2021 Belmont Stakes - If You Like Two Use One

The easy way out if you like two horses is to use both in your multi-race wagers. Sure, I will do that occasionally, but often I will take those opportunities to use one. I look at it as I have a 50% chance of being right if my handicapping was good, and I like those odds.

In the Belmont Stakes this year it comes down to two horses for me.

I don’t think Bourbonic is fast enough or get the right setup to win.

Essential Quality is a legit favorite in my book and ran deceptively good in the Derby. Wide throughout, he lost some ground. But he was there at the finish and just couldn’t close the deal late. With that race under his belt, and a much better trip projected for him Saturday, he is the one to beat, in my opinion.

Rombauer ran good last time in the Preakness. I don’t think he runs back to that race, and even if he did, I don’t think it would be good enough to win this. Prat bailed, which I expected.

Hot Rod Charlie is where Prat went, and I would have done the same. I liked him in the Derby, and he ran well but had no excuse and couldn’t close the deal. I thought Essential Quality had a worse trip despite the sheets not agreeing with me, and I think he is the better horse on Saturday.

France Go de Ina is a mystery to me. I just can’t figure out why he is here. I guess that means use him on every ticket.

Known Agenda is the most likely winner in my book. He ran second to Highly Motivated over Belmont and Highly Motivated is a super talented sprinter you will hear from this year. Known Agenda wants distance, and he gets it Saturday. He didn’t like Tampa or the inside in Oldsmar, and he came back with two confidence and growing up wins at Gulfstream. He was bottled up from the rail in the Derby, and I can easily forgive that race. I think he runs big. He loses Irad, who had a scary fall Thursday but thank God is OK but will miss a few weeks. I suspect Jose gets the call for his brother, but there has been no announcement.

Rock Your World may be the wise guy horse, as they say. Joel Rosario had his foot out of the stirrup at the start of the Derby, and you rarely, if ever, win that race that way. You can bet his foot will be in the stirrup Saturday, and he probably sets the pace. I like and respect speed, and I like speed in the Belmont. However, I am not sold he can take these all the way at this point, and no knock-on Joel is one of the best, but I think Umberto Rispoli fit this guy better. I also think he may get hit harder earlier than some expect.

Overtook adds blinkers which I find interesting. I know Mike Repole is a majority owner by St. Elias is a partner, and they also own Known Agenda in entirety. I suspect, and it is just my speculation that the blinkers signal they are looking for more pace from Overtook and that helps Known Agenda.

I won’t decide if I will use one or both in my multi-race wagers until Saturday. I do know that if it does come down to one, it would be Known Agenda especially if Jose gets the sub call as I suspect might happen.

Stay tuned!

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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