The Belmont Stakes: Final stretch of the Triple Crown contest

It has been another thrilling renewal of the Triple Crown this year, as the top three-year-old equine stars in the United States have battled across the country.

The Belmont Stakes rounds off the series on June 10, as the final race will see the hopefuls compete over a distance of 1 ½ miles. But, what could be some of the biggest stories surrounding the race at Belmont Park, and who are the leading contenders?

Biggest Test For Classic Generation

The Belmont Stakes is typically the most difficult of the Triple Crown races to win, as it will pit this year’s three-year-old equine stars over the extended distance of a mile and a half for the first time.

It is the most strategic of the Triple Crown races, and it will likely be the most crucial when it comes to examining just how good this year’s crop could be in open company for the remainder of the season. The Belmont Stakes could also play a pivotal role in the outlook for the Breeders’ Cup Classic later in the season.

Could Mage Complete The Triple Crown

The Belmont Stakes is all about crowning the champion three-year-old, but the feat of winning all three Triple Crown races hasn’t been achieved since Justify in 2018.

Mage is the big hope to end that long wait, as the three-year-old landed success at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby in early May. The Gustavo Delgado-trained runner will still have to come through the Preakness Stakes before plans for a run at Belmont Park are finalized, but the race at Pimlico does appear to be the easiest of the three Triple Crown races to win in 2023.

Forte Returns?

One of the biggest disappointments in the Triple Crown this season was the fact that Forte wasn’t able to take his chance in the Kentucky Derby. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner was the short-priced favorite at Churchill Downs, but he was scratched just hours before the start of the race.

The Todd Pletcher runner was later added to a 14-day vet watchlist, meaning that a run in the Preakness was off the card. However, he could return to the track to take his shot in the Belmont Stakes in June.

Kingbarns, Tapit Trice & Confidence Game Could Present Value

The betting for the Belmont Stakes is likely to be headed by Mage, which could mean that there is value in other runners from the Kentucky Derby. Kingsbarns endured a miserable time of things at Churchill Downs, as he finished down in 14th, but there is still confidence that this Todd Pletcher runner will improve throughout the season.

Tapit Trice also encountered issues at Churchill Downs in May, but the three-year-old stayed on to finish seventh. Confidence Game is another of the Derby losers that has been hinted with a start in the Belmont Stakes, but he will need to stay much better at Belmont Park than he did in the Derby.

Who Will Win The Belmont Stakes?

The final field for the Belmont Stakes will be announced in early June, and there will be a lot of focus on whether Forte makes the line up. However, Mage could be a solid selection at Belmont Park, as the Delgado runner could be set to take his shot at history.