As reported late last month, Kentucky Derby winner, Always Dreaming and Preakness Stakes champion, Cloud Computing have decided to skip the Belmont Stakes 2017. This means that from the top-13 contenders in the current rankings, a new thoroughbred will shine the brightest in what horse racing picks experts refer to as the “The Third Jewel of the Triple Crown.”
After going into the Preakness with high hopes, Todd Pletcher’s Always Dreaming tanked at Pimlico. The loss, not only brought to an end his Triple Crown hopes, but also ended horse racing betting aficionados’ interest in wagering on the son of Bodemeister following his lackluster eighth-place finish effort.
“Todd [Pletcher] ended up conferring with the majority partners and I think they just want to take a deep breath with him” said Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds. “There are some really exciting spots for him later in the year. Certainly the big one is the Travers. So that was the thinking –we take a pause here and regroup.”
As far as Cloud Computing is concerned, his trainer Chad Brown also went public with his decision to pull the Preakness Stakes winner from next Saturday’s Triple Crown finale. Instead, the 2016 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer award recipient will put his hopes on Private Terms and Federico Tesio winner, Twisted Tom.
“As we try to plan his second half of the year, we just don’t feel like running in a mile and a half race just three weeks after his strong performance in the Preakness is the right thing to do for him if we want to have a horse for the rest of the year,” said Brown.
So, which are the early favorites to win the Belmont Stakes 2017 as we enter Race Week in Elmont, New York. For the record, the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes takes place Saturday, June 10 at Belmont Park in the Big Apple, and here are the top three contenders most horse racing picks specialists will be studying closely prior to the post position draw later in the week:
Classic Empire (2/1): After a few failed attempts, all indications are that Classic Empire is now fit for his mainstream coming-out party, and with good reason. Trained by Mark Casse, the Arkansas Derby-G1 winner is the early horse racing betting favorite at 2/1. Classic Empire is coming off a fourth-place effort at the Kentucky Derby-G1 before earning the Show/runner-up spot at the Preakness, but appears to be in “perfect” form for this weekend’s Triple Crown clincher. At this point (pending the official post positions draw), I certainly like his chances as he hopes the third time will prove to be the charm.
Epicharis (5/1): Coming in as a close second-place in the horseracing futures list of contenders/rankings is Japanese import, Epicharis at 5/1. Trained by Kiyoshi Hagiwara, the son of Gold Allure will be making his American debut on one of the biggest stages in the horse racing betting world. The Hyacinth Stakes winner will be looking for the second victory of his young career following a second-place effort at the UAE Derby-G2 last March. Hagiwara was pleased with his first practice run following his arrival in the States last Thursday. “It was just to check how he is here since arriving from Japan,” he said. “It looked like he’s okay so it was good. Tomorrow he will go a lot faster, and longer, but he’s not sure if he’ll go here or the main track.”
Lookin at Lee (5/1): Also listed as a 5/1 in the Belmont Stakes 2017 contenders/rankings is a more familiar name to the American horse racing betting base in Lookin at Lee. Under the watchful eye of Hall of Fame trainer Steven Asmussen, the son of Lookin At Lucky also appears to be a great bet/risk come Saturday night at Belmont Park. Lookin at Lee is coming off an impressive second-place finish at the Derby, and was also in contention at the Preakness where he placed fourth. After completing his half-mile practice, Asmussen’s assistant, Toby Sheets was certainly pleased with what he saw. “He came back great and I thought it went perfect. He seems to really like Belmont. We got great weather this morning, so that always helps.”
- Belmont Stakes 2017 Horse Racing Picks: Classic Empire (2/1)
2017 Belmont Stakes Top-13 Rankings & Contenders’ Futures Odds
- Classic Empire: 2/1
- Epicharis: 5/1
- Lookin at Lee: 5/1
- Senior Investment: 8/1
- Irish War Cry: 9/1
- Tapwrit: 10/1
- Twisted Tom: 14/1
- Gormley: 16/1
- Irap: 16/1
- Patch: 18/1
- J Boys Echo: 20/1
- Multiplier: 25/1
- Meantime: 25/1