2020 Belmont Stakes Betting Guide
The 2020 Belmont Stakes is just a couple of days away, and the official morning line odds have already been posted.
Earlier this week, I went in-depth about how to find the Belmont Stakes winner, but now it's time to make actual picks.
As I mentioned in that piece, just 2 of the last 14 Belmont Stakes events have been won by the odds-on favorite. On average, the winning horse has had the fifth-highest odds since 2005. In other words, this is not the race to be a chalk player.
Here are picks I'd make and avoid for Saturday's race.You can now place your bet with TVG or at FanDuel Racing.
Though Sole Volante (9/2) and Pneumatic (8/1) are second and fifth in current odds to win, I'm not placing winning bets on either of them.
Sole Volante is one of the more impressive horses in this race, but the gelding's jockey is what concerns me. Just 2 of the last 14 Belmont Stakes winners had a jockey that didn't win at least 15% of his races that year, and just 1 of those winners were jockeyed by someone with a top-three percentage under 35%. Luca Panici has won just 9% of his outings in 2020 and placed top-three in just 30%.
Not a single one of the winning horses since 2005 came in without a triple-digit speed figure in any of their previous efforts. Pneumatic hasn't gotten there. For that matter, neither has Modernist (15/1) or Jungle Runner (50/1).
Neither Fore Left's (30/1) trainer or jockey have the stats we've seen from past winners. I'm avoiding.
Farmington Road (15/1) is trained by Todd Pletcher, who's had plenty of success at this event, but the colt's form isn't trending in the direction we usually see from previous winners.
Win - Dr. Post (5/1)
I've been going back and forth on this pick ever since the morning odds were posted yesterday, but there are a number of factors that led to me going with Dr. Post.
First, Dr. Post will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., who is first in purse in 2019 by nearly $1 Million. Ortiz has been victorious in 26% of his outings and place top-three in 62%. That'll play.
Dr. Post is also trained by Pletcher, who has trained 3 of the last 13 winners at this event. Pletcher's horses have a 19% win-rate in 2020.
The two-time winner at Gulfstream Park also has the form and closing speed we typically see in Triple Crown contenders.
Place - Tiz The Law (6/5)
Betting favorite Tiz The Law needs to be included in either win or place bets or exotics such as Exactas or Quinellas. He's too good to simply ignore.
Tiz The Law's two races in 2020 were absolutely phenomenal, posting speed figures of 117 and 112, respectively. He'll also have a jockey who's been elite this year.
I do have some concerns with placing a win bet on Tiz The Law, not the least of which is the fact that the chalk rarely wins the Belmont Stakes. Of concern as well is that, unlike others in this event, trainer Barclay Tagg hasn't had a horse win a Triple Crown race since 2003.
Tiz The Law has also raced just once in the last four months.
Show - Tap It to Win (6/1)
I spent a lot of time leaning towards Tap It to Win as my top pick but ultimately decided against it.
Tap It to Win did get the luck of the draw with the first post position. The first post has won this event 10 more times than any other position, though it's worth noting that recently, that hasn't been the case. Just 1 of the last 22 winners (Justify in 2018) has raced out of the first position.
While he does have the form to pull this one off -- evident by his convincing win at Belmont two weeks ago -- his jockey and trainer are a tad below where we'd want them to be this year. Though, both have won this event.
Best Longshot - Max Player (15/1)
At 15/1, Max Player is my favorite longshot bet at the 2020 Belmont Stakes.
Trainer Linda is looking to become the first female trainer to have a horse win a Triple Crown race, and this could be the horse to do it.
Max Player has seen his form improve in consecutive efforts, though he's only raced three times in his career.
Most intriguing is the fact that he'll be ridden by Joel Rosario, who has jockeyed two of the last six Belmont Stakes winners.
This group has a real chance to make history.