A (trifecta) key to winning on the Belmont

By Brent Musburger  (VSiN managing editor) 

June 9, 2018 01:08 AM

The 150th running of the Belmont Stakes has captured worldwide betting attention as Justify races Saturday for a possible Triple Crown.

The morning line is 4-5, which wouldn’t be terrible for a Triple Crown winner. Remember, American Pharoah closed at 3-5 on the tote board three years ago, and he paid $3.50 to win.

If you like Justify, don’t shy away from the win bet because of the short odds. It is a good play simply because there are more contenders in this year’s field that will attract money.

As is always the case at the Belmont, the biggest issue with Justify and any other entry is whether the horse fits the mile-and-a-half. This figures to be the only time these horses race at that distance. Considering the workload that Justify has had with six races in 111 days, questions about his stamina are worth asking. His Beyer Speed Figure in the Preakness was a career-low 95, so there is the very real possibility Justify will really back up in this race.

To make a little more money than just the win bet on Justify, let’s attack the $1 trifecta key. In my formula you have to select one horse that you think will win, place or show. If Justify’s best races are behind him as some believe, let’s instead key Hofburg, the No. 4 horse.

After a very difficult trip in the Kentucky Derby when he was closing on the outside down the stretch, Hofburg skipped the Preakness, and trainer Bill Mott continued his works at Saratoga in preparation for the Belmont. Everyone who has seen this horse says he looked the part.

So let’s key Hofburg first to win the race, and in second and third let’s go with Justify, Bravazo, Tenfold, Vino Rosso and Noble Indy. Then I will key Hofburg second with those other five horses first and third. Then the same process with Hofburg keyed third and the other five in first and second. The three tickets would cost you a total of $60. That leaves me $20 to bet my Montana buddy Mick Ruis to win and place with Bolt d’Oro in Saturday’s Met Mile.

- - -

Congratulations to the Golden Knight players, coaches and support staff for an incredible joy ride, which united this city when it needed it most.

NOBODY forecast a Stanley Cup being awarded on Las Vegas ice when this expansion team was put together less than a year ago. Washington earned the Cup on Thursday night, but the Golden Knights captured our hearts.

Wait ’til next year.

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