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2022 Belmont Stakes Predictions & Picks

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Get set for the final leg of the Triple Crown with the latest picks, predictions, and analysis for the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes.

According to numberFire Racing’s analysis, these are the best bets and plays to make with FanDuel Sportsbook partner TVG on Saturday, June 11, at Belmont Park.

Included in this story is not just our 2022 Belmont Stakes predictions, but betting picks and analysis for:

  • Acorn Stakes
  • Just A Game Stakes
  • Woody Stephens Stakes
  • Ogden Phipps Stakes
  • Jaipur Stakes
  • Metropolitan Handicap (“Met Mile”)
  • Manhattan Stakes

New players: Get your first win-type wager on a single horse in any race at any track risk-free for up to $200 with FanDuel partner TVGBet the Belmont!

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Race 11: 2022 Belmont Stakes (Grade I)

(1) We the People

Began his career with a pair of wins at Oaklawn Park earlier this year. Made no impression in a well-run Arkansas Derby there on the next start. Quickly back on track with a run-away 10¼ lengths success over Golden Glider in the Peter Pan here last month. Is firmly entitled to have his say.

(2) Skippylongstocking

The most exposed runner in the field. Recorded two wins at Gulfstream Park, including an allowance optional claimer from off a strong pace in March. Only 7½ lengths fifth behind Early Voting in the Preakness at Pimlico last time. Will need a few to falter to land any kind of blow in this.

(3) Nest

From the same barn as Mo Donegal and the sole filly in the lineup. Won four of her six starts, including a resounding victory in the Ashland at Keeneland by 8¼ lengths from Cocktail Moments in April. Beaten 2 lengths by Secret Oath in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs last month and has been freshened up since. Not one to dismiss out of hand.

(4) Rich Strike

Had just a maiden claiming success to his name before landing the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs against all odds. He benefited from being ridden well off the pace in a very strongly-run race and sticking to the inside in the home stretch, reeling in Epicenter late on. Has to prove it was no fluke and skipped the Preakness specifically for this.

(5) Creative Minister

Has improved with each run. Opened his account for the second time of asking before following up in an allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs in May. Ran a big race when 3½ lengths third to Early Voting in the Preakness at Pimlico. He may not yet have reached his limit in terms of ability.

(6) Mo Donegal

Won twice in Grade 2 events, including when getting up late in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in April to deny subsequent Preakness winner Early Voting by a neck. Beaten 3¾ lengths fifth in Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs last time staying on well after taking an extremely wide path into the straight. Irad Ortiz sticks with him rather than Todd Pletcher’s other runner, Nest. He too missed the Preakness and is one to take seriously.

(7) Golden Glider

Has exclusively raced in graded races since winning his first two starts, but hasn’t made the requisite impression in exalted company. Well and truly put in his place behind We The People in the Peter Pan here last time. Best to look elsewhere.

(8) Barber Road

A two-time winner as a juvenile. Placed first four starts this year, including when chasing home Cyberknife in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in April. Stuck to his task under a patient ride when 4¾ lengths sixth in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. He’ll be staying on all the while when several have cried enough.

2022 BELMONT STAKES PREDICTION

Mo Donegal has long looked like a horse ready for the test this brings. His run in the Wood Memorial looks even better now than it did at the time and his handler has won the Belmont three times so knows how to ready one for this. We The People could hardly have been more impressive last time but may have to settle for second best this time, whilst Creative Minister can add another placed effort in a Triple Crown race to his burgeoning record.

Race 3: Acorn Stakes (Grade I)

(1) Dream Lith

Won twice as a two-year-old, including the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs but has struggled in graded company this year.

(2) Inventing

Runner-up in maidens at Gulfstream and Belmont on both her starts — the latter over this trip. Needs a huge amount of improvement.

(3) Divine Huntress

Won twice in minor company over the winter and has contested Grade 2/3 events since, running her best race when fourth to Interstatedaydream in the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico last time. Needs to find more on the top two.

(4) Matareya

Was successful in only one of her four races last year, but has won all three so far this year, the Grade 3 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland and the Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs on her last two. She justified short odds for her last win after edging ahead of Pretty Birdie in the final furlong. The step back up to a mile should be in her favor.

(5) Echo Zulu

Had won her first five starts, including the Spinaway, Frizette and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar last year, and the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks in March, but suffered her first defeat in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs last time. She was prominent throughout in a strongly-run race there and did well to hang on for fourth, but had a hard race. This drop back from 9f should suit her, but she has to give weight away all round.

2022 ACORN STAKES PREDICTION

Matareya is taken to make use of the 3 lbs she receives from Echo Zulu and extend her winning sequence. These two stand out, while Divine Huntress looks best among the others.

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Race 4: Longines Just A Game Stakes (Grade I)

(1) Leggs Galore

Is in good form and has been successful on all three of her starts this year, including the Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes and the listed Mizdirection Stakes, both at Santa Anita, on her most recent outings, but this will be her first attempt at Grade 1 company.

(2) Regal Glory

Was only fourth in this race last year, but is a better performer now and has won her last three starts, including the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland, where she put up her best effort to beat Shantisara by a length last time.

(3) Speak of The Devil

Trained last year in France, and she made an eye-catching US debut in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs, beating two of her rivals here, In Italian and Wakanaka. Difficult to see either of those reversing the form this time.

(4) In Italian

Won three successive races, including the Grade 3 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream, before finding Speak of The Devil too good in the Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs last time.

(5) Wakanaka

Last year’s Italian 1000 Guineas winner, has been placed in the Grade 3 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream (second behind In Italian) and the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs (third to Speak of The Devil and In Italian) on her last two starts. Hard to see her turning that form around.

2022 JUST A GAME STAKES PREDICTION

Trainer Chad Brown’s attempt at a fifth successive win in this race came unstuck last year, but he’s three-handed again this time (all owned by Peter Brant) and Speak of The Devil should get the better of her stable-companion Regal Glory, with the same combination’s In Italian third best.

Race 6: Woody Stephens Stakes (Grade I)

(1) Jack Christopher

Has won all three of his races, including the Champagne Stakes at Belmont last October and the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs in May, the latter by nearly four lengths from Pappacap. He’s open to further improvement and is difficult to oppose despite the drop in trip here (had already taken Pappacap’s measure at the furlong pole last time).

(2) Pappacap

Second to Corniche in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and was almost back to that form when runner-up to Jack Christopher in the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs last time. Has nearly four lengths to make up on that winner here, but could close the gap over this furlong shorter trip.

(3) Wit

Has been in the first three in all his five races, including when placed in two Grade 1s as a two-year-old, and made a winning reappearance in the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct, where he gained the verdict only on the nod from Highly Respected, but he did well to catch that rival. More required here though.

(4) Morello

Has run only at Aqueduct, winning his first three starts, the latest the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes by four and a half lengths. Was slowly into his stride, never got involved, and was beaten a long way when favorite for the Grade 2 Wood Memorial last time. Plenty to prove now.

(5) Chasing Time

Won an optional claimer at Oaklawn in January, but has had his limitations exposed in graded company over trips between 6f and 9f since, third in the Grade 3 Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico last time. Wears first-time blinkers here.

(6) Provocateur

Much improved on his last two outings, winning a listed race at Gulfstream in March and finishing a good second to Senbei in a similar event at Belmont last time. A step back up in trip here shouldn’t be a problem, but the big jump in class is more of a worry.

2022 WOODY STEPHENS STAKES PREDICTION

Trainers Todd Pletcher and Steve Asmussen both run two in this race, but they may have to play second fiddle to Chad Brown’s Jack Christopher, who is seeking to extend his unbeaten record to four. Pappacap may have to settle for second again, while Wit looks best of the others.

Race 7: Ogden Phipps Stakes (Grade I)

(1) Letruska

Bold front-running mare with a fantastic strike rate. Met defeat just twice in 2021 whilst winning four Grade 1 contests, including this. Has won both starts this season, including the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park last time. Looks like the obvious starting point for win purposes.

(2) Bonny South

Won the Doubledogdare at Keeneland last year before running second to Letruska in this. Rounded out her season with a trio of creditable placed efforts. Chased home Malathaat in the latest renewal of the Doubledogdare on her return. Strong pace is required for her run style and is in receipt of weight all round.

(3) Malathaat

Seven wins from nine starts. Beat Search Results and Clairiere in last year’s Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, whilst also adding the Ashland and Alabama to her haul. Returned with success over Bonny South in the Doubledogdare at Keeneland in April. A tough filly who will very much appreciate a good test at this distance.

(4) Clairiere

Has developed into a very smart filly, winning the Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds in 2021 and later adding the Cotillion at Parx before a close fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Cozy winner of an allowance at former track on return before chasing home Letruska in the Apple Blossom Handicap. Is another who sits off the pace.

(5) Search Results

Won the Acorn on this card last year after running Malathaat close in last year’s Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. Disappointed on return but got back on track when winning the Ruffian on a muddy track here last month. May attempt to give Letruska a bit more of a challenge on the pace.

2022 OGDEN PHIPPS STAKES PREDICTION

While this may lack quantity, it certainly has quality in spades. Letruska could get loose on the front end and narrowly gets the verdict, though that’s not to say she won’t have these snapping at her heels should she underperform. Bonny South gets a notable weight concession and will be finishing strongly from off the pace, whilst Malathaat can see out the 1-2-3.

Race 8: Jaipur Stakes (Grade I)

(1) Change of Control

Won four times last season, including twice in Grade 3 company. Has hit the board on each of her four starts this season, beaten just a neck on the latest in Unbridled Sidney at Churchill Downs last month. Has plenty of miles on the clock but should give her running.

(2) Omaha City

A two-time winner who has dipped his toe into graded races before with a second to Royal Ascot-bound Golden Pal in last year’s Quick Call at Saratoga his best finish. Has plenty on his plate.

(3) True Valour (IRE)

Hasn’t had much racing of late but is a smart sort at best. Ran creditably in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March 2021 but missed the rest of the year. Returned with a battling success in the King T. Leatherbury Stakes at Laurel Park in April. Wouldn’t be a surprise if he outran his odds.

(4) Casa Creed

Done most of his racing over 1m but landed last year’s running of this when dropping back to sprinting, beating Chewing Gum by 2 lengths. Sent to the Middle East earlier in the year and won the Turf Sprint Cup in Saudi Arabia before a creditable fifth in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan. Has some good recent workouts and should be thereabouts.

(5) Arrest Me Red

Hasn’t looked back since joining Wesley Ward, winning all but one of his last five starts. Beat several of today’s rivals when adding the Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs to his haul on latest outing. Has won all three starts at this distance, including last year’s Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational, and looks the one to beat.

(6) Greyes Creek

Lightly raced for age. Rattled off a hat-trick routing in 2020 for Chad Brown. Ran only once since finishing down the field in this last year and this requires a marked step forward on their reappearance effort.

(7) Whatmakessammyrun

Won his only start here as a juvenile. Had some wide posts to overcome the last twice, the latest when finishing towards the rear behind in the Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs last month. Has left Mark Glatt and is hard to make a case for.

(8) Scuttlebuzz

Comes here chasing the 4-timer.Won the Elusive Quality here with a career-best performance on latest outing, one of three-course successes. In great heart but will need some luck given his run style.

(9) Filo Di Arianna (BRZ)

Won first three starts when trained in Brazil in 2019, including a pair of graded successes. Wasn’t seen again until last summer under the care of Mark Casse, winning an allowance at Woodbine. Absent again until April when well beaten in the Shakertown at Keeneland. A bit to prove now.

(10) Smokin’ Jay

A three-time winner last year. Ran a good second in Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico on return. Can be relied upon to run his race, though this is a deeper event than he usually contests.

(11) Chasing Artie

Tasted success on three occasions when trained by Wesley Ward last season before moving to Saffie Joseph. Won an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream in April but had excuses when stumbling badly at the start in the Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs next time. Will be hoping to get back on track.

(12) Gear Jockey

Only has the four victories on his record sheet for one of his talent. Has been a little disappointing overall this season, but he’s heading back in the right direction on the speed figures. Fourth behind Arrest Me Red and Gregorian Chant in the Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs last time. May well make his presence felt back under Lezcano.

(13) Gregorian Chant (GB)

Has a positive strike rate, adding a seventh career success in an allowance optional claimer at Santa Anita on this year’s return. Finished well for third after racing behind from the inside post in the Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs last time. May well only be battling for minor money again.

2022 JAIPUR STAKES PREDICTION

Arrest Me Red is progressing in leaps and bounds and can land a Grade 1 at the first attempt here. Gear Jockey is improving by the run this year and can chase the selection home if back to his best. Casa Creed is working well and can round out the places if backing that up after a two-month absence.

Race 9: Metropolitan Handicap (“Met Mile,” Grade I)

(1) Flightline

Could hardly have made a better impression by winning all his three starts by a combined total of nearly 38 lengths. Had a setback that has kept him off the track since winning the Malibu at Santa Anita in December, though absences haven’t been an obstacle in the past. Stretches out to 1m and is the one to beat.

(2) Speaker’s Corner

Completed the hat-trick in the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct last time, adding to wins at Gulfstream in the Hooper and Gulfstream Park Mile earlier in the year. Those races are working out well and it’s hard not to be impressed by his 4½ lengths success on the latest outing. Has taken his form to another level since front-running and should prove a good test for Flightline.

(3) Aloha West

Only began his racing career at the beginning of last year as a 4-y-o and made up for lost time by winning five of his nine starts in 2021, landing the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar by a nose on his final outing. Returned in a tough spot in the Churchill Downs Stakes where he weakened late on. This is another tough race stretching out to 1m for the first time.

(4) Happy Saver

The 2020 Jockey Club Gold Cup hero won his first five before finishing and placed on the next four starts. Returned with a good second in the Alysheba at Churchill Downs. Mainly does his running over extended distances than this and there are some quick opponents in here.

(5) Informative

Has plenty of miles on the clock for just three wins and looks outclassed here.

2022 MET MILE PREDICTION

There’s no telling just how far Flightline will go and whilst he’s very short in the betting, it would be folly to be against him in the meantime. This will be a good test as he meets a real tough and reliable sort in Speaker’s Corner, who’s improving with racing and has won on both his previous visits here at ‘Big Sandy’. Aloha West may be able to nick third.

Race 10: Manhattan Stakes (Grade I)

(1) L’Imperator

Showed improved form to take the Grade 2 Fort Marcy Stakes on this track last time, though he dictated things out in front. Has an extra furlong to travel here, but won over the trip in France. Receives weight from all bar Adhamo.

(2) Gufo

Was third in this race last year but later won the Sword Dancer at Saratoga. Has shown he retains his ability by winning the Grade 2 Pan American at Gulfstream in April and finishing a creditable second to Highland Chief in a falsely-run Man o’War Stakes here last time. Drops back down in trip.

(3) Tokyo Gold

French-trained. Was a four-length winner of last year’s Derby Italiano at Rome before finishing a good second to Bolshoi Ballet in the Belmont Derby. Showed his well-being with a respectable third in a listed race at Longchamp on his reappearance in April, but has a bit of improvement to find on the principals here.

(4) Adhamo

Trained in France last year, winning the Prix La Force at Longchamp. Has run respectably on both his starts in the States, but was beaten over six lengths when third to Santin at level weights in the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs last time. Receives 6 lbs from that rival here.

(5) In Love

Won the Turf Mile at Keeneland before finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar last year. Last of eight, though not beaten far, in the Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland on his reappearance. Steps back up in trip for the first time since his days in South America.

(6) Rockemperor

Gained his only graded stakes win in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic here last year and ran respectably in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup after. Beaten a long way behind L’Imperator in the Fort Marcy Stakes here over a trip short of his best on his reappearance.

(7) Tribhuvan

Was second in this race last year (Gufo third, Rockemperor fifth, and Channel Cat seventh) before gaining a Grade 1 success in the United Nations Stakes at Monmouth. In the rear in the Breeders’ Cup Turf on his final outing in 2021 and was again below form behind Santin in the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on his reappearance.

(8) Highland Chief

Former British trained. Caused a 19/1 upset when winning the Man o’War from Gufo here last month on just his second outing in the States, but he could be flattered by that success in a falsely-run race.

(9) Santin

Relatively lightly raced compared to the others in this race and put up his best performance when winning the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs last time from Mira Mission, the pair clear of Adhamo with Tribhuvan fifth. Met those rivals at level weights, but has to give weight away to all bar one of his opponents here.

(10) Channel Maker

A four-time Grade 1 winner who is now at the veteran stage, but showed that he’s still capable of winning, at least in Grade 2 company, in the Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland last time, despite again showing a reluctance in front.

2022 MANHATTAN STAKES PREDICTION

This looks like a very competitive race, but Gufo is taken to improve on his third in this race last year. L’Imperator could be a value each-way selection to prove the best of Chad Brown’s four runners as the trainer seeks a fourth successive win in this race, and a seventh in the last eleven years. Santin may have further improvement in him and looks best of the others.

numberFire Racing

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