After ending Nyquist’s chances of a Triple Crown triumph with his victory at the Preakness Stakes, Exaggerator is poised to leave the No. 11 post at Saturday’s Belmont Stakes as the race favorite at short +125 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Keith Desormeaux-trained colt showed his dominance in sloppy conditions three weeks ago at the Preakness, storming past a late-fading Nyquist for his fifth win in 11 career races ahead of the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park.
There will be no rubber match between Exaggerator and Nyquist as the Kentucky Derby winner was withdrawn from the race after struggling with illness following his third-place finish at the Preakness.
However, Exaggerator faces no shortage of quality challengers, who have created a logjam behind him on the Belmont Stakes odds.
Stradivari finished fourth in his stakes racing debut at the Preakness but leads the best of the rest in Belmont Stakes betting, joined by Suddenbreakingnews at +700.
Starting from a more familiar No. 5 post on Saturday after starting further outside at No. 13 at the Preakness, a winning run for Stradivari would mean a third career victory at the Belmont Stakes for trainer Todd Pletcher, who previously reached the winner’s circle in 2007 and 2013.
There have been seven horses since 2000 that have won the Belmont Stakes after running in the Kentucky Derby but skipping the Preakness. This year, five horses meet that criteria, including Suddenbreakingnews, who finished fifth at Churchill Downs and will start from the No. 4 post on Saturday.
Another Pletcher-trained horse, Destin, ran to a sixth-place finish at the Derby and starts from the No. 2 post with +900 odds. Brody’s Cause is listed at +1400 following a seventh-place finish in the Run for the Roses, while Creator is a +1600 bet on Saturday after finishing a disappointing 13th in Louisville.
Cherry Wine will be looking to become the 16th horse to win the Belmont when starting from the No. 3 post, and sports +800 odds following a strong second-place run at the Preakness Stakes.
Governor Malibu starts on the rail, joining Brody’s Cause at +1400, while Lani, who joins Exaggerator as the only horses to participate in all three Triple Crown races this year, is deadlocked with Creator at +1600.
Four horses sit well off the pace on the Belmont Stakes odds, with Gettysburg, Seeking the Soul, Forever d’Oro, and Trojan Nation all pegged as +4000 longshots.