By: Kevin Martin
Fans of horse racing, and casual fans of the sport, will be watching and rooting for California Chrome in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. A Triple Crown attempt is one of those few moments in sports when everyone roots for the same “team.” California Chrome faces a formidable challenge with ten colts lining up against him in the one-and-a-half mile Belmont. He also confronts the challenge of doing what some believe is impossible for the modern day thoroughbred -- win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes in five weeks.
Since Affirmed won the last Triple Crown, eleven colts in thirty-six years have raced in the Belmont, one win away from the Triple Crown, and they all came up short. Considering this, and the fact that California Chrome will be less than even money to win, he will offer no value for bettors. With so much money on the favorite, gamblers will get inflated odds on some prime contenders capable of ruining this year’s Triple Crown run.
Samraat is a colt with the style and heart to grind out a strong and potentially winning performance in the 2014 Belmont Stakes. He has won five of seven career races and runs hard every time he steps on the track. He finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby just a nose out of fourth place. Along with California Chrome, he ran with the pacesetters in the Derby and still finished among the first flight at the finish. He has done all of his best racing in New York and won his first career start at Belmont Park last October.
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Like California Chrome, Samraat does not have a high-class pedigree but he has proven that he can compete with the best of this year’s 3-year-olds. He is a determined stretch runner and will be in the mix as they near the finish line of the longest Triple Crown race. He has been under the radar but training well at Aqueduct, his home track, just 10 miles to the southwest of Belmont Park. He is 20 to 1 on the morning line and could be bet down from those odds but it’s hard to imagine his odds slipping below 15 to 1.
The $100 Belmont Stakes Bet
While my heart will be pulling for Triple Crown win, I will be betting with my head. The majority of my money will be banking on Samraat to finish first or second. The bet I will most happily cash will be an exacta with California Chrome finishing first and Samraat in second. I will also hedge a bit with a five horse exacta box that excludes California Chrome -- just in case.
Here are all of the bets with post-position and total cost for each wager:
- $20 win and place on Samraat (7) 2 bets x $20 = $40
- $40 exacta: California Chrome (2) over Samraat (7) 1 bet = $40
- $1 exacta box: Medal Count (1), Ride on Curlin (5), Samraat (7), Commissioner (8), Wicked Strong (9) 20 bets x $1 = $20
That’s it...we are using the full $100 bankroll for the final leg of the 2014 Triple Crown. Good luck!
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