Handicapper Brad Thomas Breaks Down Belmont Stakes Field

LISTEN: Francesa, Thomas Preview Belmont

Mike's On
June 07, 2019 - 2:25 pm

USA Today Images


The Belmont Stakes arrives Saturday, which means it's time to break down who you may want to bet on. 

Horse racing handicapper Brad Thomas joined WFAN's Mike Francesa Friday to break down the field. Here's the odds and the analysis on the Belmont field. 

Tacitus (9-5) 

"I think the likeliest winner is Tacitus because of how hard War of Will is going to have it, but his price is going to be much too short. I think Sir Winston has a legitimate shot to win at double digit odds. I'm going to be playing tris and supers with Sir Winston and Tacitus, each occupying one of those three or four slots. My other horses after that are War of Will and Intrepid Heart." 

War Of Will (2-1) 

"I think he's going to try and sit out there off of those other two horses and try to get them to relax. I don't think he wants to go head-to-head with Joevia. He's going to be as fresh as possible, but sometimes that freshness can work against you." 

Master Fencer (8-1) 

"I don't know what to make of him. He ran really well in the derby. He did no running at all early. He was just in a race of his own. There was a lot of trouble. He did none of the dirty world. I'm not in love with horses that don't have to work that much to achieve what they did. He ran over a lot of beaten horses. He's a talented horse and this is a weak Belmont Stakes. He would not totally shock me if he won, because there's talent there. I don't see the professionalism in his training or his racing that says he's to this level right now." 

Intrepid Heart (10-1) 

"Intrepid Heart puts blinkers on, I'm not sure what that's going to, but it is a chip to use to get a horse to move forward. He's well-posted outside the main speed, but in a position in which he can park out War of Will and play some games with him and Tacitus as well. It's a lot to ask a horse to win the Belmont in only his fourth lifetime start, but I think this horse can be a factor on ability and the weakness of the field." 

Everfast (12-1) 

Related: 5 Biggest Long-Shot Winners In Belmont Stakes History

"I don't like him. He can be deep underneath because of his style. His two best career races though were in the Preakness and in the grade two Holy Bull. Both times he was on very good rails. Both times he was really set up by blazing paces that melted down the top contenders and the top speed horses, but he's always regressed off his good races too and those regressions have come when he's had more than the three weeks between starts that he has for the Belmont Stakes. I think a lot of fundamentals say this horse is not going to run his A+ game. Again on style, I'll put him third or fourth, but I don't see him there. And I don't love his pedigree for a mile and a half either." 

Bourbon War (12-1) 

"He was horrendous in the Preakness and he was grossly overbet. I was completely fooled by him. He did no running when he was on the better part of the track. Belmont might be a better track for this horse. He's only had one mediocre race in 70 days and I'm not sure that's enough seasoning and conditioning. I just don't see him." 

Sir Winston (12-1) 

"He's evolved into a deep rallyer. He flew late in the Tampa Bay Derby. This horse is made for Belmont Park. He moves up hugely over it. He has a long stride. He doesn't turn well on the smaller tracks. The Belmont turns allow him to creep up without having to work as hard. His style being a deep closer, that does not suit the history of the Belmont. This is a speed race. Sir Winston is really well bred for a mile and a half. Despite his style, I think this horse can be a big factor." 

Tax (15-1) 

"What he has is going for him is his pedigree. His sires maternal lines, his dams maternal line are two of the greatest in the history of thoroughbred racing. This horses pedigree is unbelievable. He's bred about as well as a horse can be in this modern era for a mile and a half on both side. I think he can outrun his form in a very weak mile and a half Belmont Stakes." 

Spinoff (15-1) 

"I like this horse. I think he's a good horse. He has a middle distance pedigree. A stellar milers pedigree. I think he's a horse with a good cruising speed, but great acceleration at a middle distance. He's a key horse in the race. How long he stays in the mix could really force the hand of War of Will and Tacitus who will be looming outside of him playing possum with each other and losing ground. If Spinoff hangs around, he's going to force one of them to move a little bit early and move a little bit too wide. I'm going to use Spinoff underneath just because of the Pletcher factor in the Belmont, but I think he's a more important factor in what he does to the favorites." 

Joevia (30-1) 

"His trainer Gregory Sacco is a real student of the game, a real historian of the game knows speed is dangerous in the Belmont. He thinks this horse is improving. Sacco's horses always get better in the form cycles. He knows he's going to make the lead. He knows he's going to be disrespected. He knows if horse is good enough, he's going to have a big shot to hit the board at the very least. I just don't think he's good. I don't see enough mile and a half pedigree."