shows up decides to take it easy in the stretch, he might finish towards the back of the pack.

That's the problem with this horse. He's got his own mind. He's a fighter only when he wants to be. The Test of Champions is like no other race. It's run at 1 1/2 miles. What happens if Irish War Cry, whom I picked to win the Derby, decides...eh, I'm tried. Let's go back to the barn?

He's too risky to make him my key horse.

Fourth:  12-Patch, 12-1

I've debated on which Todd Pletcher runner, Patch or Tapwrit, I wanted to use in my superfecta. I decided to go with Patch. I can't get past how badly Tapwrit ran in his past two races. Not only that, but Patch's sire, Union Rags, won the Belmont Stakes. The one-eyed horse had no shot in the Derby. His upside appears higher than Tapwrit's. The way that Patch went to the rail and almost caught Girvin in the Louisiana Derby speaks to his talent.

I think Patch has a shot to win the Belmont Stakes. I'm going with Multiplier, but I'm not arguing with anybody who puts Patch on top.