Who Has The Edge Heading To The Belmont Stakes?

Posted by Aaron . on June 2, 2016 in

One of the curious things about horse racing — an element that sets it apart from so many other sports — is that the competitors are not subject to the same sort of mental roadblocks that often keep sports stars from reaching their best. In the Belmont Stakes, Nyquist will return to the field after having lost at the Preakness Stakes, finishing third behind Exaggerator and Cherry Wine after entering the race as the favorite.

If Nyquist had won the Preakness, there would have been all sort of pressure building up to the Belmont Stakes with the possible Triple Crown on the line. Now, while there is still excitement in upstate New York, outside the horse racing community that chatter quieted immediately after the Preakness — at least the type of chatter that attracts a lot of public attention outside the horse racing betting community.

So who has the advantage going into the race? Let’s take a look.

Who Has The Edge Heading To The Belmont Stakes?



Is it Exaggerator?

After all, he got off to a slow start at the Preakness Stakes and then blew his way down the inside rail down the stretch, pushing past Nyquist as the pair of horses neared the finish line. He has established himself as a terrific finisher in horse racing, and this was the first time that he had ended up ahead at the finish line. The Belmont (1 ½ miles) is the longest of the three Triple Crown events, and this event drains the horse that is not ready for that long run. Exaggerator could hold off on that late push and then blow by some other tired horses.

Is it Nyquist?

If we were writing about a person, there would be all kinds of articles about redemption and revenge here, as Nyquist would be plotting the best way to get his revenge on Exaggerator. However, it is a horse, and while you cannot argue that horses do not feel anything, a revenge plot is not what we’re looking for here. Instead, look to the track. If it is another wet, muddy chop, then Nyquist could get bogged down once again. However, on a drier track, we could see the Nyquist as a favorite who can hold his own and fend off the opposition.

Is it Cherry Wine?

This is the unsung finisher at the Preakness Stakes — Nyquist actually came in third, with Exaggerator in first and then Cherry Wine. This horse actually got a better jump from the gun than what Exaggerator got. While Exaggerator showed better finishing power, Cherry Wine was also closing in on him as the race wound down. With a longer course in place at Belmont, Cherry Wine might have continued that massive rally and emerged with the victory.

If I had to pick, I’d buck convention again and go with the upset. I’m picking Cherry Wine to win, this time followed by Exaggerator and Nyquist.