by Jeremy Plonk
June 16, 2020
Post positions will be drawn live at noon ET Wednesday for Saturday’s Grade 1 $1 million Belmont Stakes. A field of 9 is expected to enter, led by Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Tiz the Law, who could start as a prohibitive favorite in the neighborhood of 4-to-5.
Backers trying to upend the chalk do so with some pause: According to the 1/ST BET data, favorites are 17-for-31 in Belmont Park races at 1-1/8 miles on dirt since 2013. And favorites at the current Belmont meeting are 6: 5-1-0 in graded stakes races. The early release of the 1/ST INDEX, which measures every contender in a race based on the 10 most successful handicapping factors, puts Tiz the Law solidly on top among only 3 horses to reach double-digits.
Tiz the Law 31%
Tap it To Win 22%
Farmington Road 13%
Note: the complete and official 1/ST INDEX for Belmont Stakes will be released in Friday’s updated 1/ST Belmont Stakes Wager Guide with up-to-the-moment data.
Riding assignments have firmed up for the contenders. Their Belmont Stakes history and 1/ST BET data for the track and distance (since 2013) could be telling handicapping points.
Manny Franco (Tiz the Law): 17: 3-2-7 (18%) record at the track/distance, he will be making his Belmont Stakes debut.
John Velazquez (Tap It to Win): The Belmont Stakes winner of 2007 aboard Rags to Riches and 2012 with Palace Malice, Johnny V. owns a 21: 3-4-3 (14%) record at the track/distance.
Javier Castellano (Farmington Road): 21: 4-6-2 (19%) record at the track/distance. The Hall of Famer is 0-13 in the Belmont Stakes with a trio of runner-up finishes.
Irad Ortiz Jr. (Dr Post): Winner of the 2016 Belmont with Creator, he has a 20-1-1-4 (5%) record at the track/distance.
Luca Panici (Sole Volante): The Belmont Stakes will be his first local attempt at 1-1/8 miles. His lone mount on the Belmont Park main track came in 2017 (finished fourth).
Junior Alvarado (Modernist): 15: 3-2-2 (20%) record at the track/distance, his only career Belmont Stakes mount came in 2012 (finished sixth).
Joel Rosario (Max Player): Last year’s Belmont-winning pilot aboard longshot Sir Winston and in 2014 with Tonalist, Rosario has a strong 16: 4-4-1 (25%) record at the track/distance.
Ricardo Santana Jr. (Pnuematic): The Belmont Stakes will be his first local attempt at 1-1/8 miles. He’s a 17% winner on the Belmont Park main track with more than 75 mounts since his 2014 debut.
Reylu Gutierrez (Jungle Runner): The Belmont Stakes will be his first local attempt at 1-1/8 miles. He’s a 13% rider on the Belmont Park main track since arriving there in 2019.