The 152nd running of the Grade I, $1 million Belmont Stakes takes place at Belmont Park this Saturday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spectator-less race will be run as the first leg of the 2020 Triple Crown. Additionally, the “Test of the Champion” will be just 1 1/8-miles long, in stark contrast to the typical 1 1/2-mile distance. A field of 10, featuring the top three-year-old on many an experts leaderboard, TIZ THE LAW, will do battle in this one. Post time for the Belmont Stakes, Race 10 on a 12-race program that features five additional stakes, is 5:42 p.m. ET.
#8 TIZ THE LAW (6-5, morning-line favorite) stands out on paper against this group. The speed figures he earned in his Holy Bull and Florida Derby romps earlier this year at Gulfstream Park stamp him as the one to beat. TIZ THE LAW is not “dressed up” off all perfect trips either, as he encountered some traffic trouble in the Holy Bull two-back before powering away to victory. TIZ THE LAW is a perfect 4-for-4 on a fast racetrack and already owns a victory at Belmont, as he took last year’s Grade I Champagne Stakes. He continues to train well for Barclay Tagg, who names Manny Franco to ride once more.
#9 DR POST (5-1) wasn’t ready in his two-year-old debut at Belmont almost a year ago, but since then he’s turned heads by scoring with a flashy speed figure against maidens at Gulfstream before bulling his way to victory in the Unbridled Stakes when last seen. If Irad Ortiz Jr. keeps DR POST in the clear, he could have more to offer in the lane. Trainer Todd Pletcher seeks his fourth Belmont Stakes victory.
#2 SOLE VOLANTE (9-2) took the old-school approach toward prepping for the Belmont Stakes, acing a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream just last Wednesday that featured Holy Bull and Florida Derby also-rans Shivaree and Ete Indien. He was a winner in the Sam F. Davis at Tampa three-back, and a solid runner-up in the Tampa Bay Derby. SOLE VOLANTE will retain Luca Panici.
The play: $5 exacta 8/9, $3 exacta 8/2, $2 exacta 9/8 ($10)