We’ll take a look at the likely entries into the 2012 Belmont Stakes in this horse racing preview.
The 2012 Belmont Stakes is set to be run June 9th at Belmont Park, and there are already 13 horses slated to be amongst the likely entries when post time rolls around at around 6:30 PM ET on the date of the last leg of the Triple Crown. Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I’ll Have Another will be amongst the likely entries for sure, but the rest of the field is made up of horses that will prove a much larger challenge than he faced in his last win at Pimlico.
One horse that won’t be amongst the 2012 Belmont Stakes likely entries is Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes runner-up Bodemeister. His connections have apparently had enough of finishing behind I’ll Have Another, and the 1 ½-mile distance in the Belmont Stakes is likely a bit too much for the speedster. Other notables that will not be on our likely entries list for the Belmont Stakes include Wood Memorial winner Gemologist (injured), Breeder’s Cup Juvenile winner Hansen (aimed for the Woody Stephens), 4th place Kentucky Derby finisher Went the Day Well (rest), and 3rd place Preakness Stakes finisher Creative Cause (50-50 at best to run the Belmont Stakes).
Odds won’t be up to bet on the Belmont Stakes until a bit closer to post time, but 5Dimes Sportsbook does have an early line up that other sportsbooks have not yet released. They are offering I’ll Have Another at +175 odds to win the Belmont Stakes, while you can also take the field at only -245 odds. Bet on the Belmont Stakes with these guys and you’ll receive a 50% cash bonus on top of your initial deposit simply for clicking on our link to get started!
NOTE: We have since updated the list of likely entries for the Belmont Stakes. 4 horses are out from this list and 3 more are in. Check out our Belmont Stakes likely entries update for more information!
2012 Belmont Stakes – Likely Entries:
I’ll Have Another – Has now won 4 straight graded stakes after finishing 6th in the Hopeful during his last race in 2011. He’s beaten the best in the sport while winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and will be the favorite in the Belmont Stakes.
Dullahan – This three-year-old wasn’t considered to be amongst the top crop of horses heading into the year, but then he went on to beat Hansen while winning the Blue Grass Stakes before finishing an encouraging 3rd in the Kentucky Derby. Dullahan seems to be getting better the more distance he adds.
Union Rags – Was the Kentucky Derby favorite before finishing 3rd in the Florida Derby. Union Rags went on to finish 7th in the Kentucky Derby in his longest race to date and there are definitely questions whether he can stretch out to the Belmont distance. He was sired by a horse in Dixie Union that has one career win at longer than a mile.
Mark Valeski – This guy finished 2nd in the Risen Star and the Louisiana Derby before finally winning in the Peter Pan most recently. Mark Valeski is sired by Proud Citizen who was a player in all 3 Triple Crown races as a three-year-old, so an improvement could be on the way in the Belmont Stakes.
Alpha – It’s tough to know what to make of Alpha anymore. He was one of the elite two-year-olds after finishing 2nd in the Champagne to Union Rags, but then he went on to finish 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He then won the Count Fleet and the Withers, finished 2nd in the Wood Memorial, and then was a disappointing 12th in the Kentucky Derby. That being said, he’s sired by Bernardini who was a monster at races longer than a mile.
Rousing Sermon – Has won in only 1 race (California Cup Juvenile) in 9 tries since breaking his maiden, but has also finished 3rd or better in all but 2 of those runs against strong competition. Rousing Sermon finished 8th in the Kentucky Derby and could be a great payout in your Belmont Stakes exotics.
Paynter – Potential is the name of the game when discussing this guy. He’s sired by Awesome Again which should mean he can run for days, but at the same time he has just 2 races since breaking his maiden and lacks experience. Paynter finished 4th in the Santa Anita Derby and 2nd in the Derby Trial, but could be a spoiler if he takes the leap many are expecting in the Belmont Stakes.
Optimizer – Was 11th in the Kentucky Derby and 6th in the Preakness Stakes, and it’s tough to see where he fits in amongst the other Belmont Stakes likely entries. He’s never won in 10 tries since breaking his maiden and has finished top 3 in just 1 of his last 7. Sired by a turf horse, but also a turf horse that excelled at longer distances.
Stealcase – He has finished no better than 3rd in his tries at graded stakes. Stealcase is sired by a horse in Lawyer Ron that was successful at a mile-or-longer, but he was also a horse that generally came up empty when stretched to 1 ¼-mile or longer. He might be trying for too much distance in the Belmont Stakes.
Guyana Star Dweej – Has never raced in a graded stakes and took 8 tries to break his maiden. Guyana Star Dweej’s one race since then was a 2nd place finish in an allowance at Belmont Park, so it’s tough to expect much. For what it’s worth, he’s sired by a horse in Eddington that finished 4th in the Belmont Stakes and seemed to improve with added distance.
Five Sixteen – Took 5 tries to break his maiden and is coming off a disappointing 4th in his first ever allowance race. Five Sixteen has never been put up against anything resembling Triple Crown competition but is sired by 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic and 2007 Dubai World Cup winner Invasor, so he at least has incredible bloodlines.
Atigun – This guy broken his maiden after a few tries but then was a disappointing 5th in the Kentucky Jockey Club. He then won an allowance before disappointing again in the Rebel and the Arkansas Derby. After that he won another allowance but it remains to be seen if Atigun can compete at above the lower level he’s been winning at.