Horse racing’s best will be headed to New York on Saturday, June 10 to compete in the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown. We are not going to see a repeat of last year’s magic, with Exaggerator killing Nyquist’s Triple Crown dream in the Preakness. Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist has already bowed out of the Belmont, which is sure to leave Exaggerator as the undisputed favorite to take 2 of the 3 jewels in the crown. The live odds may well start to drop for Exaggerator as the start of the race draws closer, which might make winning some big money on the exacta a bit tough, but that is assuming that he wins. Let’s take a look at some possible scenarios to see if we can’t find a horse that might beat the favorite and drive up the returns on the exacta bet.
Analyzing the 2016 Belmont Stakes Exacta Betting Picks
Playing Exaggerator on Top in the Exacta
Assuming that you believe that Exaggerator will live up to his favorite billing, you will have a couple of different options available to you. The most obvious is to play a straight exacta with Exaggerator on top and one of the others in second. It’s a tough bet, but one that gives you the best shot at boosting your return on investment. In this situation, I would likely go with the Exaggerator/Stradivari combo.
If you are having a difficult time deciding who will finish second, you could focus on 2 or 3 different horses. You could place an exacta ticket that would read Exaggerator with horse 1, 2 and 3. A straight exacta ticket costs $1, so multiply that stake by the number of horses you are adding to the second place spot to get your total ticket cost. In the scenario above, you would be looking at a $3 ticket, which would still give you a good shot at making some money should one of those 3 horses nab that second place finish.
Looking at Other Exacta Options
In order to maximize your earning potential with an exacta, the hope is that one of the higher priced horses will finish first. Of course, you actually have to pick that horse and have it on your ticket in order to cash out, but there are a couple of ways that you could cover yourself in case Exaggerator does end up getting the job done.
The first option is to pick a few horses and do an exacta box. When boxing the exacta, you are looking at 6 potential winning combinations, which means you will have to pay 6 times the original $1 stake to create a $6 ticket. If any two of your 3 horses hit the top 2 spots in any combination, you win.
Another option I like is to pick three horses for the top spot, four for the second place. You are essentially putting 4 horses on the ticket, which would read horse 1,2,3 with 1,2,3,4. The cost of this one is $9 for a $1 stake, and it may be a little iffy as far as potential profit goes if Exaggerator goes off at very short odds.
The four horses I like from this field are Exaggerator, Stradivari, Suddenbreakingnews, and Brody’s Cause. Keep an eye on the betting odds and the potential payouts when deciding which bet to place.