With the help of some liquid sunshine at the Preakness Stakes, Exaggerator was able to upset Nyquist, ending his undefeated streak at eight races. Now that the Kentucky Derby winner has been taken off the trail, Exaggerator is the clear favorite to win the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes on June 11 (5 PM ET, NBC). Exaggerator is 1/1 on the Belmont futures market at press time.
At 1 ½ miles, the Belmont is difficult for any horse to win, but Exaggerator is definitely the one to beat in what’s shaping up to be a weaker field. There are nine other horses listed as probable for the trip to Belmont Park; Suddenbreakingnews is available at 15/2, followed by Cherry Wine at 10/1 and Stradivari at 12/1.
Stradivari could be the best pick to upset Exaggerator. Trained by Todd Pletcher, this Kentucky-bred colt finished fourth at the Preakness, which was his first major thoroughbred race. With no front-runners in the projected field, Stradivari might enjoy the slower pace at the Belmont and have enough left in reserve for a strong finish. However, there’s a chance of rain in the long-range forecast, giving Exaggerator fans yet another reason to feel confident.