Rich Strike tries another surprise in Belmont

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Round 154 of the Belmont Stakes takes place in Elmont, NY on Saturday, with Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike returning after sitting out the preakness.

At 80-1, Rich Strike was the second-largest long-range winner in Kentucky Derby history. Despite not running in preakness, there was a rich strike effect. Fenwick opened 50-1 and bettors, hoping the long-shooting blitz would “strike” again, put the horse at about 11-1 by post-time. Fenwick is just crossing the finish line at Pimlico (he finished last).

At the Belmont Stakes, We the People is the 2-1 favorite on the morning line. He last rode in the Peter Pan Stakes on May 14, leading the entire way to a double-digit win.

Mo Donegal (7-2) finished fifth in the Derby and had some success at Belmont Park where he made his debut in his second career start.

Nest (8-1) is the first filly to run in the Belmont Stakes since 2013. She finished second at the Kentucky Oaks and has a strong Belmont pedigree. Nest is the daughter of Curlin, who lost by a narrow head as a favorite at the 2007 Belmont Stakes. Curlin fathered Palace Malice, who won the 2013 Belmont Stakes.

“She has the best breeding for the race. The big question is if she’s good enough,” said Jay Privman, national correspondent for Daily Racing Form.

Despite his impressive derby win, Rich Strike (7-2) isn’t the morning favorite, which may have surprised some casual fans.

“It would be extremely unusual for a horse that shot the longest in a race to be the favorite in his next race,” Privman said. “It just doesn’t happen. There is still a bit of skepticism as to whether the Derby is a true barometer of what he can do or just a fluke performance.”

In five races before the Derby, Rich Strike never finished better than third. He must prove he has what it takes to complete the 1½ mile Test of Champions.

“It’s such a rare distance for these horses to run at any point in their careers,” said Privman. “It’s unlikely they’ll ever run that far again. It’s a guessing game of who will enjoy it or who will find it out of their reach.”

Distance: 1½ mile

Post time: Saturday at 6:44 p.m

Wallet: $1.5 million. $800,000 goes to the winner

1. We the people (2/1)

Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset

Jockey: Flavien Prat

2. Hopper Longstocking (20/1)

Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.

Jockey: Manuel Frank.

3. nest (8/1)

Trainer: death plecher

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

4. Rich punch (7/2)

Trainer: Eric Scheid

Jockey: sonny leon

5. creative minister (6/1)

Trainer: Ken McPeek

Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

6. Mon Donegal (7/2)

Trainer: death plecher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

7. Golden Glider (20/1)

Trainer: Markus Kasse

Jockey: Dylan Davis

8th. barber street (10/1)

Trainer: John Ortiz

Jockey: Joel Rosario

In Pennsylvania, you can bet on horse racing at TVG and TwinSpires. New Jersey only has TVG as an online option for now. By the next Triple Crown season, however, that could be different. TVG contract, which it to only part-time online operator in New Jersey, ends in 2023.

If you want to place Belmont Stakes bets in person, head here in the area:

Casinos: Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino Morgantown, Pa., Parx Casino, Borgata Race and Sports Book

Off Track Betting: South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook, Parx Casino’s Race and Sportsbook at Chickie’s & Pete’s in Malvern

The Belmont Stakes wraps up the Triple Crown season, but there’s still plenty of horse racing for the rest of the year.

Katie Kohler is Editor-in-Chief at Play Pennsylvania where she writes about sports betting and casinos.

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