Though only one horse will ultimately win Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1), several of the field’s nine runners have a good chance to finish underneath in the first leg of the 2020 Triple Crown. We believe that these three horses could hit the board and boost the payouts for the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagers.
1. Sole Volante (9/2)
His lifetime record of 6-4-1-1 has helped establish him as one of the most consistent horses in this 3-year-old crop. Additionally, he is bred top to bottom for distance and is one of the few capable of handling the race’s original 1 1/2-mile distance. His biggest hindrance to winning this race is also what makes him a strong underneath candidate: he has shown a propensity for trailing early and making one long, sustained stretch run.
2. Modernist (15/1)
Unlike most of this field, he is undefeated at this 1 1/8-mile distance, including winning the second division of the Risen Star Stakes (G2). What sets him apart from the other horses on this list is that he prefers running much closer to the pace, which will allow him to get a quicker jump when ready to move. He recently worked heads-up with fellow Bill Mott trainee Tacitus, last year’s Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up who has become known for his own ability to consistently finish in the money.
3. Farmington Road (15/1)
Perhaps even moreso than Sole Volante, he is a one-run closer who needs several speed runners to soften things up. This year’s Belmont Stakes has little in the way of pace, so his hope for victory rests in him sitting close early, as he did when breaking his maiden for his only win to date. That, however, is unlikely – he has been at least 7 3/4 lengths behind the leader in the opening 1/2-mile in each of his five other appearances. Expect to see him picking off tired rivals late in the lane.