The 2014 Belmont Stakes isn’t expected to run for another week, but this early, anticipation is already building to the potential ascendancy to the throne of the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.
We’ve harped about California Chrome since he won the Kentucky Derby and followed that up another dominant showing at the Preakness. With history beckoning, Chrome has been listed as an overwhelming 2/3 favorite, as clear a sign as any that a huge majority of all the betting money is going to one horse.
But even with such short odds, winning the Belmont is still no short thing. If it were, we probably would’ve had more than one Triple Crown winner in the last 10 years.
So if California Chrome stumbles, then the field opens up with a handful of interesting options. One stallion bookmakers have deemed as the strongest challenger to California Chrome’s Triple Crown hopes is Ride On Curlin odds.
Outside of the two, three thoroughbreds – Commanding Curve, Tonalist, and Wicked Strong – have been penciled in at 12/1 odds.
Then, the odds drop precipitously to the rest of the field, beginning with Samraat at 25/1, Social Inclusion at 30/1, and Commissioner and Intense Holiday at 35/1, and Kid Cruz as the longest of the long shots at 50/1.
But the real story ahead of and in the lead-up to the Belmont Stakes continues to be California Chrome. This is the farthese we’ve come to finally seeing a Triple Crown winner for the first time since Affirmed took the Crown in 1978.