Anehein, United Kingdom (PressExposure) June 04, 2009 -- With only 10 horses running, sports betting on the Belmont Stakes is being spread across the board and Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird has already made yet another worst-to-first move, only this time it's been on the online sportsbook betting board.
The third leg of the US Triple Crown is at the gate and Belmont Stakes betting is starting to gather steam. Horse racing has enjoyed a good run this summer and it began with Mine That Bird's surprise victory at the 135th Kentucky Derby in early May.
After a race day scratch to I Want Revenge, favorites to win the Derby included Pioneer of the Nile (5-to-1), Friesan Fire and Dunkirk, with odds set at 6-to-1 each. Mine That Bird was listed at most online sportsbooks, including SPORTSBETTING.com, as a 50-to-1 longshot but an incredible performance resulted in one of the biggest upsets in Derby history.
Mine That Bird was originally scheduled to make his Triple Crown debut at Belmont where his sire, Birdstone, upset Smarty Jones back in 2004. It placed some pressure on trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr. to enter Mine That Bird at the Preakness Stakes and not wanting to spoil the party, Chip and his pony made the ride to Pimlico.
Oddsmakers faced a difficult decision setting numbers at the Preakness when Calvin Borel, the jockey that rode Mine That Bird across the finish line at Churchill Downs, opted to ride Rachel Alexandria at the Preakness. Borel and Rachel Alexandria got the win, Mine That Bird was second and now the field is set for the most demanding leg of the Triple Crown.
The course at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York is 1 and Â½ miles (2.41 kms), roughly 20-percent longer than the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Thus, the list of entries is smaller and bettors that watched the first two races will not recognize a few of the names.
Charitable Man (11-to-4), Brave Victory (15-to-1), Miners Escape (15-to-1) and Luv Gov (25-to-1) will all be making their Triple Crown debut.
Virginia-bred Charitable Man is based out of Elmont and has won both of his starts at Belmont Park, earning him plenty of attention from horse racing bettors in the know. He is the son of 1999 Belmont Stakes champion Lemon Drop Kid and although Charitable Man suffered an injury late last season that caused him to skip the Derby, handicappers are expecting the horse to run strong right from the gate.
Other than Mine That Bird (17-to-10), up to five other horses that raced the Derby are expected to run at Belmont. Top picks are Dunkirk (11-to-4), Chocolate Candy (8-to-1) and Summer Bird (12-to-1).
For those who prefer to put the rider before the horse, Borel has confirmed a spot back on Mine That Bird for Belmont and is looking to become the first jockey to win all three races aboard two different horses.
A word of caution for the superstitious bettor: Following their final pre-race workout together this week, Borel called his shot, guaranteeing victory at Belmont.
Now that's enough to make any bettor nervous.
Check out the best Triple Crown free contest on the web at SPORTSBETTING.com and add to the fun of the Belmont Stakes with a shot at big cash and other cool prizes.
By Mike Gratton
Author: Mike Gratton placed his first wager on a horse race in the mid-80s. It was a 2-1 horse to show... and it came in fourth. Mike has progressed to be a successful horse racing handicapper and sports betting mind over the years. He loves to impart the knowledge he has garnered over the years in his articles focused on helping others with their sports betting and horse handicapping.