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Odds and Ends

Assessing the Longshots in Saturday's Belmont

by Matt Bernier
Updated On: June 4, 2021, 10:32 am ET

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This year’s Belmont Stakes features five three-year-olds who look like legitimate win threats (Essential Quality, Rombauer, Rock Your World, Hot Rod Charlie, and Known Agenda), with another three runners who would seem to represent horses whose chances are rather slim (Bourbonic, France Go de Ina, and Overtook). If you are constructing wagers and interested in using one of the longshots in your bets, below you’ll find an assessment of each horse and what chance they have of hitting the board in Saturday’s Belmont.

 

#1 – BOURBONIC – 15/1 morning line odds

 

One of three horses trained by Todd Pletcher, Bourbonic enters this year’s Belmont Stakes as one of the slowest horses in the race, with a career best Beyer Speed Figure of 89. Winner of the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 3, the three-year-old son of Bernardini gives off every impression that he’d run ten miles with relative ease, making the Belmont’s demanding mile-and-a-half distance a non-issue. The bigger concern for this colt – aside from being slow – is his running style. A true one-run closer, Bourbonic is likely to have too much work to do to win this race, simply because he’ll be positioned so far off the early lead. Barring a ridiculous pace scenario that leads to a meltdown, Bourbonic’s ceiling would appear to be a third or fourth-place finish.

 

 

 

 

#5 – FRANCE GO DE INA – 30/1 morning line odds

 

The Japanese-based France Go de Ina got a taste for American racing in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico just three weeks ago, and although he faded to finish a non-threatening seventh, the early speed he possesses will cause him to have some effect on the outcome. A colt who would prefer to be forwardly placed, France Go de Ina projects to be among the leaders as the field enters the first turn, along with the likes of Rock Your World and Hot Rod Charlie. While he’s not nearly as talented as either of those two contenders, this horse could potentially cause the early pace to be a bit more contested than one would typically expect the pace to be in a Belmont Stakes. If that’s the case, he could compromise the chances of the front-runners and help set things up for horses likely to be positioned in the second flight, such as Essential Quality, Known Agenda, and Rombauer. France Go de Ina may influence the outcome, but not necessarily because of where he’s likely to finish.

 

 

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#8 – OVERTOOK – 20/1 morning line odds

 

Of the three longshots in Saturday’s Belmont, perhaps Overtook is the one most likely to hit the board at giant odds. Another Todd Pletcher trainee, Overtook has always had the look of a runner who is in need of more experience to truly show off his talent, and it’s possible the addition of blinkers will get him to focus on the task at hand. Distance will be no issue for this son of Curlin, and the equipment change could potentially position him closer to the front than he’s been in the past. If this ends up being the case, Overtook’s chances of sticking around and finishing in-the-money would improve dramatically. Still an unlikely horse to threaten for any of the top honors, if one was dead set on betting a longshot, Overtook is the colt to consider.
 

Matt Bernier

Matt Bernier is a betting analyst for NBC Sports and host of "The Matt Bernier Show" podcast. His work has been showcased in the Daily Racing Form, on ESPN, as well as on TVG. Matt can be followed on Twitter @bernier_matt.