2018 Belmont Stakes: Can Justify Beat the Odds and Win the Triple Crown?

  • History will be on the line when Justify competes in the Belmont Stakes on June 9th
  • Can the highly touted American thoroughbred become just the 13th Triple Crown winner ever?
  • Is there any value in betting on Justify, or should you lay down your money elsewhere? 

After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Justify looks to become the 13th Triple Crown winner when he competes in the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 9.

Justify will be a heavy favorite, however, between Affirmed winning the Triple Crown in 1978 and American Pharoah sweeping the three races in 2015, twelve different horses won the first two legs and came up short at Belmont Park. Let’s look at some of the ways you can bet on or against Justify.

Belmont Stakes Betting Odds

Horse Odds
Justify 4/5
Hofburg 4/1
Bravazo 8/1
Vino Rosso 9/1
Tenford 10/1
Blended Citizen 14/1
Gronkowski 33/1
Noble Indy 33/1
Free Drop Billy 50/1

All odds are available on Bovada. 

The simplest bet you can make is to pick the winner. There is no value on Justify, nor any other horse who is running in his third straight leg of the Triple Crown. Horses are not designed to run three races in five weeks, and that’s why fresh competition provides opportunity.

Hofburg and Vino Rosso both ran in the Kentucky Derby and sat out the Preakness. Hofburg went off at 27/1 in Louisville and finished seventh out of 20 horses in a race that he twice was forced to steady. He finished strongly. Vino Rosso experienced perhaps the worst trip of all 20 horses, going wide throughout at 14/1 odds and ending up ninth. Because Vino Rosso is more than twice the price of Hofburg, that would be our win choice.

If you want to get fancy, and try an exacta or trifecta (picking the first two or three finishers in the order they come in) again the payout will not be large if Justify is the winner. Chose a favorite two or three horses, play them on top, then play those and Justify for second, and do the same for third or add another longshot you like or two.

For Example:
1. $2 exacta Hofburg and Vino Rosso over Hofburg, Vino Rosso and Justify. Cost of the ticket is $12. Last year the exacta at the Belmont Stakes paid $45.20

2. $1 Trifecta Hofburg and Vino Rosso over Hofburg, Vino Rosso and Justify over Hofburg, Vino Rosso, Justify and Blended Citizen. Cost of the ticket is $24. The trifecta last year at the Belmont Stakes paid $312.

Belmont Stakes & Justify Props

Justify Retirement Odds

Odds that Justify retires undefeated: 15/2

Odds that Justify retires after the Belmont: 5/1

Win or lose, this is his sixth race since mid-February, and a lengthy vacation is due. The under on how many more races he ever runs in, and how many he runs in before losing are worthwhile investments.

Retiring soon also provides some value. If he loses, and it is possible Justify is out of gas, finishing outside the top three is very much on the table. Furthermore, if he loses, running any more races again is risky, because he is worth less if he is fading towards the end of his career.

Belmont Stakes Race Odds

Odds that Justify finishes outside the top 3 at the Belmont: 15/2

Odds that Justify finishes last in the race: 50/1

Odds that Justify scratches and does not run in the Belmont: 40/1

Odds Justify does not finish the Belmont Stakes because:

  • Breaks a leg: 150-1
  • Knocks jockey onto the ground: 75-1
  • Jumps over the railing onto the infield: 250-1
  • Another horse bumps him off track: 250-1
  • Trips on another horse: 50-1
  • Goes the wrong way: 200-1
  • Jockey gets dirt in his eyes and pulls up on reigns: 100-1
  • Horse’s bridle falls off:  250-1
  • Flash bulb in the eye during the race startles the horse: 150-1

Over/Under on time for Justify as winner: 2:30.00

Over/Under on time of a different race winner: 2:30.00

Odds a thunderstorm cancels the race: 1000-1

The props regarding why Justify may not finish the Belmont are a lot of fun, but there is no reason to believe he won’t complete the one-and-a-half-mile marathon.

Belmont Stakes Fan Odds

Odds a fan streaks the track: 250-1

Odds a fan throws a beer bottle/can onto track: 250-1

Fans of the Belmont Stakes are typically a well behaved group, but you never know when someone will try to make a name for themselves during one of racing’s most popular events.

Belmont Stakes Broadcast Odds

Over/Under on TV rating: 11.2

Over/Under on times Justify’s trainer Bob Baffert is shown during the broadcast: 9

Over/Under on times last Triple Crown Winner “American Pharoah” mentioned during broadcast: 8

Over/Under of NBC TV show promotions: 10

The bottom line is all eyes will be on Justify. He is trying to accomplish something that is very difficult. If he wins, the owners take a huge risk by ever running him again and showing that he is anything less than invincible. He is worth tens of millions of dollars in the breeding shed.