Triple Crown 2020: Breaking Down Odds for Tiz The Law and Belmont Challengers

ELMONT, NEW YORK - JUNE 14:  Belmont Stakes contender Tiz the Law breezes with Jockey Manny Franco up  during morning training prior to the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park at Belmont Park on June 14, 2020 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Al Bello/Getty Images

The Triple Crown has a much different schedule in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there are still some contenders to win all three races, beginning with the Belmont Stakes.

Tiz The Law is the odds-on favorite to win the first leg thanks to some dominant performances to begin 2020, although there are nine other horses looking to get into the winner’s circle Saturday at Belmont Park.

It will be a unique race compared to past years, featuring no spectators and just a 1⅛-mile run instead of the 1½ miles usually reserved for this event. That could create some challenges for even the most experienced trainers and jockeys going into the race.

Post Positions and Morning Line Odds

Belmont Stakes @BelmontStakes

The field for the 152 Running of the #BelmontStakes, the first jewel of this year’s Triple Crown 🏆 https://t.co/wyDkGAR7vJ

Updated Odds (via Oddschecker)

1. Tap It To Win: 13-2

2. Sole Volante: 13-2

3. Max Player: 18-1

4. Modernist: 25-1

5. Farmington Road: 20-1

6. Fore Left: 28-1

7. Jungle Runner: 50-1

8. Tiz The Law: 4-6

9. Dr Post: 13-2

10. Pneumatic: 14-1

Top Contenders

Tiz The Law

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

No matter where you look, almost everyone has Tiz The Law as the heavy favorite to win in Elmont, New York.

The horse has been dominant with four wins in five races, including two easy victories in 2020 at the Florida Derby and Holy Bull.

“He’s fast, that’s what it comes down to,” trainer Barclay Tagg said, per Andrew Gross of Newsday. “A fast horse is a unique one.”

If the three-year-old runs to his ability, there is little doubt who should cross the finish line first.

However, there is still risk involved in picking Tiz The Law, especially when it comes to experience.

Tagg doesn’t always have horses competing in the Triple Crown events, especially compared to Todd Pletcher, Doug O’Neill and others. He did lead Funny Cide to a win in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2003, but he’s had limited success outside of that.

Jockey Manny Franco also hasn’t done much at this stage:

Chris Fallica @chrisfallica

Manny Franco who has the mount on the favorite Tiz the Law, has ridden in two Triple Crown races. Franco finished 18th in last year’s Derby on Spinoff and 17th in the 2015 Derby with Tencendour. The two were both 52-1 shots.

It could lead to either a breakthrough win or a disappointing performance in Saturday’s race.

Sole Volante

While many other horses in the field have been out of action since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Sole Volante already has a win in June.

The horse competed at Gulfstream Park in Florida last Wednesday and took home a win, the fourth of his career in six starts. This includes three victories of one-mile races or longer.

Though he wasn’t able to pull away, much like Tiz The Law often has, Sole Volante showcased the ability to come from behind in the recent win:

TVG @TVG

Did you catch Sole Volante’s impressive win today in Race 9 @GulfstreamPark?! Congrats to connections Trainer Patrick Biacone, Owners Reeves Thoroughbred Racing et. all & Jockey Luca Panici. https://t.co/RcAncWW1ov

This might lead to some fatigue with a short turnaround to the next race, but we know he won’t be rusty.

Trainer Patrick Biancone has taken a horse to the Belmont two other times in his career, getting as high as third in 1989 with Le Voyageur.

Dr Post

Compared to the others on this list, there is a lot more experience in the team involved with Dr Post.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has won this event three times, most recently in 2017 with Tapwrit. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. won Belmont in 2016 aboard Creator.

Ortiz has especially impressed in 2020 when he has been able to race, leading all jockeys with $7.3 million in earnings, per Equibase. His 147 wins are also the most in the sport this year, winning 26 percent of all of his starts.

This will help Dr Post, who only has three starts in his young career.

The colt has certainly shown promise with wins in each of his last two races, both at Gulfstream Park. If he can keep this momentum going at Belmont Park, he has the tools to pull off the upset. 

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