Betting Favorite Justify Could Face Large Field in Belmont Stakes

The date with destiny for Justify comes on Saturday, June 9 as the Bob Baffert trainee seeks to make history by becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner, and he could face a large field when they load in the gate for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes.

There are still as many as 11 foes that will seek the derail the Triple Crown bid by Justify.

Justify is currently at odds of 4-5 to make history and remain undefeated in six career starts and become the second Baffert trainee to win the Triple Crown in just three years. We went nearly four decades without seeing a Triple Crown winner and now the Hall of Fame trainer is on the cusp of winning another so quickly.

While Audible, the Florida Derby winner and Kentucky Derby third place finisher who is owned by the same connections as Justify, has been declared out of the Belmont, there still is going to be a solid field to take on the favorite.

The current second choice in early Belmont Stakes betting is Hofburg at 4-1. The colt made his stakes debut in the Florida Derby where he ran a good second, and then had a tough trip in a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, beaten 8 ¾ lengths.

Bravazo is the third choice in Belmont Stakes betting at 7-1 and will be the only runner other than Justify competing in all three classic races. After his sixth in the Run for the Roses he came with a good late rally to finish second in the Preakness, beaten just a half-length.

The Todd Pletcher trained Vino Rosso is the fourth choice at 8-1. The Wood Memorial winner was a disappointing ninth in the Kentucky Derby. Last year Pletcher won the Belmont with Tapwrit, who was sixth in the Derby and skipped the Preakness.

Pletcher will also likely send out Noble Indy, who was 17th in the Kentucky Derby. The colt is 33-1.

Preakness third place finisher Tenfold is listed at 10-1. The Steve Asmussen trainee was fifth in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park and then rallied to finish third in the Preakness, beaten just a neck by Bravazo for the runner up spot.

Peter Pan winner Blended Citizen is 14-1 in early Belmont Stakes betting. The colt was an also-eligible for the Derby but failed to get in and has the advantage of a victory over the Belmont Park surface. 2014 Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist used the Peter Pan as his prep race.

Gronkowski is now with the Chad Brown barn and would be making his U.S. debut. The colt won four of six starts overseas and won the European Road to the Derby but missed the race after spiking a fever. The colt is currently at odds of 25-1.

The Dale Romans trained Free Drop Billy is a new addition to the field. The colt was a highly rated juvenile last year but is 0 for 4 this year and was 16th in the Kentucky Derby. His odds are at 50-1.

Others that are possible for the race include Restoring Hope and European shippers Seahenge and Bandua.

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