The Belmont Stakes is known as the “Graveyard of Speed Horses” and for good reason — the 1 1/2 mile track is the longest race a horse will run in the Triple Crown.
With I’ll Have Another looking to become the first horse to claim the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, the pressure is on the other 11 horses in the field to run the perfect race on Saturday afternoon.
I’ll Have Another drew the No. 11 post, while the other top contenders — Dullahan (No. 5) and Union Rags (No. 3) — will have to fight on the inside rail.
Everyone knows it’s no fun to bet the favorite. (Pick I’ll Have Another to place or show.) So Metro gives you a breakdown of every horse in the field to help you better pick your betting favorite. We say keep an eye on Paynter.
1. Street Life (12-1)
Did well a month ago at 1 1/8 mile in the Peter Pan at Belmont, Street Life should have enough kick to remain in the thick of things and has familiarity with the track.
2. Unstoppable U (30-1)
Familiar with Belmont after a win here at a mile in late April. Unstoppable U has never been tested at this level and it will likely show in the Stakes on Saturday.
3. Union Rags (6-1)
A pre-Kentucky Derby favorite, Union Rags came in seventh at Churchill Downs. Has struggled over distance, still should be well rested enough to push I’ll Have Another.
4. Atigun (30-1)
Atigun finished first in a solid field at Churchill Downs in May. Running in the Arkansas Derby, his longest ever race, Atigun placed a disappointing fifth. Look elsewhere.
5. Dullahan (5-1)
He won the 1 1/8 mile Blue Grass Stakes in April in the lead-up to Churchill Downs, but may not have the endurance for Belmont.
6. Ravelo’s Boy (50-1)
A fifth-place finish at the Tampa Bay Derby shows this horse can hang with the favorites, but the stretch run should see Ravelo’s Boy fade.
7. Five Sixteen (50-1)
Came in fourth in a claimer’s race at Aqueduct in April, he hasn’t been tested in this class and has won just once in six starts. Enough said.
8. Guyana Star Dweej (50-1)
His father Eddington finished fourth in the Derby and he has one win and two places in his last three starts. He hasn’t run more than a mile since March.
9. Paynter (8-1)
Any horse trained by Bob Baffert will be ready for this race and Paynter has two wins and top four finishes his last four races. A win at Pimlico should boost this horse to a Triple Crown upset.
10. Optimizer (20-1)
Ran a distant sixth at the Preakness, Optimizer hasn’t had a top-three finish since March. But trainer Wayne Lukas is among the best in the business and given this field, a top-four showing isn’t out of the question.
11. I’ll Have Another (5-4)
Winner of four straight, including the first two legs of the Triple Crown, I’ll Have Another is the odds on favorite, but he will be tired from the pace of the last five weeks. Still, it’s difficult to ignore the quality here and the racing world is hoping for a historic win here. A win could do wonders to bring much-needed attention to the sport, which has faded over the past few decades. He has heart, which is needed in this race.
12. My Adonis (20-1)
A late entry, My Adonis has been spotty at distance yet did have a recent strong third at Pimlico in the Cananero II in early May. But a month before, in the Grade I Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, he ran a disappointing seventh against good competition.