The final leg of the Triple Crown is nearly upon us, with the Belmont Stakes set for tomorrow. Director of Marketing Racing Rich Nilsen nailed National Treasure to win the Preakness, and he’s back again to help us.
Is the Belmont Stakes field the strongest of any leg of this Triple Crown?
RN: “Although it is a shorter 9-horse field as compared to the Kentucky Derby, this race is very competitive like the Derby and there are few runners you can easily toss.”
National Treasure is coming off a Preakness win, but only has the fourth-lowest odds. Why isn’t he the favorite here?
RN: “The Bob Baffert runner took advantage of a slow pace situation in the Preakness and yet barely held on for the win, and this is a much tougher field. However, I have learned over the years to toss Baffert horses at your own peril.”
Who is your pick to win the Belmont Stakes?
RN: “Hit Show (+1000) moved into a fast pace on the turn for home in the Derby before flattening out late. The Brad Cox runner has more tactical speed than his stablemate, Angel Of Empire (+350), and he’s our pick with underrated, local rider Manny Franco aboard.”