WASHINGTON, June 8, 2013 — Belmont Stakes, is often called the Test of Champions, thanks to its grueling course of 1.5 miles. The third jewel in the Triple Crown is today with post time at 6:36 ET.
Three-year-olds that have won both the Derby and Preakness often falter at Belmont, but this year there is no two-timer winner to claim that third jewel, though two winners are eyeing the winner’s blanket of white carnations.
Timing and pacing will be crucial to winning the 145th Belmont Stakes, and Derby winner Orb, 3 to 1 favorite, and Preakness winner Oxbow, 5 to 1 odds, will be fighting it out to put another win under the saddle. It all comes down to the skill of their jockeys, the condition of the track after Tropical Storm Andrea galloped through, and the toughness of the competition.
At post time, the temperature will be 76 degrees with partly cloudy skies and little chance of rain, but the track will still be wet and muddy, perhaps favoring Orb who flew through the mud at the Kentucky Derby.
Fourteen horses will be at the gate with one filly, Unlimited Budget ridden by female jockey Rosie Napravnik, making her the only woman to have ridden in all three Triple Crown races in the same year.
Unlimited Budget’s odds are 8 to 1, not bad for a filly going up against bigger and stronger horses.
All action can be watched live on television as NBC begins its 4 1/2 hours of coverage on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET.
At 5 p.m. ET, the live coverage will switch from the Sports Network to NBC stations. Then at 6:30, the horses should be in the starting gate, ready to run at 6:36 ET.
NBC will switch back to its Sports Network from 7 to 7:30 ET for the post race show.
NBC will Live Stream the racing action and pre-race show, starting at 3 p.m. ET.
This year 16.2 million people watched the Kentucky Derby and nearly 10 million watched the Preakness. The Belmont Stakes in 2012 had a viewership of 7.7 million and this year’s race may draw more with the promise of a real horse race between Orb and Oxbow.
As with the Derby and the Preakness, 25-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas and NBC’s veteran horse racing commentator Tom Hammond will call the race along with two-time Preakness Stakes-winning jockey Jerry Bailey; analyst Randy Moss; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; host Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers and Jay Privman; race caller Larry Collmus, a Baltimore native; and Michelle Beadle, who will contribute features and handle interviews.
There are 14 three-year-olds going for the blanket of white carnations and the $1 million purse, starting with postposition 1 and followed by the odds:
1. Frac Daddy 30/1
2. Freedom Child 8/1
3. Overanalyze 12/1
4. Giant Finish 30/1
5. Orb 3/1
6. Incognito 20/1
7. Oxbow 5/1
8. Midnight Taboo 30/1
9. Revolutionary 9/2
10. Will Take Charge 20/1
11. Vyjack 20/1
12. Palace Malice 15/1
13. Unlimited Budget 8/1
14. Golden Soul 10/1