The 143rd Running of the Belmont Stakes

Rob Gregorka
Updated: June 8, 2011 -- 5:20 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV -- The 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes is on Saturday with Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom the 2-1 morning line horse betting favorite in a field of 12. There will be no Triple Crown winner again this year but at least this year's Belmont does have the appeal of a rematch between Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness winner Shackleford. It is also a historic Belmont as for the first time ever, the top seven finishers in the Kentucky Derby will also race in the Belmont.

Another rarity could occur on Saturday if Animal Kingdom is victorious, as only 11 horses in history have pulled off the Kentucky Derby-Belmont double. There have been 21 horses that won the Derby and the Preakness and then lost the Belmont and we know that only 11 horses in history have won all three races. Animal Kingdom could have been going for a Triple Crown but just couldn't quite reel in Shackleford in the Preakness.

Animal Kingdom is bucking some tough recent history as the last favorite to win the Belmont was Afleet Alex in 2005.

Animal Kingdom doesn't seem to have missed a beat since that race as his workouts have been excellent. He turned in a great work on Monday as he went a half mile in 47.76 seconds which was the fastest of the 32 timed workouts at a half mile at Belmont on Monday. Trainer Graham Motion said the horse is doing great. Animal Kingdom will start from the #9 post which has only had four winners since 1905.

Animal Kingdom is bucking some tough recent history as the last favorite to win the Belmont was Afleet Alex in 2005. This appears to be a weak overall Belmont field though and Animal Kingdom is a deserving favorite in off track betting. His main two challengers, Nehro who was second in the Kentucky Derby, and Preakness winner Shackleford are not thought to be horses that will like the mile and a half distance. Nehro is the second choice on the morning line in horse wagering at 4-1 while Shackleford is the third choice at 9-2. Nehro got a lot of respect from Belmont Park oddsmaker Eric Donovan on the morning line as he is the second choice. Finishing second is becoming a habit for Nehro, who has finished second in his last three starts.




ML Odds


Master of Hounds

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Brilliant Speed

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Prime Cut

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Animal Kingdom

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