Experts’ Belmont Stakes picks

Saturday’s 156th renewal of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes features the Kentucky Derby winner, the Preakness winner, the Derby’s beaten favorite, a lightly raced Maryland-bred, and more.

Can Mystik Dan or Seize the Grey double up with a second Triple Crown win? Can Sierra Leone run straight and make amends for his Derby defeat? Is Mindframe all that? Or can a longshot make some noise?

Who does have a shot? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

We asked our experts for their selections, and here is the consensus analysis:

9. Sierra Leone – Derby favorite missed by an eyelash after lugging in in the stretch and could get the right trip this time — if he can keep a straight path…
2. Resilience – Ran a sneaky good race with a wide middle move in the Derby and has been training forwardly since
3. Mystik Dan – The Derby winner ran another good one in the Preakness, though the race shape didn’t do him any favors; can contend here
6. Dornoch – Lost all chance in the Derby when the winner broke better, grabbed the rail, and put this one behind the eight ball; needs to come out running to have a shot
10. Mindframe – Lightly race Maryland-bred — just two starts to date — could be any kind after showing massive talent in his first two starts. But is he ready for this kind of company?
1. Seize the Grey – The Preakness winner benefited from the no-show performance of Imagination to control the pace throughout but isn’t likely to get such a favorable scenario here
7. Protective – Four-race maiden needs a big step forward
5. Antiquarian – The Peter Pan winner has been moving forward
8. Honor Marie – Late running sort needs a pace to run at and he needs more proven closers like Sierra Leone not to fire their best shots

To see a horse-by-horse analysis and in-depth look at the Belmont Stakes field, please click here.


Joseph AielloTed BlackDerby Bill WatsonEric RubinNick HahnGary QuillMackenzie Pfeiffer
WIN9. Sierra Leone9. Sierra Leone9. Sierra Leone2. Resilience3. Mystik Dan9. Sierra Leone6. Dornoch
PLACE3. Mystik Dan10. Mindframe10. Mindframe7. Protective1. Seize the Grey2. Resilience9. Sierra Leone
SHOW1. Seize the Grey6. Dornoch1. Seize the Grey5. Antiquarian5. Antiquarian8. Honor Marie2. Resilience



  • Nick Hahn, author of the eponymous Nick’s Picks for Colonial Downs.
  • Eric Rubin, host of Better Betting podcast
  • Gary Quill, co-host of Better Betting and former The Racing Biz Maryland handicapper
  • Derby Bill Watson, legendary former Colonial Downs on-air analylyst
  • Mackenzie Pfeiffer, Maryland Jockey Club on-air analyst
  • Joseph Aiello handicaps Saratoga for The Racing Biz.
  • Ted Black is the Charles Town correspondent for The Racing Biz.