Understandably, there is less hype surrounding the 2022 Belmont Stakes than previous iterations of the race. Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike was held out of the Preakness. Early Voting won the Preakness, but he is being held out of the Belmont Stakes. So not only is there no intrigue of a potential Triple Crown winner, we won't even get to see the winners of the first two legs go head-to-head.
Nevertheless, it's still one of the marquee events on the horse-racing calendar. The 1.5-mile dirt track in Elmont, New York, poses a stiff challenge, with the race often referred to as "The Test of Champions." This year's race features eight horses, with We The People installed as the 2-to-1 betting favorite. Let's take a look at the horses involved and their associated odds.
Below are the post positions and morning-line odds for all eight horses running in the Belmont Stakes:
We The People (2-to-1)
Rich Strike (7-to-2)
Creative Minister (6-to-1)
Mo Donegal (5-to-2)
Golden Glider (20-to-1)
Barber Road (10-to-1)
About the horses
Let's take a look at the relevant information about each of these horses:
We The People: We The People enters as the favorite. He's won three of four career starts, including last month's Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont. He's got the best Beyer figure of any horse in this race. Detractors will point to his seventh-place finish in the Arkansas Derby. We The People is viewed as the horse most likely to dictate the early pace as a frontrunner.
Skippylongstocking: Skippylongstocking is tied for the longest odds on the board. He is most recently coming off a fifth-place finish at the Preakness, finishing seven-and-a-half lengths behind winner Early Voting. The horse finished third in the Wood Memorial earlier in the year.
Nest: The only filly in the race, Nest will be a popular value bet. In her most recent race, she finished second at the Kentucky Oaks. In five other career races, Nest has won four of them. Trained by Todd Pletcher and a daughter of two-time horse of the year Curlin, Nest has the pedigree and connections to intrigue.
Rich Strike: Rich Strike shocked the world when he came through as an 80-to-1 long shot to win the Kentucky Derby despite not even being in the field 36 hours before post time. He's been training well in the lead-up to this race and has aspirations to prove the Kentucky Derby was no fluke.
Creative Minister: Creative Minister has had only four career starts, all this year and all ended with him finishing in the money. Most recently, the horse finished third in the Preakness. Plenty of people believe this horse hasn't reached his peak yet, and could make for an under-the-radar play.
Mo Donegal: After a poor post position draw on the rail in the Kentucky Derby, Mo Donegal finished fifth. That was the first time in his career he didn't place on the board. Ridden by arguably the best jockey in the NYRA circuit in Irad Ortiz Jr., Mo Donegal has the second-best odds in this race. The length of the Belmont Stakes should help, as this horse has been bred to excel at 1.5 miles.
Golden Glider: Golden Glider finished second in the Peter Pan Stakes, but finished 10-and-a-quarter lengths behind winner (and favorite in this race) We The People. At 20-to-1, he's a long shot.
Barber Road: Barber Road finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby, finishing behind Rich Strike and Mo Donegal. Outside of that race, the horse has finished second or third in all four other races they've run in 2022 but is yet to win one. Two-time Belmont Stakes winning jockey Joel Rosario hopes to change that.
There are plenty of ways you can go if betting on the 2022 Belmont Stakes. Surely, some bettors will look to recreate the Kentucky Derby magic with Rich Strike, though 80-to-1 is definitely long gone. He's been running extremely well in preparation for this race.
Mo Donegal ran into some traffic at the Kentucky Derby, causing him to miss the board for the first time in six races. With the distance an advantage here, I'd expect to see Mo Donegal back on the board and certainly an intriguing winner pick.
Creative Minister and Nest are also both worth consideration. Creative Minister has untapped potential according to most in the industry, while Nest has won four of six races and is trained by Todd Pletcher, who has previously won the Belmont with a filly in 2007 with Rags to Riches.
As the horse with the fastest Beyer figure in the race, and the horse most expect to set the early tempo, We The People is the betting favorite for good reason.
Barber Road is a check-cashing horse with a good jockey in Rosario. Golden Glider and Skippylongstocking are 20-to-1 long shots for good reason, but as we saw in the Kentucky Derby, that doesn't mean they have no chance.
This is a pretty wide-open race and you can make a good case for most of these horses when placing your bets and building your exotics. Mo Donegal is my winner pick, but there are quite a few worthy options.
It's worth noting that there's a chance of rain in the forecast for Saturday on Long Island, though that chance is dropping in recent hours. Currently, the chance of rain is under 20%. However, if it does rain, that might benefit the favorite We The People, as the frontrunning horse would have an advantage.