The No. 1 horse has the No. 1 post.
Undefeated Justify drew the inside in a field of 10 for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes on Tuesday at Citi Field. New York Racing Association oddsmaker David Aragona made the son of Scat Daddy the 4-5 favorite to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his second Triple Crown in four years.
“I never like drawing the rail in one of these races, but we have it and we can’t change it,“ Baffert said. “The horse is doing well. He still has to get on the plane tomorrow in Kentucky and we still have a few days left, but since the Preakness everything has been going smoothly.”
Hofburg, who finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness, is the second choice at 9-2. Preakness runner-up Bravazo and Vino Rosso are next at 8-1, followed by Gronkowski and Tenfold at 12-1, Blended Citizen at 15-1 and 30-1 shots Noble Indy, Free Drop Billy and Restoring Hope.
The 5-for-5 Justify will try to become thoroughbred racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner. In 2015, Baffert trained American Pharoah to a sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. No horse had done that since Affirmed in 1978. The only trainer with two Triple Crowns is Brooklyn native Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, with Gallant Fox (1930) and Omaha (1935).
Belmont-based trainer Todd Pletcher has won “The Test of the Champion” three times — with the filly Rags to Riches (2007), Palace Malice (2013) and Tapwrit (2017). Pletcher will send out closer Vino Rosso, winner of the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, and speedy Noble Indy, who took the Louisiana Derby. Both sat out the Preakness after finishing far back in the Derby.
“I think, like all of us, that to have a chance we need Justify to wake up on the wrong side of the bed,” Pletcher said.
Belmont post positions and odds:
1 Justify 4-5
2 Free Drop Billy 30
3 Bravazo 8
4 Hofburg 9-2
5 Restoring Hope 30
6 Gronkowski 12
7 Tenfold 12
8 Vino Rosso 8
9 Noble Indy 30
10 Blended Citizen 15