Justify (1), with jockey Mike Smith up, crosses the finish line to win the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race and the Triple Crown, Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) ORG XMIT: BEL135

Belmont Stakes 2020: Who Will Win The First Leg Of The Triple Crown?

Racing fans would have feared the worst for the chances of the Triple Crown going ahead in the USA earlier this year, but the show must still go on. It will be an unprecedented year of the Triple Crown this year, however, as the three-race event will kick off with the race that typically ends the event. The Belmont Stakes will be sticking to near its original date as it will be run on the 20th June.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes will both now take place later in the year, and there will also be a number of other differences to this year’s event. The prize pot is slightly smaller than typical, with the prize fund now at $1 million instead of the normal $1.5 million. However, the biggest difference that gamblers should be aware of ahead of this year’s race is the distance.

Traditionally the Belmont Stakes is the longest race of the Triple Crown as it takes place over one and a half miles. However, this year is has been drastically shortened to ensure that injuries to the horses are less likely, with many runners likely to be suffering from stamina issues and fatigue.  The new distance of one and one-eighth miles will make the Belmont Stakes the shortest of all the Triple Crown races this year. But, has that had a bearing on which horse may potentially start the opening leg of the Triple Crown as the favourite?

Tiz The Law To Start Off As Favourite

Tiz The Law will remain the favourite heading into the Belmont Stakes, as the three-year-old comes into the race off an impressive set of form in 2020. The dominance that Tiz The law has enjoyed this year so far has been mightily eye-catching for gamblers. His first run this year came at Gulfstream Park, where he won by a dominant three lengths from Ete Indien. He followed this up with another impressive showing at the end of March at the same track, as Tiz The Law won by four and a quarter lengths from Shivaree.

Other Credible Chances

There will still be some doubting the three-year-olds credentials as his run before these two successes saw him finish third at Churchill Downs. Gamblers will also be aware of the other favourites in the race, which are Charlatan and Nadal. Bob Baffert trains Charlatan, and there is still a feeling that the three-year-old is somewhat unknown. He has only appeared on one previous occasion, with that ending with a win at Oak by six lengths over Basin. But, gamblers will be wary.

Nadal is also trained by Baffert but does have more weight behind his odds. He has won on all three outings, which included a win at Oak on the 3rd May. He was dominant on that occasion as he won by three lengths. His other two victories have also come this year, with one coming in February over Ginobili and the other coming in March over Excession at Oak. Out of the two Baffert trained horses among the favourites, the preference would be for Nadal.

Outsiders For The Belmont Stakes

The remainder of the field will be priced at above +1000, with Honor A.P being the best fancied of the outsiders. There will be doubt surrounding whether the John Shirreffs trained horse will be able to compete having won just once in three starts.

The only other realistic chances that could cause a shock are Sole Volante and Dr Post. The latter of those may get some attention having won emphatically on his last start at the end of March. His price could tumble should he pick up another win before the June Triple Crown event. To know more about the Triple Crown Races click here: https://www.twinspires.com/triple-crown