The Preakness did not go at all as planned, as Cloud Computing provided a rally and upset for the ages, while the favored Always Dreaming faded badly in a loss. Top contender Classic Empire lived up to its challenger status at this year’s Preakness Stakes and suffered more bad luck after slipping at the Kentucky Derby (4th) and narrowly getting edged out by Clouding Computing in this event.
The stunner has horse racing bettors contemplating the unimaginable going forward, as this was a result few saw coming. That doesn’t mean Classic Empire (entering as the favorite) won’t win or place highly, but it does mean we need to consider all our options. The field isn’t finalized for this year’s Belmont Stakes, which sounds off on Saturday, June 10th at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, but we can still take a look at the early odds and see if any sleepers stand out.
2017 Belmont Stakes Odds
Classic Empire is an easy call as the favorite after hanging tight at the Kentucky Derby and being just a hair from holding onto the lead (and win) at the Preakness Stakes. Classic Empire holds fun +200 odds, which both provide safety and some modest upside. Let’s see where the other horses rank when it comes to the 2017 Belmont Stakes odds at Bovada:
Classic Empire | +200
Epicharis | +450
Lookin at Lee | +500
Tapwrit | +600
Cloud Computing | +800
Senior Investment | +800
Conquest Mo Money | +1000
Gormley | +1200
Always Dreaming | +1400
Irap | +1400
Multiplier | +2500
Patch | +2500
Meantime | +2500
Twisted Tom | +2500
While Classic Empire is the clear favorite for the moment, we do need to keep in mind that Always Dreaming blew it in the last race and any horse can come out of anywhere in any race to win. This field is pretty wide open at the top overall, too, with six different horses holding +800 odds or better to win at Belmont Park.
5 Sleepers to Bet On
It’s easy to roll with Classic Empire or the other top Belmont Stakes favorites, but where would that have gotten us at Preakness? Not very far, as the favored Always Dreaming plummeted from the front of the race to finish 8th, while Cloud Computing came in with just 12/1 odds and ended up rallying for the win.
We don’t necessarily need to project a sleeper to win, but it sure helps to take a second to profile the ones who could make for the sneakiest bets. Here’s our favorite five:
Senior Investment (+800)
Our first Belmont Stakes sleeper is ironically also among the top contenders, at least in terms of odds. Senior Investment surprised with a third place run at the Preakness Stakes. This horse was coming off a big man at Lexington and carried itself to two wins before that.
There is serious inconsistency here that could eventually hold this horse back, but the upside is there, as well. Already proving to have what it takes to make a play for the front of the pack, we need to keep an eye on Senior Investment and consider a flier bet for a win, place or show at the Belmont Stakes.
A less than inspiring run at the Kentucky Derby (9th) makes Gormley a poor bet to suddenly rise up and claim the Belmont Stakes, but it’s success prior to that race still promotes optimism. We saw Gormley rip off a big win at the Santa Anita Derby in early April, while this horse also owns wins at the Sham Stakes and FrontRunner Stakes.
Gormley feels like a tough bet to last on the longer Belmont Park track, but we do need to consider the upside with these odds and the success this horse has had. This isn’t the worst bet to make a run at an upset.
Always Dreaming (+1400)
Why not go back to the well with Always Dreaming? The favorite for the Preakness did fade badly down the stretch, but this horse also was neck and neck with Classic Empire for the majority of the race before bowing out late. That, plus a Kentucky Derby win and extremely playable odds put this horse back in the driver’s seat as a fun Belmont sleeper.
It’s quite possible Always Dreaming bows out of the Belmont with no shot at the Triple Crown sweep, but the talent and success is there for this horse to bounce back in a big way.
The odds get a lot longer with a sleeper like Meantime, who carries the best Belmont Stakes odds you can get your hands on at Bovada. Meantime is not very experienced, but in the three races it’s run, this horse has finished second or better. That three-race run includes one win and a second-place finish at the Peter Pan-G3 event.
History could be on Meantime’s side, as the Peter Pan event is actually held at Belmont Park, while five horses have won both the Peter Pan race and the Belmont Stakes. While Meantime didn’t win the Peter Pan race, he did fare very well and understandably knows the track. He could be a fun sleeper to chase due to the familiarity, solid success and long odds. Most bettors will be off of this horse due to its lack of experience, but so far it doesn’t look like this horse knows how to fall behind the pack.
Twisted Tom (+2500)
There is also Twisted Tom, who carries the exact same long odds as Meantime and fellow deep sleepers Patch and Multiplier, but might be the better play. Twisted Tom is bred to last and will come into the third leg of the Triple Crown in top form, riding three consecutive wins.
This is another talented horse that won’t get many early bets due to a lack of high level experience, but we shouldn’t be raising our noses at wins at Federico Tesio and Private Terms events. Twisted Tom has taken first in each of its last three races and finished fourth in it’s other run. That doesn’t make it a lock to even compete at Belmont Park, but the long odds and strong recent form make it a viable sleeper to consider pulling the trigger on.
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