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Belmont Stakes Predictions

by Michael Kashin on Thursday, June 9th, 2011

It is time to start assessing our Belmont Stakes predictions, with the third leg of the Triple Crown scheduled for Saturday, June 11th, at 6:20pm ET on NBC. Animal Kingdom took this year’s Kentucky Derby, and then Shackleford won the Preakness, so there is no Triple Crown hype surrounding this race, like many of us would have hoped. Since Cauthen’s magical ride in the late 70’s, 11 horses have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, giving them a chance to win the Triple Crown. All 11 failed in their quest to become the ultimate champion in the sport of kings. Ironically, there have only been 11 Triple Crown winners in the history of the three-race event. Animal Kingdom will head the field as the 2-1 Belmont Stakes picks favorite to win this race, but I think Nehro will finally pull off a victory on the big stage.

Nehro, a late bloomer, is either a talented-but-unlucky horse or one with a severe case of seconditis, finding ways to lose instead of figuring out what it takes to win. That’s where Saturday’s 143rd Belmont Stakes comes in, with Nehro, the winner of just one race in his career, having been installed as the 4-1 Belmont odds second choice at behind Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, following the post position draw today at Belmont Park. Nehro skipped the Preakness, so he should be running on fresh legs.

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom was made a 2-1 morning-line favorite Wednesday for the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes after he drew the No. 9 stall in the post position draw. Animal Kingdom, who is conditioned by Maryland trainer Graham Motion, will have his work cut out for him as he tries to become just the 12th horse to win the Derby and the Belmont. Only four winners have come from that position since 1905. But Motion said he doesn’t think it will matter much.