2022 Belmont Stakes: Will Derby Winner Rich Strike Pull Another Surprise?

The 2022 Belmont Stakes is Saturday, June 11 with post time at 6:49 p.m. EST. Using TVG projections and Horse Racing Nation as a guide, here are the horse profiles for the 1.5-mile “Test of the Champion” at Belmont Park.

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As always, check the program for racing information, odds and monitor the weather and track conditions.

(I may reference BRIS and Equibase's Speed Figures, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions.)

#4 Rich Strike

Morning Line Odds: 7/2
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Trained by Eric Reed and ridden by Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Sonny Leon, Rich Strike was installed at 7/2 on the morning line odds. This is the first Belmont Stakes appearance for Rich Strike’s connections.

The 80-1 odds Kentucky Derby winner is one of a number of runners who will likely be looking to make up ground around the big sweeping far turn and down the long Belmont stretch. But following a pace collapse in the Derby, this race should set up quite differently in terms of pace and won’t be nearly as brisk for this deep closer who posted a career-best BRIS and Equibase Speed Figure (106) in his shocking win.

Rich Strike is bred for the distance, and his sire, Keen Ice, finished third in the Belmont Stakes. But history shows that deep closers who achieved a top speed figure in the Kentucky Derby do not fare well in the Belmont. Also, Rich Strike has won just 2-of-8 starts overall, and Leon has never ridden at Belmont Park. The huge oval and sweeping turns are generally not too kind to inexperienced riders.

In the 153-year history of the Belmont Stakes, 65 times the post-time favorite has won the race. But there have also been eight Belmont winners with double-digit across the last 15 years.