Chet Fussman for

By Chet Fussman | | 6 mins

Belmont Stakes Odds, Picks & Complete 2021 Handicapping Guide

Belmont Stakes Odds, Picks & Complete 2021 Handicapping Guide

There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2021, but Saturday’s Belmont Stakes still has plenty to offer fans of horse racing betting. It will feature two of the top four Kentucky Derby finishers and the Preakness winner among its field of eight, and at 1 1/2-miles, it's the longest of the Triple Crown races.

Hot Rod Charlie and Essential Quality finished only a length behind first-place Derby finisher Medina Spirit, who is sitting this one out. Medina Spirit failed a drug test after the Derby and trainer Bob Baffert cannot enter horses at Belmont Park due to a suspension by the New York Racing Association.

The added Belmont distance should be no problem for Rombauer, who surged down the stretch to win the Preakness by a convincing 3 1/2 lengths, but he gets a new jockey this time in Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who is riding in his 25th Belmont Stakes (two victories).

As for Belmont betting trends, post time favorites failed to win 12 of the last 15 runnings, but it’s not that simple. Tiz the Law won at 6-5 in 2020 (a throw-out year as the Belmont date was changed and the race shortened). Justify completed his Triple Crown at 4-5 in 2018. In between, Sir Winston won the 2019 running at 10-1.

Belmont Stakes 2021 Odds

PP, HorseOddsJockeyTrainer
1 Bourbonic 15-1 Carmouche Pletcher
2 Essential Quality 2-1 Saez Cox
3 Rombauer 3-1 Velázquez McCarthy
4 Hot Rod Charlie 7-2 Prat O'Neill
5 France Go de Ina 30-1 Santana Jr. Mori
6 Known Agenda 6-1 Ortiz Jr. Pletcher
7 Rock Your World 9-2 RosarioSadler
8 Overtook 20-1 Franco Pletcher

Belmont Stakes morning line odds via TVG

Belmont Stakes 2021 Field

In order of morning-line odds

Essential Quality (2-1): Kentucky Derby favorite settled for fourth, beaten only by a length after extremely wide trip. Well-rested after first career loss and has the look of deserving favorite.

Rombauer (3-1): Preakness winner at 11-1 gets new rider after Flavian Prat returns to Hot Rod Charlie. Lower odds and less value this time, but equally as dangerous.

Hot Rod Charlie (7-2): Edged out Essential Quality to finish third in Derby and benefited from smoother trip. Obvious contender again, reunites with jockey Prat, but extra distance could be a question.

Rock Your World (9-2): Second betting choice in Derby lost all chance at start and finished well-beaten 17th. Will control the Belmont pace and could steal this if allowed to set soft fractions while loose on the lead.

Known Agenda (6-1): Non-threatening ninth in Derby. One of three horses in field for New York-based trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won Belmont three times.

Bourbonic (15-1): Pletcher horse was 13th in Derby with no visible excuses. Late runner has no early speed and will need a fast pace to close into.

Overtook (20-1): Grinding sort has just one career victory, none in stakes races. Minor award seems like ceiling for last of Pletcher trio.

France Go de Ina (30-1): Japan-based colt made brief threatening move in Preakness before retreating to finish well-beaten seventh. No obvious reason for improvement.

Check out our expert handicappers’ exclusive Belmont Stakes picks, only with bookiesEDGE

Belmont Stakes 2021 Betting Storylines

Sitting one out: For the first time since 2010, there will not be a horse who competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown. The trend in thoroughbred racing is more rest between starts. Three tough races in five weeks is a difficult grind and easy to pass up, especially with no Triple Crown at stake.

Going the distance: The Belmont is the longest of the Triple Crown races, but there’s always a misperception that the race favors late-running styles. The opposite is generally true. Of the last 15 Belmont winners, all but two were within five lengths of the lead after the opening half mile. The last deep closer to win the Belmont was Creator in 2016.

Jockey Change: Why did jockey Flavian Prat jump off the Preakness winner to ride another horse on Saturday? Prat rode Hot Rod Charlie in the Kentucky Derby and had already committed to riding him again in the Belmont before accepting the Preakness mount on Rombauer. “They were strong in their word,” relieved Hot Rod Charlie trainer Doug O’Neill said of Prat and his agent.

Belmont Stakes Odds, Picks & Complete 2021 Handicapping Guide 1

Our 2021 Belmont Stakes Picks

1. Essential Quality

The gray/roan colt tasted defeat for the first time in the Kentucky Derby, but his fourth-place finish, beaten only a length, was deceptively good. Bumped at the start and wide all the way around the track, he ran approximately 68 feet further than top finisher Medina Spirit - the equivalent of six lengths or so. After sitting out the Preakness, he’s well rested and more than capable of making amends for his Derby loss.

2. Rombauer

His 3 1/2-length Preakness victory was no fluke. After skipping the Derby, he was a fresh horse who easily collared and ran by the tiring leaders down the stretch. A repeat of that performance could be good enough to add a second jewel to his resume.

3. Known Agenda

Ninth in Derby from difficult No. 1 post, he can pick up some pieces late and is worth including on exotic tickets.

Our 2021 Belmont Stakes Betting Strategy

A $50 win bet on Essential Quality. Also a $30 exacta Essential Quality over Rombauer, a $10 exacta Rombauer over Essential Quality, and $5 exactas Essential Quality over Known Agenda and Rock Your World.

You can make these bets at TwinSpires.

2021 Belmont Stakes on TV

Post Time: 6:47 p.m. (ET) Saturday

Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y.


About the Author

Chet Fussman for
Chet Fussman
Chet Fussman, a former horse racing writer and longtime sports editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, is a poker and blackjack player and frequent sports bettor.