Belmont Stakes 2023: Odds, free PPs, picks, preview, more

Belmont Stakes 2023: Odds, free PPs, picks, preview, more
Photo: Jason Moran / Eclipse Sportswire

Five weeks ago, Forte woke up on Kentucky Derby day as the morning-line favorite. His connections’ Derby dreams were dashed by a veterinarian-ordered race day scratch.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and owners Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable aim for redemption Saturday on their home soil of New York.

Forte is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the 2023 Belmont Stakes. Post time from Belmont Park is 7:02 p.m. EDT, with FOX showing the 1 1/2-mile event for 3-year-old runners.

The Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont caps this spring’s Triple Crown series. Tapit Trice (3-1), Angel of Empire (7-2) and Hit Show (10-1) all race for the first time since the Kentucky Derby, while Preakness victor National Treasure (5-1) and Red Route One (15-1) start three weeks after racing at Pimlico.

Forte leads the four Belmont starters who did not race in either the Derby or the Preakness. The Violence colt was 3-1 on the morning line at Churchill Downs but his connections could only watch as Mage – a colt Forte beat in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) – won the run for the roses.

The Belmont will mark Forte’s first race since Gulfstream Park’s Florida Derby back on April 1. The 2022 champion juvenile male seeks his fifth Grade 1 triumph for connections who won last May’s Belmont with Mo Donegal.

Tapit Trice is the other Belmont entry for Pletcher, a four-time winner of this event. He won Keeneland’s Blue Grass Stakes (G1) but was seventh in the Kentucky Derby.

Angel of Empire was third in the Derby for trainer Brad Cox behind Mage and runner-up Two Phil’s. The Arkansas Derby (G1) victor adds blinkers Saturday.

National Treasure will attempt to be the first 3-year-old to win back-to-back American Classics since Justify swept the 2018 Triple Crown series. The Bob Baffert trainee went gate-to-wire in the Preakness for his first stakes win.

Among new shooters, Arcangelo (8-1) is an intriguing starter for trainer Jena Antonucci. He prepped for the Belmont by winning the local Peter Pan Stakes (G3) on May 13 in his stakes bow.

Here is a look at the field for the 2023 Belmont Stakes (trainers and jockeys in parentheses) with morning-line odds. Follow updated Belmont Stakes odds throughout Saturday.

1. Tapit Shoes (Brad Cox, Jose Ortiz), 20-1

2. Tapit Trice (Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez), 3-1

3. Arcangelo (Jena Antonucci, Javier Castellano), 8-1

4. National Treasure (Bob Baffert, John Velazquez), 5-1

5. Il Miracolo (Antonio Sano, Marcos Meneses), 30-1

6. Forte (Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz Jr.), 5-2

7. Hit Show (Brad Cox, Manny Franco), 10-1

8. Angel of Empire (Brad Cox, Flavien Prat), 7-2

9. Red Route One (Steve Asmussen, Joel Rosario), 15-1

TimeformUS pace projections show National Treasure taking the lead as he did in the Preakness and setting a fast pace under jockey John Velazquez. Favorite Forte is projected to sit third.

Visit Horse Racing Nation’s free past performances page for more information on the Belmont Stakes, plus the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) and other prestigious races.

Belmont Stakes links

Horse Racing Nation writers and contributors make Belmont Stakes expert picks.

Ed DeRosa explains why some of the factors that affected Tapit Trice in the Kentucky Derby will not be an issue in the Belmont Stakes. See DeRosa’s Belmont Stakes fair odds.

From Angel of Empire in first to Il Miracolo in ninth, Padraic Manocchio predicts the Belmont Stakes order of finish.

In the 2023 Belmont Stakes, the 5-2 morning line favorite Forte is one of five horses in the field of nine with a strong preference to race from off the pace with the running style of a closer.

“He’s trained in them pretty much the whole time we’ve had him,” trainer Brad Cox said of his move to add blinkers for Angel of Empire. “We started him long. I didn’t want him to get too aggressive in the beginning to start his career running him long with the blinkers, so we didn’t run in them.”

“He learned how to win again,” Bob Baffert said of National Treasure’s Preakness Stakes triumph. “He knows how to win, and he’s a fighter.”

Reinier Macatangay identifies two Belmont starters who could challenge National Treasure for the early lead. Macatangay also compares Forte and Tapit Trice to some of trainer Todd Pletcher’s previous Belmont winners.

Trainers Brad Cox and Jena Antonucci discuss their Belmont horses Angel of Empire, Hit Show, Tapit Shoes and Arcangelo on the Ron Flatter Racing Pod.

This week on HorseCenter, Brian Zipse and Matt Shifman offer analysis and top picks for the Belmont Stakes 2023, led by Forte, and the Metropolitan Handicap (G1), headlined by Cody's Wish.

Famed race caller Tom Durkin’s appearance on FOX’s broadcast of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday might be the precursor to a comeback.

Belmont Stakes card

Here is a look at the other graded stakes taking place Saturday at Belmont Park leading up to the Belmont Stakes. All post times are EDT.

12:29 p.m. – $250,000 True North Stakes (G2), 4-and-up, 6 1/2 furlongs, FS1

Elite Power (4-5), 2022 champion male sprinter, runs as an odds-on favorite in this spot rather than taking on fellow Bill Mott trainee Cody’s Wish and others later in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1). Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. rides the son of Curlin, whose only start as a 5-year-old was a Group 3 win on the Saudi Cup (G1) card Feb. 25 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. Brad Cox trains Strobe (2-1), runner-up April 15 at Oaklawn in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3). Today’s Flavor (5-1) steps up to graded flight off an Affirmed Success Stakes win April 30 at Aqueduct for trainer George Weaver.

1:44 p.m. – $200,000 Poker Stakes (G3), 4-and-up, one mile (turf), FS1

Chez Pierre (1-1) makes his first start since upsetting Eclipse Award winner Modern Games on April 14 at Keeneland in the Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes (G1). Jockey Flavien Prat gets the call on the 5-year-old Mehmas gelding for trainer Arnaud Delacour. Mark Casse trains Filo Di Arianna (4-1), a two-time Grade 2 winner at Woodbine who was second there April 29 against allowance foes. The Todd Pletcher-trained Emmanuel (9-2) is a Grade 2 victor who was third on the Preakness Stakes undercard May 20 in Pimlico’s Dinner Party Stakes (G3).

Horses to Watch: 24 return to action for Belmont week

2:22 p.m. – $250,000 Brooklyn Stakes (G2), 4-and-up, 1 1/2 miles, FS1

Warrant (5-2) leads the first of two 12-furlong stakes Saturday over Big Sandy off an Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight score May 3 at Churchill Downs. Cox has tabbed Prat to ride the Grade 3-winning, 5-year-old son of Constitution. William Cowans trains Next (3-1), a Grade 2 winner who was third in the Isaac Murphy, 4 1/2 lengths shy of Warrant. Bright Future (4-1) stretches out for Pletcher off a third-place finish going one mile against allowance foes May 6 at Churchill on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

3:02 p.m. – $500,000 Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1), 4-and-up fillies and mares, 1 1/16 miles, FOX

Clairiere (6-5), winner of the 2022 Ogden Phipps, added a third Grade 1 score to her ledger April 15 by winning the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) for trainer Steve Asmussen. Jockey Joel Rosario will get a leg up on the 5-year-old Curlin mare, an earner of more than $2.83 million. D. Wayne Lukas trains Grade 1 heroine Secret Oath (2-1), second in both the Apple Blossom and in Churchill’s La Troienne Stakes (G1) on May 5. Search Results (4-1), another Grade 1 winner, was third in the La Troienne for trainer Chad Brown.

Division rankings: Belmont weekend brings out the stars

3:42 p.m. – $400,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (G1), 3-year-olds, seven furlongs, FOX

General Jim (7-2) followed a Swale Stakes (G3) victory by taking the Pat Day Mile Stakes (G2) on the Kentucky Derby card. Trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Luis Saez team up with the Into Mischief colt. Bob Baffert trains Arabian Lion (4-1), who steps up to Grade 1 flight off a Sir Barton Stakes win on the Preakness card. Federal Judge (8-1) is off to a 2-for-2 start at sprint distances for trainer Rodolphe Brisset, winning a Derby card allowance race that went 6 1/2 furlongs.

Saturday plays: Play these singles in Woody Stephens, Met Mile

4:19 p.m. – $400,000 Jaipur Stakes (G1), 3-and-up, six furlongs (turf), FOX

Caravel (3-1) enters on a four-race win streak that includes victories in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and in the Unbridled Sidney Stakes on May 5 at Churchill. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione pilots the 6-year-old Mizzen Mast mare, who battles male runners for Cox’s barn. Mott trains two-time reigning Jaipur hero Casa Creed (9-2), runner-up Feb. 25 in a Group 3 race on the Saudi Cup card. Grade 2 winner Arrest Me Red (6-1) looks to bounce back off a fifth-place finish on the Derby card in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) for trainer Wesley Ward.

Belmont Park: Casa Creed aims to complete rare triple in Jaipur | Super Screener preview: Go Bears Go is a Jaipur dandy | Bet these 3 value plays on Belmont Stakes card

5:04 p.m. – $1 million Metropolitan Handicap (G1), 3-and-up, one mile, FOX

Cody’s Wish (7-5) leads one of racing’s biggest annual events, going the same distance at which he took the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile for Mott. Jockey Junior Alvarado has the mount on the 5-year-old son of Curlin, winner of the seven-furlong Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) on Derby day. Jamie Ness trains Repo Rocks (4-1), who prepped for this spot with a local Westchester Stakes (G3) victory May 5. Zandon (5-1) was runner-up in the Westchester for Brown and has not won a race since Keeneland’s 2022 Blue Grass Stakes (G1).

Met Mile fair odds: Zandon is choice to upset Cody's Wish | Met Mile: Dutrow is confident in his new charge White Abarrio

5:54 p.m. – $750,000 Manhattan Stakes (G1), 4-and-up, 1 1/4 miles (turf), FOX

Up to the Mark (8-5) bettered an otherwise rough Kentucky Derby day for Pletcher by winning the Turf Classic Stakes (G1) in his last start. Ortiz will climb up on the 4-year-old Not This Time colt, who was third one race prior in the Maker’s Mile. Charlie Appleby trains Ottoman Fleet (5-2), whose first U.S. start was a local Fort Marcy Stakes (G2) victory May 6. Warren Point (5-1), another Appleby runner, came out awkwardly at the start of Belmont’s Man o’ War Stakes (G1) on May 13 and ran fifth at 3-5 odds.

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