It is post time all Saturday afternoon and evening for West Virginia horse racing bettors.
Gamblers have an ultra-rich menu surrounding the Belmont Stakes.
Bettors can wager online via TVG on the $1.5 million, 1 1/2-mile showcase, which has a 6:47 p.m. EST post.
They can also attend live racing with a 7 p.m. post at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Bettors can even dig into a terrific afternoon undercard, which was created to maintain Belmont Stakes interest if no Triple Crown possibility exists (and none does). Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby and Rombauer the Preakness, negating any Triple Crown sweep.
After the card starts at 1 p.m., look at this supporting cast:
- $1 million Metropolitan
- $750,000 Manhattan Stakes
- $500,000 Acorn, Ogden Phillips, and Just a Game races
- $400,000 Woody Stephens, Jaipur Stakes, and Brooklyn Stakes races
Eight prolific events, spaced out throughout the afternoon, with nearly $4.5 million on the undercard of a $1.5 million headliner race.
THAT is a lineup.
Belmont Stakes betting in WV
Here are the post positions, jockeys and early betting odds for the big race:
- Bourbonic: 15-1, Kendrick Carmouche
- Essential Quality: 2-1, Luis Saez
- Rombauer: 3-1, John Velazquez
- Hot Rod Charlie: 7-2, Flavien Prat
- France Go De Ina: 30-1, Ricardo Santana Jr.
- Known Agenda: 6-1, Irad Ortiz Jr.
- Rock Your World: 9-2, Joel Rosario
- Overtook: 20-1, Manny Franco
Analyzing the field
Rombauer comes off an impressive going-away victory in the Preakness and notched a race-high Beyer figure of 102. The number measures a horse’s performance against track conditions on that day and the track record at the distance, among other factors.
Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie, who finished behind victorious Medina Spirit in the Kentucky Derby, skipped the Preakness and come in fresh. They have a five-week layoff, considered ideal in some cases. Rombauer was away that long before seizing the Preakness.
Known Agenda and Rock Your World figure to improve off of terrible Kentucky Derby trips. Known Agenda had the rail and was stuck behind a wall of horses. He won the Florida Derby, one of the top derby prep races, and will be a threat with better racing luck.
Rock Your World was pinched back at the start in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field and never had a chance. He had been an impressive wire-to-wire winner in the Santa Anita Derby before being cut off by horses on either side at the start of the Kentucky Derby.
Bourbonic, Overtook and France Go De Ina are a notch below the top group.
From a pace perspective, Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie and Rock Your World like to run near the lead. Rombauer and Known Agenda are good stalkers and may make their move late.
None in this field has ever run 1 1/2 miles. It’s possible the field will have a controlled gallop, with jockeys preserving something for their horse’s long-stretch run.
Flavien Prat, who rode Rombauer in the Preakness, now takes Hot Rod Charlie. That’s who he’d previously ridden in the Kentucky Derby.
Johnny Velazquez, who rode Medina Spirit in the Derby and Preakness, now takes the Rombauer mount. Medina Spirit won’t run here.
The field is balanced, but not a bumper crop. Win odds of less than 5-2 produce more risk than reward. Win odds above 7-2 will encourage the backers of that horse to put a significant part of the bankroll on the win line.
If all the favorites run in the money in this small field, the trifecta payouts will be paltry.