The 152nd Belmont Stakes is just days away.
The shortened track for this year’s race will likely be a factor. For some contenders, like Mischevious Alex, it bolsters their case.
Although Mischevious Alex doesn’t have the shortest odds at TVG now, he might be the best-suited colt in Saturday’s field. The unique circumstances around the 2020 Belmont Stakes can play to the bettors’ advantage.
TVG odds for the 152nd Belmont Stakes
Pole time for Saturday’s race is 6:37 pm in New York, with NBC providing TV coverage. This year’s race is just 1 1/8 miles (nine furlongs) around Big Sandy, down from the typical 1.5 miles.
What’s perhaps most unique about this year’s Belmont, however, is that bettors won’t have the benefit of having seen many of the horses in the field run the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.
This year, the Belmont is the first leg of the Triple Crown. That doesn’t mean there’s zero intel on the field for 2020, however.
TVG has handicapped Saturday’s race, with the odds currently sitting at:
- Tiz the Law: 3/2
- Dr Post: 9/1
- Mischevious Alex: 10/1
- Tap It to Win: 12/1
- Gouverneur Morris: 14/1
- Sole Volante: 14/1
- Max Player: 18/1
- Modernist: 20/1
- Farmington Road: 22/1
- Shivaree: 23/1
- Basin: 25/1
The 2019 Belmont winner, Sir Winston, also sat 10/1 at TVG. There’s more reason than that to believe that Mischevious Alex won’t suffer the usual “graveyard for Triple Crown hopefuls” effect that the Belmont is infamous for, however.
The case for Mischevious Alex to win the Belmont
Because of this year’s unique circumstances, conventional thinking is somewhat out.
For example, there’s no need to place such a high emphasis on horses’ lineages. Not that Mischevious Alex’s breeding isn’t reputable, as he is the son of Into Mischief.
Due to the lack of experience that some of the sophomores have in this year’s field, it might be unwise to prioritize speed. Stamina could rule the day instead.
John Servis‘ colt comes into Saturday with a robust resume. At Gulfstream Park in February, he beat Shivaree by seven lengths. In early March, he won the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.
It was at the Gotham Stakes when he exhibited his endurance. Looking tired after eight poles into the race, Mischevious Alex found a second wind to win by two lengths.
Other contenders may catch bettors’ eyes when they review film this year as well, however. One of those has even longer odds than Mischevious Alex.
Belmont Stakes favorite and long shot
Mark Casse looks to make it back-to-back Belmont wins as a trainer with Tap It to Win. The son of Tapit, Tap It to Win boasts fitness as his strongest suit as well.
Bettors should know that Tap It to Win defeated an allowance field around Big Sandy just a couple of weeks ago. The three horses that finished after him were all bettors’ darlings that day, which is what Tiz the Law might be on Saturday.
If bettors do put money down on Tiz the Law, it would be hard to criticize them. He’s coming off an impressive Florida Derby win, where he showed he doesn’t lack for endurance himself.
Given the unique situation for this race in 2020, it’s hard to pass up on a horse who presents value like Tiz. If you’re determined to back a horse with longer odds; however, Tap It to Win and Mischevious Alex seem to be well-suited to the conditions.