2021 Belmont Stakes Betting Preview, Free Bets, Odds & Horses

Belmont Stakes 2021 Betting Preview

Speed kills, even at marathon Belmont Stakes 2021 distance. Get free bets bonus when betting on the Belmont Stakes 2021 races at TVG horse racing site or when signing up with Amwager app. Read our betting preview (with odds) and possible winning horse predictions.

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The Belmont Stakes 2021 Betting Prediction

The 153rd  Belmont Stakes on Saturday will not have a Triple Crown hanging in the balance, but the anachronistic “Test of the Champion” has plenty to offer bettors in its own right.

Nine 3-year-olds appear likely to step into the Belmont Park starting gate for the $1.5 million race at 1 ½-miles, the longest in the Triple Crown series and farther than most of these colts will run again in their lives. The Grade 1 race returns to its customary position as capstone of the series after being forced into the lead-off role last year by the coronavirus pandemic and run at a shortened 1 1/8th-mile distance.

The attention that comes with a live Triple Crown bid will be lacking, with Medina Spirit and Rombauer having split the first two jewels (though Medina Spirit’s first-place finish in the Kentucky Derby remains in limbo after the colt tested positive for an overage of a legal therapeutic steroid after the race).

Fortunately for horseplayers, this year’s Belmont is a wide-open affair that offers great betting opportunities. And there’s no need to sit on the bankroll until the big event, with 17 stakes races offered over what is now known as the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival that starts on Thursday, including eight Grade 1s on Belmont Stakes day, June 5.

Where to watch, bet Belmont Stakes 2021

The post position draw on Tuesday to cement the lineup will be shown live on Fox Sports 2 beginning at 11 a.m. ET. The race itself will be broadcast on Saturday by NBC, with two hours of undercard coverage on the NBC Sports Network preceding the 5-7 p.m. ET block on the main network. Both will be livestreamed at NBCSports.com. Post time for the Run for the White Carnations is set for 6:49 p.m. ET.

Betting on the Belmont Stakes 2021 race and the stakes-studded undercard also will be available at almost every U.S. racetrack and simulcast site and online via advance deposit wagering sites and mobile apps such as TVG, Nyra Bets, Amwager and more. 

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2021 Belmont Stakes Horses & Odds

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

Estimated odds

Bourbonic

Todd Pletcher

Kendrick Carmouche

25-1

Essential Quality

Brad Cox

Luis Saez

3-1

France Go de Ina

Hideyuki Mori

Ricardo Santana Jr.

30-1

Hot Rod Charlie

Doug O’Neill

Flavien Prat

4-1

Known Agenda

Todd Pletcher

Irad Ortiz Jr.

6-1

Overtook

Todd Pletcher

Manny Franco

18-1

Rebel’s Romance

Charlie Appleby

Mike Smith

10-1

Rock Your World

John Sadler

Joel Rosario

8-1

Rombauer

Michael McCarthy

John Velazquez

9-2

Most Belmont Stakes 2021 bettors will likely focus on the beaten Kentucky Derby betting favorite Effective Quality, Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer and Derby third-place finisher Hot Rod Charlie, but the competition doesn’t end there. Odds are above. Free bets bonus can be claimed at TVG USA.

Rock Your World, the second choice in the Derby wagering before stumbling badly at the start; Known Agenda, impressive winner of the Florida Derby on March 27 before finishing ninth in the Run for the Roses after breaking from the disadvantageous rail; and the intriguing European-based colt Rebel’s Romance, winner of the U.A.E. Derby in Dubai in his last start, all will attract their share of support at the betting windows.

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Assessing the pedigrees

Because of its stamina-testing distance, the Belmont Stakes poses an unique challenge for handicappers accustomed to using contenders’ recent efforts at similar distances to calculate how they will run today.

In the Belmont Stakes, the puzzle switches to trying to figure how contenders will fare as they try to navigate a distance a quarter mile – nearly 4 ½ football fields – farther than any of them have ever raced before. That’s reflected in its generous average $2 win payout of $23.20 over the previous 15 runnings,, excluding last year’s shortened edition. 

There is an old school tool intended to measure the stamina in an individual thoroughbred’s bloodlines – known as the dosage index – that can be helpful in predicting which horses may be able to handle the added distance. I recommend this excellent horseracingnation.com article for those who want to know more about the tool, which has largely fallen out of use, so I can cut to the chase:

The dosage index  recommends a maximum distribution of its various components of 3.00 to successfully navigate the “classic distance” of 1 ¼ miles or more.

That number exceeded by two long shots in the Belmont Field: Overtook (3.29) and France Go de Ina (7.00). More interesting, however is that three other entrants – Bourbonic, Hot Rod Charlie and expected favorite Essential Quality – have dosage indexes of exactly 3.00, or right at the cutoff point.

The dosage index shows these horses as having the highest likelihood of “getting the trip”: Rebel’s Romance (1.10); Known Agenda (1.44); Rombauer (1.86); and Rock Your World (2.20).

The dosage index is a good general guideline, but it’s hardly infallible.

Forecasting the pace

Post position in the Belmont Stakes 2021 is generally not as important as it is in the other Triple Crown races because the early pace tends to be more relaxed and there is plenty of time for jockeys to guide their mounts toward the rail before the first turn at “Big Sandy,” as Belmont Park is known.

Horses can win from any position, though the race tends to slightly favor horses that race in the rear half of the field early.  Over the last 15 runnings (again excluding last year’s shortened Belmont Stakes) early speed has won three times; close-up pressers four times; midpack runners three times; and closers five times.

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Who wins the Belmont Stakes 2021? And the winner is …

Despite the relatively even playing field, I think pace will be the decisive factor this year, with one horse – Rock Your World – possessing enough speed to seize control of the proceedings early.

As mentioned above, the Santa Anita Derby winner did not get an opportunity to show his brilliant speed in the Kentucky Derby, when he broke awkwardly, causing jockey Joel Rosario to briefly lose an iron leaving the gate. The John Sadler-trained son of Candy Ride was then pinched back and found himself last in the early stages rather than on top where he projected. After that, he made a mild midrace move before fading to 17th in the 19-horse field.

Also, California-based runners have dominated the Triple Crown this year, winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

With a better break, Rock Your World should be able to dictate the pace in the Belmont Stakes. If Rosario is able to keep him under control early and carve out moderate fractions of 1:13 and 2/5ths second for the first 6 furlongs and 1:38 and 2/5ths for the mile, horses trying to make up ground from behind will be facing a tall challenge.

That scenario would be particularly troublesome for two of the main contenders – Effective Quality and Hot Rod Charlie — both of whom have enough speed to stay close to Rock Your World in the early stages of the race.  Their jockeys, Luis Saez and Flavien Prat, respectively, will want to be patient to conserve their mounts’ energy for the late stages, but will risk leaving Rock Your World with plenty in the tank for the stretch run if they don’t push him a bit along the way.

Belmont Stakes 2021 Betting strategy

Rock the World is my key horse in the Belmont Stakes, and I will put 60 percent of my bankroll on his nose to win.

The rest will be invested in exactas – Rock Your World boxed with Known Agenda and Rebel’s Romance – and trifectas, using Rock Your World over Known Agenda, Rebel’s Romance and Rombauer and a wider selection of all primary contenders as well as Bourbonic and Overtook for third.

I’m taking a big chance by leaving Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie and Rombauer off the top of my tickets, but with risk comes the opportunity for big reward. And I’ve got no problem with anyone who decides to include them on a few “saver” tickets.

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