Angel of Empire finished third in the Kentucky Derby in the first Triple Crown race of the year and will have the best Beyer Speed Figure (104) of any horse in the 2023 Belmont Stakes field. There have only been two three-year-old horses who have posted better speed figures in 2023, but neither of them are in the 2023 Belmont Stakes lineup for the race at Belmont Park. Angel of Empire is 4-1 in the 2023 Belmont Stakes odds, sitting behind Forte (3-1) and Tapit Trice (7-2). Should you include any of the favorites in your 2023 Belmont Stakes bets?
The Belmont Stakes 2023 is the oldest and longest of the three Triple Crown races, beginning in 1867 and carrying a distance of 1.5 miles. The 2023 Belmont Stakes post time is 6:50 p.m. ET. Before making any 2023 Belmont Stakes predictions, you’ll want to see elite horse racing handicapper Jody Demling’s 2023 Belmont Stakes picks and analysis.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling nailed the winner, trifecta and superfecta in the 2023 Preakness Stakes. Demling also enters the Belmont Stakes 2023 having nailed the winner of the final Triple Crown race four of the last five years, including an exacta in 2022 with Mo Donegal and Nest. He also called Flightline’s win at the Breeders’ Cup Classic last November.
Additionally, he has hit 10 of the last 15 Derby-Oaks doubles at Churchill Downs. That means he held a ticket with the winners of both races all but five times in the last 15 tries. Anybody following him in those races saw huge returns.
Now, with the Belmont Stakes 2023 approaching, Demling is sharing his picks and predictions over at SportsLine. Click here to see them.
2023 Belmont Stakes predictions for Tapit Trice, Angel of Empire, Forte
One surprise: Demling is fading Tapit Trice, even though he’s one of the top favorites at 7-2. He is trained by four-time Belmont winner Todd Pletcher and he was sired by Tapit, who has sired four prior Belmont winners. Tapit Trice won the Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass Stakes earlier this year during a four-race winning streak.
However, he is coming off the worst finish of his career, finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby. Tapit Trice posted a speed figure (95) that was well back of Mage’s winning figure of 106, and this is another loaded field. Pletcher’s attention is split heading into the Belmont Stakes 2023 since he has a pair of other potential 2023 Belmont Stakes contenders in Forte and Prove Worthy, so Tapit Trice is not worth a bet at his short price. See who else to back here.
Demling has also locked in his 2023 Belmont Stakes picks for Angel of Empire, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby. He has won four races during his career, including a victory at the Arkansas Derby and Risen Star Stakes. His speed figure has been consistently improving, although it was not quite enough to get past Mage and Two Phil’s at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Brad Cox is eyeing his second Belmont Stakes win after saddling 2021 winner Essential Quality. Angel of Empire will record his final breeze at Churchill Downs on Saturday before shipping to Belmont Park next week. See Demling’s prediction for Angel of Empire here.
Kentucky Derby favorite Forte, who was scratched just hours before the race, missed the Preakness Stakes and is awaiting clearance heading into the final leg of the Triple Crown. He worked five-eighths of a mile under regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. last weekend, his second workout since being scratched from the Kentucky Derby on race day. Forte was placed on a mandatory 14-day veterinary list after being scratched, which caused him to miss the Preakness as well.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said Forte has seemingly “maintained his fitness level” and “it seems like everything is in good order.” He was required to have a workout watched by a licensed racetrack veterinarian and pass a blood test that was taken immediately after the breeze, so he is waiting for the results of the test. Forte has won six races during his career, including the Florida Derby and Fountain of Youth Stakes.
How to make 2023 Belmont Stakes picks, bets
Demling is also high on a double-digit longshot who has “looked sharp in his return to the track.” Anyone who backs this horse could hit it big. Demling is sharing which horse it is, along with his entire projected leaderboard, over at SportsLine.
Who wins the Belmont Stakes 2023? And which huge double-digit longshot is a must-back? Check out the latest 2023 Belmont Stakes odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Demling’s picks for the 2023 Belmont Stakes, all from the expert who nailed the winner, trifecta and superfecta at the Preakness and called four of the last five Belmont winners.
2023 Belmont Stakes horses, odds