There are quite a few horses with very strong 2011 Belmont Stakes odds, and with the start time and post positions already set, it is now time to get our horse racing picks in order. It’s hard to fathom that Animal Kingdom was a huge dark horse going into this year’s Kentucky Derby. After the way the three-year-old won the Derby, combined with his second-place finish at the Preakness Stakes, he’s seemed like the favorite all along. That won’t change before the upcoming Belmont Stakes, where Animal Kingdom is listed as a solid 2-1 horse racing picks favorite to be the outright winner. He will have some familiar competition in this one, but he should finally be able to get it done on a track that is the longest out of the three Triple Crown race courses.
The only difference between the Derby and the Preakness Stakes was that Animal Kingdom surpassed every horse but one in the Preakness Stakes. What has been most impressive in my eyes has been the way Animal Kingdom has closed on the field in the final stretches, something that marks confidence and poise. At the Belmont Stakes, Animal Kingdom should have an advantage too; given it will be a longer course at a mile and a half, which tends to favor those with endurance that can close. The two horses that will challenge Animal Kingdom are Nehro and Mucho Macho Man. I know Animal Kingdom won’t go down easily, but I’m taking Nehro and his 4-1 Belmont Stakes odds at Bovada, to come out on top in what will certainly be a very close race.
Mucho Macho Man finished third in the Kentucky Derby, and then finished sixth in the Preakness Stakes despite losing a shoe in the race. The colt’s bad luck appears to be continuing, as he was slotted in the number 10 post position for the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. In the 12-horse field, that’s rather disheartening, considering you generally want to be as close to the middle post position as you can. Given all Mucho Macho Man has had to battle this year, the last thing his camp wanted to hear is that he has to battle through the field to get a good position in the final stretch. I think this will make life tougher on Mucho Macho Man, but we shall soon find out.