Irish war cry returns as Belmont favorite after skipping preakness

Irish War Cry Returns as Belmont Favorite After Skipping Preakness

Saturday’s 149th running of the Belmont Stakes will certainly lack intrigue considering both horses who won the first two legs of the Triple Crown will not be competing. However, that has put Irish War Cry in a favorable position as +300 chalk in a 12-horse field, with only one entering all three Triple Crown races.

Odds courtesy of

Lookin At Lee is the lone horse in the Belmont who has previously ran in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and he is listed as the +550 third choice behind Irish War Cry and Epicharis (+350). After finishing second in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness, Lookin At Lee is still searching for his first victory of the year.

Irish War Cry Returns as Belmont Favorite After Skipping PreaknessEpicharis is coming over from Japan to run his first Triple Crown race following an impressive run that has seen him win three of his last four races by a combined 25 lengths and finish second in the other one. He was eligible to run in the Kentucky Derby after winning the Hyacinth Stakes but decided to rest up for the Belmont instead.

Irish War Cry placed a disappointing 10th in the Kentucky Derby despite closing as one of the favorites. He sat out the Preakness, which was won by Cloud Computing, another notable horse not running in the Belmont along with Classic Empire and Derby winner Always Dreaming, who lost his Triple Crown bid by finishing eighth at Pimlico.

Other top contenders that have a shot to win the Belmont according to oddsmakers are Senior Investment (+650) and Tapwrit (+750), with Gormley (+1200), Meantime (+1400), Multiplier (+1600) and J Boys Echo (+1600) behind them. Three longshots on the board are Twisted Tom (+2000), Patch (+2500) and Hollywood Handsome (+3300).

Last year, Creator won the Belmont Stakes from the No. 13 post position in a 13-horse field. Three of the past four winners have come from a position of 11 or higher, with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah the exception during that stretch in 2015 (No. 5). Patch will start from the No. 12 position this year while Epicharis is at No. 11. In addition, Irish War Cry will begin from the No. 7 spot with Lookin At Lee in No. 6.