Rivals Best Suited to Deny Justify the Triple Crown

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D.S. Williamson

May 22nd, 2018

Justify is at -130 to win the Triple Crown. That means Justify is at -130 odds to win the Belmont Stakes. The Bob Baffert trainee certainly looks like a monster. If he were to win the Belmont, nobody would be surprised.

But, the Belmont isn't called the Test of Champions for nothing, right? That's why I've come up with the five best horses capable of taking down the great Justify at Big Sandy on June 9. If you don't agree with me, no worries. Let me know by leaving a comment.

Rivals Best Suited to Deny Justify the Triple Crown

1.  Audible

In the past 10 years, trainer Todd Pletcher has won 3 Belmont Stakes:  Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013, and Tapwrit last year. Pletcher's top contender for the Belmont Stakes appears to be Audible. The son of Into Mischief finished a fast closing third in the Kentucky Derby.

2. Vino Rosso

Another Pletcher trained horse, Vino Rosso had no shot in the Derby after going wide around both turns. He actually made a mild move around the second turn, but there was no way jockey Johnny V. could have gotten him to accelerate like we know he can. The son of Curlin and a Street Cry broodmare could be tough in the Belmont.

3. Hofburg

I think he had a marvelous run in the Derby. He brushed at the start, steadied twice, and still ran on for 7th place. There's no telling how well he might have run without the trouble and if he had gotten a chance to race over a dry track. Tapit, Hofburg's sire, has produced the last two Belmont Stakes winners:  Tapwrit last year, and Creator in 2016. Bill Mott trains and Juddmonte Farms owns. Can the connections get any better?

4. Blended Citizen

He impressed the way he ran down Core Beliefs in the Peter Pan Stakes, the prep for the Belmont Stakes. The real question is whether he can get the distance. He's a big, long striding, colt. But, his sire, Proud Citizen, comes from the Mr. Prospector line. He's got a ton of turf breeding on his dam's side. Hopefully, the turf breeding will kick it in on June 9.

5. Bravazo

That was some move he made to finish second in the Preakness Stakes on May 19. That was a big time move because he allowed Tenfold to pass him, waited patiently, and then ran on like crazy once he got the cue to go. I'd have him higher on this list, but he won't be fresh at Big Sandy.

5A. Tenfold

Slowly but surely he's developing into a top racehorse. Any more improvement could put him into the Belmont Stakes' winner's circle. Trainer Steve Asmussen won the Belmont with Creator. He finished second with Curlin. Curlin sired Tenfold. Tenfold's got Tapit on his broodmare's side. I don't believe he's peaked just yet. If he does on June 9, he could upset Justify.