- After finishing third at the Kentucky Derby, Tacitus has emerged as the clear favorite to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes
- Along with Intrepid Heart, Tacitus is one of two horses in this year’s race sired by Tapit, who has produced three of the past five Belmont Stakes winners
- Preakness Stakes winner War of Will closely trails Tacitus as a +275 second favorite on the Belmont Stakes odds
With just hours remaining until post time, it remains a two-horse race atop the odds to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes, with Tacitus continuing to lead the way, edging out War of Will as a +175 favorite.
Odds to Win 2019 Belmont Stakes
|Team||Odds to Win 2019 Preakness Stakes|
|War of Will||+275|
*Odds taken on 06/08/19
Tacitus One of Two Tapit-Sired Horses in Saturday’s Race
One of two horses in this year’s race sired by Tapit, who also sired three of the past five Belmont Stakes winners, Tacitus benefited from the controversy at the Kentucky Derby, climbing into third place following the disqualification of Maximum Security.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) June 8, 2019
The William Mott-trained colt’s success at Churchill Downs follows a strong performance on the road to the Kentucky Derby.
Winner of the 2017 Belmont Stakes aboard Tapwrit, another son of Tapit, Jose Ortiz rode Tacitus to victories in his first two graded stakes races at the Tampa Bay Derby and the Wood Memorial, and sits seventh overall among jockeys this year with 111 wins.
Pegged at an average of +180 on the Belmont Stakes odds, and as long as +200, Tacitus should also benefit from a favorable draw that will leave him starting Saturday evening’s 151st running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on the outside from the ten-post.
War of Will Aims to Build on Preakness Win
While Tacitus returns to action well rested after taking a pass on the Preakness Stakes, War of Will aims to build on his victory at Pimlico Race Course as a short +275 second favorite on the Belmont Stakes odds.
The Mark Casse-trained colt has kept busy since making his debut last summer at Woodbine. War of Will made his grade stakes race debut with a second-place finish at last September’s Summer Stakes, but struggled at the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf, coming in fifth before embarking on a three-race win streak, capped by a victory at the Risen Star.
War of Will’s strong performance at the Kentucky Derby was overshadowed by his involvement in the foul that cost Maximum Security the win and dumped him to a distant seventh-place finish.
The roller coaster ride continued at the Louisiana Derby with a disappointing ninth-place run, and War of Will’s strong performance at the Kentucky Derby was overshadowed by his involvement in the foul that cost Maximum Security the win and dumped him to a distant seventh-place finish.
War of Will takes the second jewel of the Triple Crown. pic.twitter.com/MzXHpj0GPr
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 18, 2019
However, after drawing onto the rail for the second time in as many races, War of Will dominated a reduced field at the Preakness Stakes, edging out Everfast for the win as a +400 bet.
Now set to start Saturday’s race alongside Tacitus, from the nine-post, War of Will will be aiming to become the first non-Triple Crown winner to tally victories at both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes since Afleet Alex accomplished the feat back in 2005.
Further down the Belmont Stakes odds, Intrepid Heart joins Spinoff at +1000, while a trio of horses sport +1200 odds including Bourbon War, Master Fencer, and Sir Winston.
Intrepid Heart on the Rise Following Strong Debut
Sired by Tapit, and trained by Todd Pletcher, Intrepid Heart is coming off a third-place run in his graded stakes debut last month at the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park after posting a win in an allowance race at Keeneland in early April.
And despite his relative inexperience, Intrepid Heart has reportedly looked good in training, inspiring additional confidence that he can make a breakthrough in Saturday’s race, and likely offers the best value among this year’s field.
#BelmontStakes contender: INTREPID HEART
— Belmont Stakes (@BelmontStakes) June 7, 2019
Also trained by Pletcher, Spinoff took a major step back at the Kentucky Derby after finishing second at the Louisiana Derby, turning in an 18th-place finish in the Run for the Roses.
Bourbon War was also a disappointing in his last time out, finishing eighth at the Preakness Stakes after vaulting into contention among the favorites in the hours leading up to that race.
Conversely, Japanese-bred Master Fencer is looking to build on his unexpected success in his North American Debut at the Kentucky Derby, where he finished sixth after entering the race as a +6600 longshot.
Pick: Intrepid Heart (+1000)
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