Exaggerator, Nyquist And Other Early Probables For 2016 Belmont Stakes

Posted by Aaron . on June 3, 2016 in

Even though Exaggerator spoiled Nyquist’s chances for a Triple Crown with his intrepid shot down the rail at Pimlico, the competition between the two horses makes for an intriguing plot line at the Belmont Stakes, set for June 11. However, just as in 2014, when Tonalist came out of nowhere to win the Belmont and send California Chrome home without a Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes can bring surprises. It’s the longest of the three races in the Crown, and it comes as the third in an exhausting progression of races for the horses. Let’s take a look at some of the contenders and the latest Belmont Stakes odds.

Exaggerator, Nyquist And Other Early Probables For 2016 Belmont Stakes




What did Nyquist in? A lot of people point to the downpour of rain that made the track slow and choppy at Pimlico, but another important factor was that pace that Nyquist took out of the gates. He took off so fast that he did not have anything left down the stretch, when Exaggerator and Cherry Wine ended up overtaking him. He has to take a more measured pace out of the gates at Belmont, especially considering that Belmont is 5/16 of a mile longer than the Preakness was.


A lot of people are treating Exaggerator’s burst down the stretch as a sign that he is invincible now, but remember that Nyquist has still beaten him four times out of five. It’s true that Exaggerator did not show any signs of slowing as he approached the finish at Pimlico, though. The key will be managing the timing of that burst. If Nyquist holds his pace a bit, he should have something left in the tank to finish as well.


He took fifth at the Kentucky Derby and also showed promise down the stretch, although he started his run a little too late to have any hope of catching Nyquist. He hasn’t captured the imagination of the late-finisher fans in the same way that Exaggerator and Cherry Wine have, but he still has a solid chance to surprise at Belmont also.


He finished sixth at Churchill Downs, and he is fresher because he took the Preakness off. He holds the stakes record at the Tampa Bay Derby, and he’s been working out regularly at Belmont.


Yes, he’s a bit of an outlier in terms of behavior, but he hasn’t done badly at Churchill Downs or Pimlico. He’s been training at Belmont, and those who were concerned about how he would handle the wide turns on the big track seem to think that he can handle them now.

Cherry Wine

He had a fine run of his own down the stretch at the Preakness Stakes, breezing to a runner-up finish. He wasn’t slowing down as he approached the finish line, although he started his run later than Exaggerator. What could he do on that Belmont track?