The Belmont Stakes look very different in 2020, serving for the first time ever as the opening leg of the Triple Crown, with the Kentucky Derby and Preakness both pushed back several months due to the effects of the coronavirus. Some experts picking the event think the results of the race itself could be even more unusual.
Saturday’s race kicks off with one of the more significant favorites in recent memory, as Tiz The Law comes in at 6-5 odds to win the race. As The Sporting News noted, Tiz The Law likely would have been a strong favorite for the Kentucky Derby after a strong victory in the Florida Derby on March 28. His trainer, 82-year-old Barclay Tagg, has also seen success before with a heavily favored horse in Funny Cide, who won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2008.
The report noted that Tiz The Law showed strong instincts in races so far, staking out a deliberate pace early and finding the right moment to hit his fastest gear and pull away. And while the location of the race likely won’t sway the outcome too much, the report noted that Tiz The Law is a local horse for the New York race, raised by Sackatoga Stable and bred by Twin Creeks Farm.
But some experts see the potential for a major upset in their 2020 Belmont Stakes predictions, which, given the high odds for Tiz The Law, could be almost any other horse in the field. Ellis Starr of America’s Best Racing predicts that Fore Left at 30-1 odds could have a chance at knocking off the far-and-away favorite.
“Although Tiz the Law is the one to beat on paper, I’m going to take a shot with Fore Left to post the upset in the Belmont Stakes,” Starr wrote. “The colt won the first two starts of his career last May and June, both sprints including the Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park, then after two months off he wasn’t disgraced a bit when ending up third, a neck behind the runner-up in the Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar.”
Andy Serling of the New York Racing Association also liked the potential upset chances of Max Player at 15-1 odds, though noted he is not trying to go against the favorite in Tiz The Law.
The full Belmont Stakes odds and post positions can be found at the race’s official website. Post time is scheduled for 5:42 p.m. ET.