2019 Belmont Stakes - Who will WIN?

2019 Belmont Stakes - Who will WIN?

The oldest and longest of the Triple Crown races goes to post on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. ET. The 2019 Belmont Stakes, the 151st running of this event, concludes the 2019 Triple Crown schedule. The 1.5-mile race, aptly nicknamed "The Test of the Champion" for its extended distance compared to the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, is loaded with winners, with the top trainers and jockeys in play for history. There are two lead favorites for the race according to the latest 2019 Belmont Stakes odds. Tacitus, the third-place finisher at the Kentucky Derby is the morning line favorite at 13-8. He's followed by War of Will, the Preakness Stakes winner, who is at 2-1. After that, it's a logjam of potential board-hitters. Everfast, who finished second to War of Will at the Preakness, is 8-1. Spinoff, who has finished on the board in four of five career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher, is 9-1. Intrepid Heart, another Pletcher entrant, is at 10-1 despite the Belmont being just his third start ever. And Japanese import Master Fencer, who opened eyes with his sixth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby, continues to generate interest at 11-1. There are many ways to play this packed field, so you'll want to see what SportsLine's Jody Demling has to say before making any 2019 Belmont Stakes picks or predictions of your own.

A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling comes into the 2019 Belmont on a hot streak. Two years, he correctly picked Tapwrit, a 5-1 underdog, to upset Irish War Cry, the 5-2 favorite. He also put Tapwrit on top of his exotics and hit the superfecta, which paid out almost $4,500 on a $2 bet.

Last year at Belmont Park, he was all over Justify, jockey Mike Smith, and trainer Bob Baffert to make horse racing history. The result: Justify became just the 13th Triple Crown winner ever, and anyone who followed Demling's lead cashed in too.

Demling is at his best in the biggest horse races in the world. He has hit nine of the last 11 Derby-Oaks doubles at Churchill Downs. That means he held a ticket with the winners of both races all but twice in the last 11 years. He's also called nine of the last 15 Preakness winners, keenly understanding when the Kentucky Derby winner was poised for victory or a massive upset.

In addition to his success in major races, Demling has called the winners of the Haskell Invitational, Pennsylvania Derby, Lecomte Stakes, Arkansas Derby, Robert B. Lewis Stakes, and Louisiana Derby, just to name a few. He nailed the superfecta at this year's Pegasus World Cup for a $678 payout on a $1 bet. He also nailed the winner, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta in the Black Eyed Susan the day before the Preakness this year. Anyone who has followed him is up huge.

Now, with the 2019 Belmont Stakes lineup taking shape, Demling is sharing his picks at SportsLine.

We can tell you that Demling thinks Tacitus will run well but not win. The Mott trainee has three wins in five career starts and is coming off a fourth place finish in the Kentucky Derby. He was elevated to third after the disqualification of Maximum Security. As a son of Tapit, like 2017 Belmont winner Tapwrit, Tacitus should thrive at the 1.5-mile marathon distance of the race.

However in his two most impressive victories -- the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial -- Tacitus rallied from behind and benefitted from fast early paces. He is not guaranteed to get that fast early pace to set up his late kick in the Belmont. And, at 13-8 in the early odds, he doesn't provide a lot, if any, value.

Another surprise: Demling likes Master Fencer, a horse that's run just once on the mainland, but it was a good one. He was the first Japanese-bred horse to ever run in the Derby, and finished a solid sixth despite his 58-1 odds (17th-highest in the field). Prior to that, he won his first two career races and took second in two others.

Demling says this horse, a relative unknown, has bloodlines that work for the Belmont's demanding length, and he showed a competitive strategy at Churchill Downs.

"Master Fencer ran a sneaky good race in the Kentucky Derby," Demling told SportsLine. "The distance should be just fine for him. I see him as a real solid contender to hit the board."

Demling has also identified a long shot he believes has a chance to be among the best of this year's crop. 


Which horse wins the 2019 Belmont Stakes? And what long shot does Demling say has a chance to be among the best of this year's crop? Check out the latest Belmont Stakes odds below


Tacitus 13-8
War of Will 2-1
Everfast 8-1
Spinoff 9-1
Intrepid Heart 10-1
Master Fencer 11-1
Sir Winston 16-1
Tax 16-1
Joevia 33-1


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