2023 Belmont Field Preview & Poll

Here’s your ultimate quick guide to the 2023 Belmont Stakes. Who do you think will take the race?

The final race of the Triple Crown series is set to run Saturday at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Instead of the Belmont Stakes, this race should be called the Tapit Stakes, with all but three contenders having direct ties to Tapit.

Forte, Tapit Trice and Angel of Empire are the favorites this year. Here is an overview of the nine-horse field set to run.Who do you think will take the Run or the Carnations?

1. TAPIT SHOES, 20-1
(Tapit – Awesome Flower, by Flower Alley)

  • Chestnut colt
  • Born May 17, 2020
  • Trainer: Brad H. Cox
  • Jockey: Jose L. Ortiz
  • Owner:  Spendthrift Farm LLC, Landers, Steve, Schwartz, Martin S., Dubb, Michael, Ten Strike Racing, Bakke, Jim, Titletown Racing Stables, Kueber Racing, LLC, Big Easy Racing LLC, Kanter, Rick and Caruso, Michael J.
  • Bred in Kentucky by Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey & Tapit Syndicate
  • 5 starts, 1 win, 1 second, 1 third, and earnings of $82,878

Although there is ample class in this colt’s bloodline, the Belmont Stakes does seem to be a jump in class for Tapit Shoes. This will mark his first foray into graded stakes company.

(Tapit – Danzatrice, by Dunkirk)

  • Gray or roan colt
  • Born February 17, 2020
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Jockey: Luis Saez
  • Owner:  Whisper Hill Farm and Gainesway Stable
  • Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds
  • 6 starts, 4 wins, 1 third, and earnings of $883,650

Tapit Trice won the Bluegrass Stakes in expert fashion. He was able to run three wide in the first turn, take up a stalking position mid field and close on the leaders in the stretch while encountering traffic trouble from a drifting rival. Despite a disappointing seventh place finish in the Kentucky Derby, he has the experience to do well here and has earned his place in the odds.

(Arrogate – Modeling, by Tapit)

  • Gray or roan colt
  • Born May 11, 2020
  • Trainer: Jena M. Antonucci
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano
  • Owner: Blue Rose Farm
  • Bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Coproration
  • 4 starts, 2 wins, 1 second, and $167,400 in earnings

Arcangelo had a successful showing at the Peter Pan Stakes and has progressed since the beginning of the year. However, he will be trying two turns for the first time in the Belmont Stakes and his inexperience is reflected in his odds.

(Quality Road – Treasure, by Medaglia d’Oro)

  • Bay colt
  • Born March 17, 2020
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Owner: SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, and Catherine Donovan
  • Bred in Kentucky by Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds
  • 6 starts, 2 wins, 1 second, 2 thirds, and earnings of $1,335,000

National Treasure’s big win came with the 2023 Preakness Stakes and trainer Bob Baffert is known for getting his colts fit. This horse came out of the Preakness looking like he had more to give — that could show in the Belmont.

5. IL MIRACOLO, 30-1
(Gun Runner – Tapit’s World, by Tapit)

  • Chestnut colt
  • Born February 7, 2020
  • Trainer: Antonio Sano
  • Jockey: Marcos Meneses
  • Owner: Eduardo Soto
  • Bred in Kentucky by Willow Oaks Stable, LLC
  • 10 starts, 2 firsts, 3 seconds, and earnings of $103,125

Despite the odds, this colt is bred to the hilt. Gun Runner, the 2017 Horse of the Year, continues to be one of the top stallions in North America and Tapit’s influence on Belmont Stakes winners has been record-setting. Heck, just look at the field for this year’s Belmont. However, Il Miracolo has yet to win beyond the one mile and hasn’t been a threat in graded stakes company to this point.

6. FORTE, 5-2
(Violence – Queen Caroline, by Blame)

  • Dark bay colt
  • Born February 3, 2020
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
  • Owner: Repole Stable & St. Elias Stable
  • Bred in Kentucky by South Gate Farm
  • 7 starts, 6 wins, and earnings of $2,409,830

Forte comes into the Belmont as the heavy favorite, despite a late scratch from the Kentucky Derby. He has shown a stellar career so far. He was Champion two year old in 2022 and has been undefeated in 2023 with a very gutsy closing finish in his last race, the Florida Derby.

7. HIT SHOW, 10-1
(Candy Ride – Actress, by Tapit)

  • Gray or roan colt
  • Born May 9, 2020
  • Trainer: Brad Cox
  • Jockey: Manny Franco
  • Owner: Gary & Mary West
  • Bred in Kentucky by Gary & Mary West Stables
  • 6 starts, 3 wins, 1 second, and earnings of $494,375

Hit Show showed a lot of grit in his final prep race leading up to the Triple Crown Series, the Wood Memorial. He traveled wide on both turns and dueled to the finish to only be beaten a head at the wire. However, a fifth place finish at the Kentucky Derby doesn’t put him among the favorites.

(Classic Empire – Armony’s Angel, by To Honor and Serve)

  • Bay colt
  • Born April 9, 2020
  • Trainer: Brad H. Cox
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat
  • Owner: Albaugh Family Stables, LLC
  • Bred in Pennsylvania by Forgotten Land Investment, Inc. and Black Diamond Equine Corporation
  • 7 starts, 4 wins, 1 second, 1 third, and earnings of $1,369,375

There’s a clear reason Angel of Empire is among the favorites. He followed up his Risen Star Stakes victory with an impressive open-length win in the Arkansas Derby… not to mention his third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. His late show for third place could serve him well in the Belmont. His trainers will be adding blinkers for the Belmont Stakes.

9. RED ROUTE ONE, 15-1
(Gun Runner – Red House, by Tapit)

  • Chestnut colt
  • Born March 12, 2020
  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario
  • Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds
  • Bred in Kentucky by Winchell Thoroughbreds
  • 10 starts, 2 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third, and earnings of $732,525

Red Route One is sired by multiple graded stakes and Breeders Cup Classic champion Gun Runner. He comes into Belmont off of a fourth place finish in the Preakness.