Who to Bet For A Belmont Stakes 2017 Return

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TwinSpires Staff

June 9th, 2017

Tapwrit preps for the Belmont Stakes (Coglianese Photo)

What is the best chance for a return on investment in the Belmont Stakes?

by Alastair Bull

The Belmont Stakes frequently provides great opportunities for a good return for punters. With most horses facing 1-1/2 miles for the first time, and many having raced hard through the spring, there are a lot of questions. The high proportion of winners in double figure odds in recent years shows how difficult a race it can be.

The late withdrawal of the likely favorite Classic Empire has made things a little more difficult, while an injury cloud surrounds Japanese challenger Epicharis, the 4-1 morning line second favorite, who didn’t train Thursday after appearing to favor his front right hoof.

Given that the 7-2 morning line favorite, Irish War Cry, is a horse whose connections weren’t thinking about the race soon after his Kentucky Derby 11th-place finish, it’s clear we have a somewhat muddled picture.
It’s arguable that any price about a winner is a good one, especially when the morning line has a 7-2 favorite in a 12-horse field. But there is good value in the field, and those that stand out to this writer are Senior Investment, Patch, and Twisted Tom. The first two are 12-1 on the morning line, and Twisted Tom is at 20-1.

Senior Investment is a horse on the improve. After finishing sixth in the Louisiana Derby, he won the Lexington Stakes well, and then rallied strongly to finish third in the Preakness Stakes, suggesting he might enjoy 1-1/2 miles.

Patch was ahead of Senior Investment in the Louisiana Derby, finishing second, before finishing 14th in the Kentucky Derby after being caught in arguably the worst going. He’s drawn widest again, but his pedigree favors him; he’s by a Belmont Stakes winner (Union Rags) out of a mare by another Belmont winner (A.P. Indy).

Twisted Tom will be running in graded stakes company for the first time. But given that he’s a horse on the improve trained by Chad Brown coming fresh into a classic race (the same as Preakness winner Cloud Computing), he’s worth a thought.

Among the horses at shorter odds, Tapwrit may represent the best value; he didn’t get the best run in the Derby and did well to finish sixth. He may end up shorter than 6-1 in the final betting. Lookin At Lee has good prospects of staying 1-1/2 miles, but will need to ensure he gets closer if he is to break a string of minor placings with a victory.

Epicharis may start at longer than 4-1 given the hoof issue. If he’s fit, his pedigree has plenty of stamina, meaning that class will be the biggest question mark. Irish War Cry’s pedigree also has some stamina, and he was caught in what some think was the worst of the going in the Kentucky Derby; the price may be a bit short, but he has more X-factor about him than most of his opponents.


Irish War Cry 7-2, Epicharis 4-1, Lookin At Lee 5-1, Tapwrit 6-1, Gormley 8-1, Senior Investment 12-1, Patch 12-1, Meantime 15-1, Multiplier 15-1, J Boys Echo 15-1, Twisted Tom 20-1, Hollywood Handsome 30-1.

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