Is the New York angle being overplayed?
That’s one question for New Jersey horse-racing bettors after the Belmont Stakes draw revealed a couple of surprises for Saturday’s $1.5 million stakes race at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
We the People and Mo Donegal are the respective 2-1 and 5-2 early favorites based on their success in New York. They were installed ahead of Rich Strike, the Kentucky Derby winner who also beat Mo Donegal last month at Churchill Downs. He was installed as the 7-2 third choice in a field of eight.
Garden State gamblers can access the action through by various means via live racing at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands racetracks, simulcast facilities, Atlantic City casinos and on mobile devices via TVG.
Post time for the 154th Belmont is approximately 6:45 p.m. for the 1 1–2-mile showcase, the longest of the Triple Crown races.
2022 Belmont Stakes odds
|We the People
|Saffie Joseph Jr.
The Belmont Stakes home track factor
The odds are essentially a home-course nod for Mo Donegal, who has three wins on the New York circuit including one at Belmont Park. It’s also an acknowledgement that We the People wired the field in the Peter Pan Stakes on May 14. And that win at Belmont Park creates an edge over the same track here.
Although it was a less-talented field than the Triple Crown races, We the People won on the front end over a track listed “good.” As of Wednesday morning, rain is expected for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. So this surface could be identical, albeit with one more turn.
Skeptics of We the People cite his distant seventh in the Arkansas Derby, followed by a drop-down in class to win the Peter Pan. They want We the People to be over bet, setting up better odds on other horses, like Rich Strike.
The Derby winner is a good price for gamblers at 7-2. He’s presumably not the favorite because he hasn’t run at Belmont Park and there is no guarantee he will like the surface.
Rich Strike rallied from the back of the pack and overtook nearly the entire field to win the Kentucky Derby. He’s not expected to be set up by the speed duel that helped him in the Run for the Roses.
Will Rich Strike be able to match Kentucky Derby performance?
Eric Reed, the trainer of Rich Strike, acknowledged the speed duel during Tuesday’s press conference.
“We have tried a couple of times to get him going early, but it hasn’t worked out for him,” Reed said “So unless he changes his strategy, he’s going to have to run the same kind of race he did in the Derby.
“This is not a race you can come from as far back as he did then, I think. We will probably see him drop back in the beginning, but I don’t think he will drop back as far.”
The field includes Barber Road, who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby and runs hard late.
Creative Minister finished a good third at the Preakness Stakes, has been improving in longer races and his connections hope the 1 1–2-mile circuit is to his liking.
Kenny McPeek, the trainer of Creative Minister, joked on Tuesday about having an entry at a “short” price of 6-1. This is the 20th anniversary of Sarava, his horse, notching the largest Belmont Stakes upset ever at 70-1.
Nest tries to become the first filly Belmont winner since Rags to Riches in 2007, but was beaten by Secret Oath in the Kentucky Oaks and has much to prove.
Golden Glider was beaten decisively by We the People in the Peter Pan.
Skippylongstocking was a well-beaten fifth in the Preakness, but could pepper We the People in the early pace.
Happy Anniversary to New Jersey Belmont bettors
Let’s tip a hat to the 25th anniversary of a Belmont Stakes New Jersey horse betting fans still remember. Especially those in the Atlantic City area.
Bet Twice was owned by Robert Levy, who also owned Atlantic City Race Course in Mays Landing.
Levy’s horse had finished just behind Alysheba in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Bet Twice generated enormous support, prompting New Jersey bettors to make the drive to Elmont, N.Y. to witness round three.
When they arrived at the track, New Jersey gamblers saw something they could hardly believe.
Alysheba was 4-5. And Bet Twice was a whopping overlay at 8-1. They were expecting both horses to be about 8-5.
All bettors could figure was that New Yorkers had a sentimental tie to Alysheba, who was gunning for a Triple Crown. He was also the son of Alydar, who had spent much of his career at New York tracks and waged three close, but memorable losing battles against eventual Triple Crown champion Affirmed in 1978.
New Yorkers couldn’t resist. The son of Alydar was set to notch racing’s first Triple Crown sweep since the horse that had beaten his father.
The coronation was underway on the odds board.
But Bet Twice demolished it, romping in the Belmont at a fantastic price. Garden State gamblers celebrated all the way home and later at Atlantic City Race Course.
The Monmouth Park-Triple Crown connection
After this race, New Jersey gamblers will start to focus on which graduates of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes will appear in the $1 Million Haskell Stakes July 23 at Monmouth Park.
Mandaloun, the 2021 Haskell winner, also captured the Kentucky Derby.
In the meantime, Monmouth continues its live meet on weekends.
On Saturday, Monmouth offers a live card starting at 12:15 p.m. The $100,000 Lady Secret Stakes will highlight the program.
Monmouth Park also is one of two live tracks that will offer betting on the Belmont.
The other is the Meadowlands, the racing jewel of the harness-racing industry. It has a 6:20 p.m. first post and can also handle Belmont Stakes wagering.
Other Belmont Stakes viewing and betting options
Simulcast facilities in New Jersey include Favorites facilities at Chickie’s and Pete’s in Egg Harbor Township, in Blackwood and in Toms River.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is home to a BetMGM Race and Sportsbook. However, beware that the room also attracts casino traffic. That creates bigger lines at kiosks and with tellers.