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Tacitus Listed as +175 Favorite to Win 2019 Belmont Stakes After Maximum Security Pulls Out

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in Horse Racing

May 20, 2019 · 2:08 PM PDT

Belmont Park sign
After skipping the Preakness Stakes following a disappointing third-place finish at the Kentucky Derby, Tactus has emerged as the favorite to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes. Photo by Naoki Nakashima [Flickr].
  • With Maximum Security out of consideration for the Belmont Stakes, Tacitus has emerged as the early favorite to claim the third jewel in this year’s Triple Crown
  • Tacitus skipped Preakness Stakes following third-place finish at Kentucky Derby, but has recorded three wins in five career races
  • War of Will sits second in Belmont Stakes betting following his win at the Preakness Stakes, while Country House has yet to officially join the field after being hospitalized following Kentucky Derby win

Following owner Gary West’s decision late Sunday night to take Maximum Security out of consideration for a run in the Belmont Stakes, Tacitus now sits alone atop the odds to capture the third jewel in the Triple Crown of American Thoroughbred Racing, perched as a +175 favorite in horse racing futures betting.

Odds to Win 2019 Belmont Stakes

Horse Odds to Win 2019 Belmont Stakes
Tacitus +175
War of Will +333
Game Winner +450
Country House +500
Owendale +600
Code of Honor +800
Everfast +1000
Master Fencer +1000
Glabal Campaign +1200
Intrepid Heart +1200
Plus Que Parfait +1400
Sir Winston +1400
Tax +2000

*Odds taken on 05/20/19

Maximum Security and Tacitus were listed as co-favorites when Belmont Stakes odds opened Sunday.

Tacitus Looks to Rebound Following Third-Place Run at Kentucky Derby

The son of Tapit, who sired three recent winners of the Belmont Stakes – including Tonalist in 2014, Creator in 2016, and Tapwrit two years ago – Tacitus has been a steady performer in five career races.

The three-year-old colt posted back-to-back wins at the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial, but was forced to settle for third place at this year’s controversy-plagued Kentucky Derby while pegged as a +900 bet.

However, in addition to Maximum Security’s absence from the field, Tacitus should benefit from jockey Jose L. Ortiz’ experience at the Belmont Stakes, where he earned the win aboard Tapwrit two years ago, and finished second to Triple Crown winner Justify a year ago, riding fan-favorite Gronkowski as a +1200 bet.

Tacitus should benefit from jockey Jose L. Ortiz’ experience at the Belmont Stakes, where he earned the win aboard Tapwrit two years ago

War of Will Ended Frustrating Run with Victory at Preakness Stakes

Starting on the inside for the second time in as many races, War of Will buried a frustrating run of two straight distant finishes with a victory last weekend at Pimlico Race Course, paying out as a +1600 bet.

After posting wins in three straight races, the descendant of Northern Dancer struggled in his final outing ahead of the Kentucky Derby, finishing ninth at the Louisiana Derby.

Things got no better for War of Will in the Run for the Roses, where he found himself at the center of controversy, with his strong run disrupted by a foul that led to the disqualification of Maximum Security and a seventh-place finish for the Mark Casse-trained colt.

Game Winner Winless in 2019

Pegged as an early favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, Game Winner took a pass on the Preakness Stakes following a disappointing fifth-place finish, with trainer Bob Baffert electing to keep his colt at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Belmont Stakes.

It has been a difficult year for Game Winner after posting wins in his first four career starts in 2018.

With 2014 Belmont Stakes winner Joel Rosario aboard, Game Winner closed out 2018 with wins at the American Pharoah Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but turned in second-place performances at the Rebel Stakes and Santa Anita Derby before finishing out of the money at the Kentucky Derby.

Country House Hospitalized Following Kentucky Derby Win

It remains unclear whether Country House will return to action in time for the Belmont Stakes.

Sired by 2010 Preakness Stakes winner Lookin at Lucky, Country House rewarded loyal bettors with a win at the Kentucky Derby as a long +3300 bet, marking his first career win in a graded stakes race.

But trainer William Mott has yet to confirm Country House’s participation at the Belmont Stakes after the colt was forced to miss the Preakness Stakes while being hospitalized for a cough.

A third-place finisher at the Preakness Stakes, Owendale looks likely to join the field at the Belmost Stakes and has opened with +600 odds. Code of Honor follows at +800 despite not being confirmed as part of the field, while Everfast hopes to build on a strong second-place run at the Preakness Stakes as an intriguing +1000 bet.

Pick: War of Will (+333)

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