Belmont Stakes Day Betting And Eight Grade 1 Races

The biggest day of racing at Belmont Park is Saturday, June 5 with eight Grade I races headlined by the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes.

I chip-in coverage from gate-to-wire for the Belmont Stakes with added horse analysis at Forbes and a wagering strategy.

I also put together the Belmont Stakes betting guide at TheLines, and more Belmont Day picks and coverage at FanDuel and numberFire.

Post Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Bourbonic 15-1 Kenrick Carmouche Todd Pletcher
2 Essential Quality 2–1 Luis Saez Brad Cox
3 Rombauer 3–1 John Velazquez Mike McCarthy
4 Hot Rod Charlie 7–2 Flavien Prat Doug O’Neill
5 France Go de Ina 30-1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. Hideyuki Moriwill
6 Known Agenda 6–1 Irad Ortiz, Jr. Todd Pletcher
7 Rock Your World 9–2 Joel Rosario John Sadler
8 Overtook 20-1 Manny Franco Todd Pletcher

The weekend racing guide includes many of my racing contacts adding insight including TVG, TwinSpires, Horse Racing Radar, Guaranteed Tip Sheet, Horse Racing Nation, Super Screener, Top Race Reports and FB Winners.

I cashed in on Rombauer in the Preakness Stakes at 11/1 odds, but will not bet betting on him to win the Belmont Stakes.

I’m on Known Agenda to win with inclusions of Rock Your World and Essential Quality on top of exacta and trifecta wagering and underneath with all three and a few others.


Essential Quality (2-1): Essential Quality was 5-for-5 before finishing a close fourth in the Kentucky Derby as the 5/2 favorite. He traveled wide around both turns in the 1 ¼ mile Derby, and still tied his career best Equibase Speed Figure of 109 in the Kentucky Derby. Essential Quality is versatile and has shown speed up front and also from off the pace with strong finishing ability. The 2-time Grade I winner is a son of Tapit, who has sired three Belmont Stakes winners since 2014. Essential Quality is the first Belmont Stakes starter for trainer Brad Cox, and jockey Luis Saez rides in his fifth Belmont Stakes looking for his first win.

Rombauer (3-1): Rombauer powered home to win the Preakness at 11/1 odds, and has now finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in three Grade I and II races. He also finished a distant fifth at long odds last November in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile behind winner Essential Quality and runner-up Hot Rod Charlie. In his second start of 2021, Rombauer finished a distant third behind Essential Quality in the Blue Grass Stakes. His win in the Preakness was his best ESF of 109, and he’s stalked the pace in his last two starts and showed more maturity, strength and stamina as trainer Mike McCarthy had said leading into the Preakness. He’ll need some pace up front to run into again, and faces some questions about getting this distance versus others in the field that are also more rested. Jockey John Velazquez rides Rombauer for the first time in his 25th Belmont Stakes start, and he’s a two-time winner with three other runner-up finishes.


Hot Rod Charlie (7-2): After showing little last summer and fall, Hot Rod Charlie has since finished runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at huge odds, and then finished third in his 2021 debut in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis. He broke through to win the 1 3/16 mile Louisiana Derby impressively before running strong to finish a close third in the 1 ¼ mile Kentucky Derby with his best speed figure (109). Trainer Doug O’Neill has his third Belmont starter, and jockey Flavien Prat gets aboard again after riding him well in the Derby. While some may question Hot Rod Charlie’s pedigree and distance ability, O’Neill is unwavered and says his colt has a “full tank” and is bigger, better and stronger after adding weight and muscle since the Derby. Hot Rod Charlie will get a stalking trip and try to hold up with the leaders down the long Belmont stretch in “The Test of the Champion.”

Rock Your World (9-2): Rock Your World is 3-for-4 with an impressive wire-to-wire 4-length win over Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit in the Santa Anita Derby. His 103 speed figure was his best and made him one of the main contenders in the Kentucky Derby. But Rock Your World broke poorly and was shuffled back and unable to show off his top end speed when finishing a disappointing 17th in the Derby. Rock Your World should be running on the lead in the Belmont Stakes with strong stretch rider Joel Rosario looking to keep him settled through a modest pace. Rock Your World is by super sire Candy Ride, and he’s classy and fit to go further. Rosario has finished in-the-money in 6-of-9 Belmont starts, with two wins in the last eight years riding horses with double-digit odds.

Known Agenda (6-1): Known Agenda is one of three Belmont Stakes runners for New York-based trainer Todd Pletcher, who is always a threat going a route of ground on his home track. Pletcher has won the Belmont Stakes three times with 30 starters and finished runner-up six times. A son of Curlin, Known Agenda can clearly handle the 1 ½ mile distance with solid stamina and foundation. He won the 1 ⅛ mile Florida Derby with a career-best 112 speed figure, but struggled in the Kentucky Derby along the rail and finished ninth. Leading Belmont jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides Known Agenda looking for his third Belmont Stakes victory.

Long shots

Bourbonic (15-1): Bourbonic stunned the field and race fans with a Wood Memorial win at 72/1 odds in his first stakes race start in April. Trainer Todd Pletcher was not as surprised by his emerging and maturing colt, who posted his best speed figure (100). But Bourbonic never fired from the very back and finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby. Bourbonic is a classic closer, and well bred for the distance as a son of Bernardini with A.P. Indy bloodlines. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche will try to pull off another shocker in his first Belmont Stakes start.

Overtook (20-1): Overtook completes the Todd Pletcher trifecta of runners in the Belmont. He’s also a son of Curlin, and showing improvement as he gets stronger. Overtook finished third in local Belmont Stakes prep, the Grade III Peter Pan in early May off a three month layoff. He posted his best speed figure (99) in that race in his fifth start. Overtook has been working sharply since over the Belmont track, but lacks the competition and proven profile of the leading favorites and contenders. However, other well-bred, improving distance runners have pulled of surprising finishes when stepping up to handle the grueling Belmont Stakes distance.

France Go de Ina (30-1): The longest shot in the Belmont Stakes is France Go de Ina. He finished sixth in the UAE Derby, and then faded to seventh in the Preakness after stalking along the backstretch towards the far turn. The Japanese-trained colt has the stamina and pedigree to go further, but hasn’t shown enough speed to match-up thus far in his biggest races. Trainer Hideyuki Moriwill has his first Belmont Stakes starter, and selected Ricardo Santana, Jr. to ride in his third Belmont Stakes.

Author: FairwayJay is a leading national sports betting analyst, writer, handicapper and sports betting insider providing insight and information you can bet on for nearly two decades from Las Vegas. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events for leading media and sports betting sites and companies. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay