Early Odds and Analysis for the 2022 Belmont Stakes
With the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes a scant couple of weeks away—Saturday, June 11, 2022—the handicappers are already hard at work narrowing down the field of choices.
The actual post draw is scheduled for the preceding on Tuesday June 7, 2022 at 11 am EST.
The Belmont Stakes is the longest of the three jewels in the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing: 1-1/2 miles on the dirt flat track. Except in 2020, when it was shortened to 1-3/8 miles, the Belmont Stakes has been run at a 1.5-mile distance since 1926.
This year’s likely contenders may not be the best ever to compete at this level, but they don’t know that. And even the least likely of them is quite capable of pulling that rabbit out of their hat.
Make sure that you’re working from the best 2022 Belmont Stakes odds available. Oh, and if you like mobile wagering, visit our best horse racing apps.
Early Odds for the 2022 Belmont Stakes
So far, this year’s Triple Crown races have been nothing short of surprises. First, Ethereal Road scratches, and Rich Strike draws in—and then goes on to win the 2022 Kentucky Derby at 80/1—the longest odds in over 100 years.
And then the Preakness is won by the third-favored underdog, Early Voting—nobody’s favorite for the winner’s circle at Pimlico. It seems likely that three different horses could win the Triple Crown races in 2022.
For instance, none of the horses likely to run in the Belmont Stakes this year have been in both of the earlier two Triple Crown races, and half of them weren’t in either of the two.
Three different horses winning the Triple Crown races is very common. During the first 20 triple crown years (1875-1897), 15 races had different winners. Of the most recent 17 years, different horses won each of the three races ten times.
|Horse||Trainer||BetOnline Odds||BetUS Odds||Bovada Odds|
|Mo Donegal||Todd A. Pletcher||+250||+500||+300|
|We The People||Rodolphe Brisset||+300||+700||+400|
|Rich Strike||Eric R. Reed||+700||+700||+300|
|Nest||Todd A. Pletcher||+800||—||+800|
|Crown Pride||Koichi Shintani||—||—||+800|
|Creative Minister||Kenneth G. McPeek||+1000||+1100||+600|
|Ethereal Road||D. Wayne Lukas||+1000||+900||+1200|
|Barber Road||John Alexander Ortiz||+1200||+1300||+1200|
|Charge It||Todd A. Pletcher||—||—||+1200|
|Smile Happy||Kenneth G. McPeek||—||—||+1400|
|Skippylongstocking||Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.||+1600||+1500||+1200|
|Golden Glider||Mark E. Casse||+2000||—||—|
|Un Ojo||Ricky Courville||+2000||+2100||+2000|
|Western River||Rodolphe Brisset||+2000||—||—|
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Why Is Mo Donegal the Favorite?
Mo Donegal was one of the three contender’s trainer Todd Pletcher had in the Kentucky Derby, and the bay colt finished a respectable fifth place.
In early April, he earned his #4 position on the final Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with a tight win in the Wood Memorial Stakes, beating opponent Early Voting by a neck.
Could he have repeated that performance in the Preakness, depriving Early Voting of the win? No one knows, but that won’t stop us from speculating.
It certainly explains why he’s the favorite at the top Belmont Stakes betting sites.
Top Challenger in the 2022 Belmont Stakes
With no clear frontrunners, betting on this year’s final gem in the Triple Crown will be brutal. Six of the likely horse in this race were in neither the Kentucky Derby nor the Preakness Stakes. The other six probable contenders were in only one or the other.
Even Early Voting—the horse that won the Preakness—won’t be running in the 2022 Belmont Stakes.
It’s likely—but not certain—that Rich Strike will run in the Belmont. His trainer, Eric Reed, is working him out at Churchill Downs until the end of May when Rich Strike will be moved to New York.
Reed recently spoke to Bloodhorse regarding Rich Strike.
Incidentally, the only horse in history to have won the Kentucky Derby at longer odds is Donerail, at 91-1, in 1913.
Can Rich Strike beat the odds to win the Belmont Stakes? Well, he’s beat longer odds—and that’s what makes him the top challenger to the oddsmakers’ favorite, Mo Donegal.
Sleepers to Target for the 2022 Belmont Stakes
At the risk of wandering into the weeds here, I have to say that except Rich Strike, virtually all the horses likely to full the Belmont Stakes starting gate on June 11 are sleepers. Here are three of the horses most likely to surprise.
We The People
Despite winning three of his four career starts, it’s hard to believe the oddsmakers see the bay colt as a second-favorite for a Belmont win. Two of his three wins were his initial maiden attempt and a subsequent allowance race.
His two stakes races resulted in an unimpressive seventh-place finish in the Arkansas Derby—one of the more important prep races for the KD)—and then a win in the Peter Pan Stakes (Grade III).
Of course, in the Peter Pan Stakes, We the People did manage to best two of his likely competitors for the Belmont—Golden Glider and Western River. This reminds us that it isn’t necessary to be the fastest horse on earth. Just faster than the competition.
An intriguing entry in the Belmont Stakes, this bay filly finished second in the Kentucky Oaks that’s the only stakes race she’s entered where she has not finished in first place.
For the record, Nest finished in the money for all six of her career starts, except for her initial maiden attempt (which she won), she’s been in nothing, but stakes matches.
In addition to her second in the Kentucky Oaks, she went to the winner’s circle in the Tempted Stakes (Listed) at Belmont last November, the Demoiselle Stakes (Grade II) at Aqueduct, the Suncoast Stakes (Listed) at Tampa Bay, and the Ashland Stakes (Grade I) at Keeneland.
That Grade I win in Keenland may say she knows where the winner’s circle is and likes it.
This gray roan colt had never been in a stakes race (graded or otherwise) in his brief career before he finished third in the 2022 Preakness behind Early Voting and Golden Glider.
And if he’s in the starting gate for the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes, he’ll have an edge that could see him in the money. Not only is it likely he’ll finish in the money, but he could steal a march from Rich Strike and win against the odds.
2022 Belmont Stakes Underdogs Worth a Show Ticket
Every race has a clear favorite but we all like to cheer on the underdog.
In training with Mark E. Casse, this chestnut colt has earned his long odds, honestly. His only two wins in six career starts were his initial main attempt and a subsequent allowance race.
He finished fifth in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (Grade III) in February, then finished fourth in both the Tampa Bay Derby (Grade II) in March and the Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) in April.
Most recently, he barely managed to money the Peter Pan Stakes (Grade III) with a second-place finish behind We the People.
Un Ojo was held out of the Kentucky Derby by connections due to a deep bone bruise in his left foot that happened during a workout a few days before the Kentucky Derby.
With four money finishes in seven career starts, the dark bay gelding has a better record than Golden Glider—he’s won a graded stakes race: the Rebel Stakes (Grade II) at Oaklawn Park in February.
Early Prediction for the Belmont Stakes in 2022
I would pick the top three finishers in the 2022 Belmont Stakes as follows: Rich Strike, Nest, and Mo Donegal, in that order.
Despite the mixed bag of competitors, Rich Strike has proven he has the makings of a champion if for no other reason than his time in the 2022 Kentucky Derby was as good or better than seven of the last ten KD winners.
I think Nest has a real shot at becoming only the fourth filly to win the Belmont Stakes in 154 years. She’s fought to win every one of her starts, and even when she’s come up short, she was fighting to move ahead.
While Mo Donegal is almost certainly a show ticket in this battle, I don’t think he’s got it in him to win. Be sure to keep an eye out on our horse racing blog for more racing odds and updates.