Belmont Stakes picks, trifecta and superfecta bets


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Saturday’s Belmont Stakes will feature the return of Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, but not the Preakness Winner, Early Voting, the latter pointing to a summer campaign at Saratoga instead of contesting the final leg of the Triple Crown. The field of eight horses, led by morning line favorite We the People and a few short-priced contenders, will suppress the payoffs of the trifecta and superfecta, forcing us to be laser-focused with our selections. To cover all combinations in a 50-cent trifecta or 10-cent superfecta would cost just $168 each, a low enough sum for deep-pocketed bettors and super teams to make sure all viable permutations are accounted for.

We won’t cover all combinations, but we will look to maximize the most likely outcomes and focus on two specific scenarios for Saturday’s big race.

Before Rich Strike was a star at Churchill Downs, he was a failure at Ellis Park

In the first scenario, We the People, the lone front-running horse on paper, gets loose on the lead and is able to dictate the pace on his own terms, leaving plenty of energy in the tank for a late run. Front-runners, as a reminder, are horses whose best performances are run on the lead. Stalkers are content to sit two to three lengths off the pace before making a move for the front. Pressers like to run in the middle of the pack before contesting the race. Closers are usually found behind the first and second flight of horses, conserving their energy for a late kick entering the stretch.

Lone speed horses, like We the People in this field, can be dangerous at any distance, from 4½-furlong sprints to1½-mile routes. Of course, if We the People wins, the exotic payoffs will be modest at best, since he is a 2-1 favorite on the morning line.

The filly that could beat the boys in the Belmont Stakes

In the second scenario, the race holds true to historical form and a horse who inherited between two and three times more speed than stamina from its ancestors — known as the horse’s dosage index, a numerical expression of a horse’s pedigree first described in the Daily Racing Form in 1981 — wins the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Since 2012, when the Kentucky Derby adopted its points system for qualifying — and not including 2020, when the Belmont Stakes was run at a truncated 1⅛ miles — half of the horses entered in the Belmont had a dosage index between 2.00 and 3.00. Yet that group has accounted for eight of the nine winners. Horses in that range this year include Nest (3.00 dosage index), Skippylongstocking (3.00) and Mo Donegal (3.00). Among that qualifying group, only Skippylongstocking, 20-1 on the morning line, figures to go off at double-digit odds. (We the People has a dosage index of 4.33.)

With all that in mind, here’s how I would structure my bets on race day. Depending on your bankroll, you can increase the amount wagered on each bet or go with the minimum outlay as indicated.

Trifecta betting strategy

1 with 2, 3, 5, 6 with 2, 3, 5, 6 for $6

3 with 2, 5, 6 with 2, 5, 6 for $3

2, 5, 6 with 3 with 2, 5, 6 for $3

2, 5, 6 with 2, 5, 6 with 3 for $3

Superfecta betting strategy

1 with 2, 3, 5, 6 with 2, 3, 5, 6 with ALL for $6

3 with 2, 6 with 1, 2, 5, 6 with ALL for $3

2 with 3 with 5, 6 with ALL for $1

2 with 5 with 3 with ALL for 50 cents


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