2019 Belmont Stakes Picks – Intrepid Heart a Solid Play

June 2nd, 2019

None of Bob Baffert’s three-year-olds will run in the 2019 Belmont Stakes. Neither will Maximum Security or Country Horse. Nor will Global Campaign, the Peter Pan Stakes winner. Although all those horses won’t run on Saturday, June 8, it doesn’t mean the Belmont Stakes won’t be a competitive horse race.

In fact, the race is so competitive, that it’s difficult to use both favorites, Tacitus and War of Will. Check out my 2019 Belmont Stakes picks.

Intrepid Heart a Solid Belmont Stakes Key Horse

First – Intrepid Heart

Todd Pletcher has trained 3 Belmont Stakes winner, Rags to Riches, Palace Malice, and Tapwrit. Pletcher is one of the few trainers that circles the Belmont Stakes as the Triple Crown race to win. What I mean by that is Pletcher points his three-year-olds towards the Belmont Stakes.

He won’t rush a horse and get it ready for the Kentucky Derby. Intrepid Heart got a real education in the Peter Pan Stakes, his first graded stakes race. Not only that, he’s sired by Tapit, who has 3 Belmont Stakes winners since 2014.

The horse has all the makings of a Belmont Stakes winner. Intrepid Heart should also offer overlay odds. I think he’s the key horse to use for a big Belmont score.

Second – Tacitus

The morning line favorite had a brutal trip in the Derby but still ran hard to finish fourth. With a better trip, Tacitus might have caught Maximum Security ala stablemate Country House. The Kentucky Derby was only Tacitus’ fifth lifetime race.

Tapit three-year-olds tend to get better towards the summer, which is why Tapit has sired 3 Belmont Stakes winners, but no Kentucky Derby winners. The Bill Mott trained favorite should be taken very seriously. If he becomes the second choice behind War of Will, a real possibility, he could be a part of a nice trifecta and exacta with Intrepid Heart.

Third – Tax

Tax showed nothing in the Kentucky Derby. He has an excuse. No horse likes to be stuck inside with mud flying backward into their face. In the Derby, you’ve got no shot inside unless you get the perfect trip like what War of Will got until Maximum Security came out on him.

Tax should get a much better trip in the Belmont Stakes because there won’t be nearly as many horses. Danny Gargan knows Belmont well. He’s one of the best trainers at the New York racetracks.

Gargan will have Tax, an Arch sired runner who has the lung capacity to run the Belmont Stakes twice in a single day, ready to show his best. I’m definitely using this talented runner.

Fourth – Sir Winston

Of Mark Casse’s two entrants, Sir Winston might be the more preferred. The way the Awesome Again sired three-year-old closed in the Peter Pan Stakes suggests he’ll relish the 1 ½ mile Belmont Stakes.

Sir Winston has the best turn of foot of any horse in the Test of Champions. Not only that, but Casse believes in this runner, or he wouldn’t enter him in the Belmont. I like his chances to finish ahead of stablemate War of Will.

Speaking of War of Will, the Preakness runner absolutely has a chance to win the Belmont Stakes. But, the Third Jewel has come up much tougher than I thought it would. It makes sense to drop one of the favorites, War of Will or Tacitus, from my top 4.

My decision is to drop War of Will just because Tacitus appears more suited for the 1 ½ miles. There’s also a chance War of Will bounces after the excellent Preakness Stakes run and the trouble he faced in the Kentucky Derby.

I’ll use Tacitus underneath Intrepid Heart, my pick to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes.