We The People Early Favorite At Belmont, But Longshots Have History Of Success

Written By Paul Bergeron on June 8, 2022
Belmont Stakes

Many trends point to Mo Donegal winning Saturday’s $1.5 million, Grade 1 Belmont Stakes with stablemate Nest, a filly, considered a top value play.

But the same could have been said for Epicenter, who went off as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, only to finish runner-up both times.

Nonetheless, We the People was installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite for the third jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown – run 1.5 miles over the oval at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. 

We the People won this year on this track, going wire to wire in a Grade 2 race May 14, and is considered the lone speed horse among eight entries.

Running and winning on the Belmont track is considered perhaps the greatest handicapping factor for this race – the first at this distance by any of these 3-year-olds.

It’s not uncommon for longshots to visit the winner’s circle, and the betting payoffs can be massive. When 24.75-1 longshot Ruler on Ice led a group of unheralded runners across the finish line in 2011, the $2 superfecta returned $74,052. Amazingly, 11 of the past 15 Belmont favorites have lost.

Get Up to $200 Back If Your First Bet Loses

Deep Closers Unlikely Winners at Belmont Stakes

Analysts might not be able to pinpoint that kind of longshot, but most will say not to bet deep closers – and they would be correct. Since 2010, only Essential Quality, Sir Winston, and Creator have rallied from the back half of the pack to win.

Shocking Rich Strike is a pure deep closer who benefited from chasing a historically fast pace in the Derby. A new tact will likely be needed on Saturday and his jockey (Sonny Leon) has not raced at Belmont, otherwise known as “Big Sandy” for its plodding dirt composition.

The Peter Pan Stakes (or an equivalent race held at the exact same conditions) has also proven productive as a steppingstone toward this race. 

We the People scored in this year’s edition of that race – a mile-and-an-eighth contest that featured an eight-horse field. A distant runner-up that day was Golden Glider, who also is entered in the Belmont Stakes.

In Pletcher They Trust

New York-based trainer Todd Pletcher has shown a knack for winning the Belmont Stakes. Since 2006, half a dozen Belmont runners-up and a trio of third-place finishers came from his barn.

His Nest is fresh off a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, raced five weeks back. Pletcher also saddled Kentucky Oaks winner Rags to Riches, who beat the males in the 2007 Belmont. 

We the People (three wins in four starts) is racing in his first Triple Crown race. In his only Grade 1 appearance, We the People placed seventh in the Arkansas Derby.

Experience, and experience in New York, are what make Mo Donegal one to watch. He won the Remsen (G2) and Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct Race Track, finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness. He broke his maiden at Belmont in October.

How to watch the Belmont Stakes

  • What: 154th 2022 Belmont Stakes
  • When: Saturday, June 11
  • Where: Belmont Race Track, Elmont, N.Y.
  • Race Surface: Dirt
  • Race Distance: 1 1/2 miles
  • Post Time: 6:49 p.m. ET
  • Broadcast: NBC
  • Streaming: Peacock
  • Pre-Race coverage: CNBC, 3-5 p.m.; NBC 5-7 p.m.
  • Weather Forecast: Afternoon showers are likely with high temperatures around 73 degrees

Belmont draw and odds

The draw for the Belmont Stakes was held Tuesday. Here are the results along with the morning line odds.

Post PositionHorseMorning Line Odds
1.We The People2-1
2.Skippylongstocking20-1
3.Nest8-1
4.Rich Strike7-2
5.Creative Minister6-1
6.Mo Donegal5-2
7.Golden Glider20-1
8.Barber Road10-1

How to bet on the Belmont online in Michigan

Horse racing is not a market that’s available at Michigan’s 15 online sportsbooks, but there are options for online horse racing bettors.

TVG is the largest online betting app for horse racing in Michigan, and has a new customer offer for the Belmont.

To get started, register a new account and use the promo code RISKFREE. Make your first deposit and place your first win-type bet on any race at any track will be risk-free up to $200. If your bet loses, it will be paid in site credit within 24 hours.

Only the portion of a win/place, win/show or win/place/show wager will count for the promotion.

TwinSpires and Xpressbet are also available in Michigan for online betting on horse racing.

Betting on horse racing is also legal at Michigan racetracks, and there is just one of those left: Northville Downs. The track is located at 301 S. Center St. in Northville, and you can call 248-349-1000 to make a reservation for the Belmont.

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