2022 Belmont Stakes at a Glance

The field breaks from the starting gate in the 2018 Belmont Stakes, won by #1 Justify (far left), who became the 13th Triple Crown winner in history. (Adam Mooshian/NYRA)

There will not be a Triple Crown winner in 2022, but there could be the next best thing. With Rich Strike sitting out the Preakness Stakes in favor of the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets, the final leg of the Triple Crown will give us another look at the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve winner – though don’t expect 80.80-1 odds this time around. Should Rich Strike serve up an encore of his win in the run of the roses in the Grade 1 “Test of a Champion,” it will make him the first non-Triple Crown winner to complete a Kentucky Derby-Belmont Stakes double since Thunder Gulch in 1995, but he will face a strong challenge from a field Saturday evening at Belmont Park that also includes We the People, Mo Donegal and the filly, Nest.

belmont stakes presented by nyra bets

Racetrack: Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y.

Date: June 11

Purse: $1.5 million

Distance: 1 1/2 miles

Race: 11

Post Time: 6:44 p.m. ET

Notable winners: Essential Quality (2021), Justify (2018), American Pharoah  (2015), Rags to Riches (2007), Afleet Alex (2005), Point Given (2001), A.P. Indy (1992), Easy Goer (1989), Risen Star (1988), Swale (1984), Affirmed (1978), Seattle Slew (1977), Secretariat (1973), Riva Ridge (1972), Arts and Letters (1969), Damascus (1967), Gallant Man (1957), Nashua (1955), Native Dancer (1953), Citation (1948), Assault (1946), Count Fleet (1943), Whirlaway (1941), War Admiral (1937), Omaha (1935), Gallant Fox (1930), Man o’ War (1920), Sir Barton (1919).

First held: 1867

1. We the People (2-1): The drama begins here. He’s the morning line favorite off a big, front-running win in the Peter Pan Stakes and here he finds a field where he might be the lone speed. If he breaks well from the rail, he should be able to control the pace and possibly the race. There’s a chance of rain Saturday, which should only help him based on his Peter Pan romp on a wet track.

JOCKEY: Flavien Prat TRAINER: Rodolphe Brisset

2. Skippylongstocking (20-1): He was a good third in the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino and then settled for fifth in the Preakness. Off a backward step like that, hard to build enthusiasm for him here.

JOCKEY: Manny Franco TRAINER: Saffie Joseph Jr.

3. Nest (8-1): She is attempting to become the fourth filly to the win the Belmont, and her trainer, Todd Pletcher, sent out the last one, Rags to Riches in 2007. She was a good second in the Longines Kentucky Oaks to Secret Oath, who then ran fourth in the Preakness, and her connections had this race in mind since the start of the year. At the very least, she’s a threat to crack the superfecta.

JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz TRAINER: Todd Pletcher

4. Rich Strike (7-2): The 80.80-1 winner of the Kentucky Derby skipped the Preakness to point for this race and his recent training indicates it was a wise move. His odds at Churchill Downs may give off the impression of a one-hit wonder but he simply may have blossomed at a very opportune time. A slow pace may hurt his chances, but don’t ignore him this time like virtually everyone did on the first Saturday in May.

JOCKEY: Sonny Leon TRAINER: Eric Reed

5. Creative Minister (6-1): He turned in a good performance to finish third in the Preakness in his stakes debut. He’s surely fit but this will be his third race in five weeks and maybe that’s a bit much for such an inexperienced runner. Still, he has enough talent to be used with some confidence in the exotics.

JOCKEY: Brian Hernandez Jr. TRAINER: Ken McPeek

6. Mo Donegal (5-2): There’s a lot to like here. He won the Wood Memorial and Remsen Stakes in New York and broke his maiden at Belmont Park. He had a horrible trip in the Kentucky Derby and still finished fifth. His trainer, Pletcher, owns three Belmont wins and this 3-year-old is talented enough to make it four. Like Rich Strike, a slow pace will make life more difficult for him on Saturday.

JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz Jr. TRAINER: Todd Pletcher

7. Golden Glider (20-1): He was second to We the People in the Peter Pan, but he was a little more than 10 lengths behind under the wire. He might appreciate the added distance, but he was fourth in his Grade 1and Grade 2 starts and faces an uphill climb here.

JOCKEY: Dylan Davis TRAINER: Mark Casse

8. Barber Road (10-1): He has a nice closing kick, but that may work against him in this field. He rallied for sixth in the Kentucky Derby but with the torrid pace, he probably should have been closer. He’s been first or second in six of nine starts and will be a factor on his best day, but Saturday may not be that day.

JOCKEY: Joel Rosario TRAINER: John Ortiz

THE PICK: We the People

LIVE LONGSHOT: Creative Minister


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