Belmont Stakes Exacta, Trifecta & Superfecta Picks: How Forte Figures Into Big Tickets

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Finding the nuance amidst parity will be a key handicapping angle for the 155th Belmont Stakes. That’s what we try to do here, as we offer exacta, trifecta, and superfecta picks for Saturday’s race.

The best jockeys and trainers converge in this 1 1/2-mile test, which highlights an exceptional industry-leading card of more than $5.5 million in purses.

The day’s Belmont Park program starts at 11:20 a.m. ET, with post time for the Belmont Stakes anywhere from 6:50 to 7:02 p.m.

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Belmont Stakes Win Pick: No. 6 Forte

The 5-to-2 favorite has won five straight races and previously thrived after a four-month layoff. Thus, the two-month break after the April 1 Florida Derby — he was scratched from the Kentucky Derby and not entered in the Preakness Stakes because of a bruised right hoof — may affect him less than it would others.

Excellent stalker, championship heart, ridden by Irad Ortiz, who won the 2022 Belmont aboard Mo Donegal.

Belmont Stakes favorite Forte figures into our exacta, trifecta, and superfecta picks.
Forte trains ahead of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The colt has shown the intangible moxie of a champion down the stretch in his races. A key will be obtaining good position coming for home.

Regardless of who you like to cross the line first, the solid top tier of Forte, Angel of Empire, Tapit Trice, and National Treasure should keep prices high enough for bettors to let it rip on the win bet. This will be at least 50% and perhaps up to 75% of my Belmont Stakes bankroll.

More for Saturday: Belmont field & post positions | Belmont Best Bets from Vegas oddsmaker | Belmont odds | Wildfires’ impact on Belmont Stakes

Exacta Box Pick: No. 6 Forte and No. 8 Angel of Empire

Building out to include the 104 Beyer Speed Figure for Angel of Empire, the best in this race. He won two Derby preps and finished a solid third in the Run for the Roses.

Five weeks ago at Churchill Downs, Angel of Empire was beaten to the inside position by ultimate winner Mage heading into the final Derby straightaway. With fewer horses to contend with, he may be able to make his patented sustained move with less interference.

Tutorial: What is an exacta bet?

50-cent Trifecta Box: No. 6 Forte, No. 8 Angel of Empire, No. 4 National Treasure, No. 2 Tapit Trice

This is the top tier, in terms of accomplishment and level of opposition. With this bet, even if one of these horses flops, the bettor can still collect if any three fill up the trifecta slots.

National Treasure won the Preakness and will be a major threat if he gets the same dawdling pace he obtained at the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.

Tapit Trice has an excellent chance to improve off his Kentucky Derby 7th-place finish. He will probably break slowly but will have more racetrack and about half the field size to navigate his late run. He’s a threat.

These two, combined with Forte and Angel of Empire, form the best group on paper.

The ‘All’ Ticket

This $1 trifecta wager is ideal if you like a longshot to finish second or third. It’s inexpensive.

Forte, Angel of Empire, and “all” (6-8-ALL) would only cost $7. Forte must win, Angel of Empire has to be second, and any horse can be third.

Expect someone to split those two horses and steal second? Put the “all” in the place spot. Same $7, just a better payout if the longshot runs second.

These are just my examples. But the strategy can be applied to your picks too.

$1 Superfecta Shuffles

My first superfecta ticket will be Forte and Angel of Empire in the first two spots, National Treasure and Tapit Trice in the next two.

Ticket reads $1 superfecta 6-8, with 6-8, with 2-4, with 2-4 (that costs $4). This means Angel of Empire and Forte must occupy the first two spots in any order. Tapit Trice and National Treasure must be third and fourth, in any order.

If you like this overall strategy, you can mix as many of these combos as you like. This gives you the chance to nab something for $4 that costs $24 if you box all four of them in the $1 superfecta.

Second Tier for a Nice Superfecta Price

Game-time decision to put either Tapit Shoes (1), Arcangelo (3), or Hit Show (7) in the fourth spot with some of the top horses. Take any two horses from the top tier and place them with one from the second tier in $1 trifecta boxes. Each costs only $6.

Sentimental Superfecta Stab

Put No. 9 Red Route One in 10-cent superfecta key, first and second, with five other entries. The tickets would cost $6 each and read:]

  • 9 with 2,3,4,6,8
  • 2,3,4,6,8 with 9 with 2,3,4,6,8 with 2,3,4,6,8

Blind loyalty disclaimer: It was a logical play when it paid me $419 in the Rebel Stakes, as he rallied from what seemed like the next state to capture second.  Now he’s leveled off, but he doesn’t owe me anything, so I’ll do it. If you like any deep closer to do well, this formula can prove profitable, especially if your closer is a mid- to longshot.

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Key Racing Variables for Belmont Stakes

Will either Il Miracolo or Tapit Shoes pepper front-runner National Treasure enough to set up the closers?

Will Arcangelo benefit from having a victory at this track in the Peter Pan, albeit in cheaper company?

Budgeting, Preparation

Save some money for Saturday’s undercard at Belmont Park. Many of the races are excellent. Some have double-digit fields. The winners may be hard to locate, but the payouts will be enormous.

Post time for the Grade 2 Brooklyn Stakes – the 6th race on the card – is 2:22 p.m. ET, several hours before the feature.

Contested at the same 1 ½-mile distance, it may provide insight as to where the winning horse makes his move. The distance is so unusual that watching other events at this distance is helpful.

Watching these events also provides a handicapping tool for when the horses run next in places like Saratoga and Del Mar.

About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Writer
Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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