Belmont Stakes Betting -- Can a closer like Mo Donegal catch the field?

  • In Charles Jay
  • Sat, Jun 11th, 2022 1:01:30 pm
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

Todd Pletcher sends Mo Donegal out with a lot of confidence in the Belmont Stakes, as he goes after his fourth win in that race.

As BetOnline customers probably know, if there's one thing that's very true about the Belmont Stakes, it's that We the People, The talented colt who won the Peter Pan Stakes, is going to try his best to go wire-to-wire.

But that's the only horse in the eight-deep field who has really concentrated on early speed, We the People may not set too swift a pace, unless somebody's out there challenging him.

That's not going to be Mo Donegal, but the fifth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby definitely wants to be in position make a huge stretch run.

You see, the son of Uncle Mo is, almost without question, the one who is the most threatening presence as the closer.

Will that provide the drama race fans are looking for Saturday in the mile-and-a-half race?

You can't disqualify too many of these entrants, and that includes Rich Strike, who pulled off one of the greatest all-time upsets in the Kentucky Derby, winning as an 80-1 shot.

In the Belmont Stakes betting odds posted on this classic race by the people at BetOnline, Mo Donegal is actually the favorite:

1 -- We the People +275
2 -- Skippylongstocking +1800
3 -- Nest +750
4 -- Rich Strike +550
5 -- Creative Minister +700
6 -- Mo Donegal +250
7 -- Golden Glider +2200
8 -- Barber Road +1100

Mo Donegal is trained by Todd Pletcher, and in this particular race that means an awful lot. Over the last 15 years, Fletcher has won the Belmont three times, finishing in second place on five other occasions.

In skipping over the Preakness, Fletcher aimed his horse we really for this distance test, And he is looking for a much better trip that he got at Churchill Downs. In that one, Mo Donegal drew the rail, which is always a difficult place to be in that race, and did not break well from the gate. As a result, he went right to the back of the pack among 20 horses, and even though he saved ground on his ride, and hung in gamely, that was probably too much to make up.

Some people were impressed by the late run that garnered fifth place, and projected that an effort such as that would bode well at Big Sandy.

But it looks as if the dynamic might be different in this one, especially if, as expected, the pace isn't so blistering. Mo Donegal at least gets a post position that's near the outside, and with an eight-horse field he won't encounter the same kind of traffic. Perhaps there's an opportunity the stick a little closer than usual, so that there's not as much ground to make up when they really have to turn on the afterburners.

No doubt other horses will look to close. There's Rich Strike, who won the Kentucky Derby; Barber Road, who was right there with Mo Donegal in the Derby, and Pletcher's other horse, Nest, who is trying to win this as a filly and is bred for the distance.

If they're lucky, someone else will come and challenge the pace, although that's not likely. As the class of this race, and an impressive winner over Preakness champ Early Voting in the Wood Memorial, we don't see any reason Mo Donegal can't hit the board.

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