Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer and 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ Essential Quality are on track to enter the Belmont Stakes’ starting gate prohibitive favorites. Will the two chalks run to their odds? Can Rock Your World and Known Agenda take the final leg of this year’s Triple Crown? Will Hot Rod Charlie put it all together or will an underdog win the Test of Champions? Keep reading for our 2021 Belmont Stakes picks.
Belmont Stakes Picks: Essential Quality Favorite But Rock Your World Has Pace Advantage
2021 Belmont Stakes General Race Info
- Date: Saturday, June 5, 2021
- Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY
- Weather: Mostly Sunny
2021 Belmont Stakes Odds
- Essential Quality +200
- Rombauer +250
- Hot Rod Charlie +500
- Rock Your World +700
- Known Agenda +600
- Bourbonic +2000
- Overtook +2500
- France Go de Ina +3300
Belmont Stakes Picks
On Saturday, this $1,000,000 2019 Keeneland September Sale purchase could take a huge forward step. Trainer Todd Pletcher has used kid gloves to campaign this son of Curlin.
Based on speed ratings, Overtook is up against it. Ah, but speed ratings don’t tell the whole story of how this runner has developed. Since breaking his maiden at Aqueduct last September, Overtook has gotten better with every race.
He’s gotten faster, has figured out more of what the jockey expects from him, and appears to be enjoying himself more on the racetrack than he did as a 2-year-old. The second-place finish in the Withers was a warmup to a third-place finish in the Peter Pan.
Overtook mustn’t take a huge step forward to contend in this. All he must do is keep his mind on business. The longshot shows a couple of fantastic works over the track and gets blinkers, meaning Pletcher expects jockey Manuel Franco to have him closer to the pace than in any of his previous races.
Don’t be surprised if Overtook wins the Belmont and cashes at massive odds.
Place: Rock Your World
Throw out the Kentucky Derby and, at least on paper, Rock Your World is the best horse in the Belmont. Rock should have a pace advantage. Also, unlike Hot Rod Charlie, there’s no question that Rock can get the distance.
If Rock doesn’t get pressure early, look out. The Candy Ride sired runner is good enough to win gate-to-wire.
Third: Essential Quality
Essential Quality is a good racehorse. The jury remains out on if he’s great. The Tapit sired runner had every chance to win the Kentucky Derby. A great racehorse would have.
Not only that, but Quality struggled to get past Highly Motivated in the Grade 2 Blue Grass. Yes, he’s regally bred, comes from the most powerful racing outfit in the world, Godolphin, and is trained by the hottest horseman in North America, Brad Cox.
At +200 odds or less, though, Essential Quality is a pass to grab win honors. There’s no telling if he’s gotten better than he was at Churchill Downs on May 1. If he isn’t better, he won’t win.
The Preakness winner could provide the same turn of foot on Saturday that he did at Pimlico. If he does, he may run by his competition and win the Belmont Stakes.
Putting together two incredible races back-to-back is difficult for most horses, though. There’s a chance Rombauer isn’t nearly as geared up for the Belmont as he was for the Preakness.
During the post-parade, check out this ones attitude. If Rombauer is on the muscle like he was entering the Preakness starting gate, there’s a good chance he produces a top effort. If he isn’t, if he doesn’t have the same fire, he may not be worth putting into your trifecta.