Betting on the Belmont Stakes is the most unpredictable of the Triple Crown races. Throwing in a wet track and an underwhelming field makes it even tougher to handicap.
Kentucky Derby winner Orb remains the favorite for Saturday's Belmont, and many bettors continue to back him, despite a weak performance in the Preakness.
But the longest of the Triple Crown races has been vulnerable to longshots and very few favorites have managed to finish first in the past decade.
Sarava hit as a 70-1 longshot in 2002. Birdstone ruined the Triple Crown bid of Smarty Jones two years later as a 40-1 bet. In 2011. Ruler On Ice was a longshot winner, and Da'Tara turned the trick as a 40-1 shot in 2009.
"The early Belmont Stakes money was on Orb and we opened 7/2 but it was bet down to 11/4," said Kevin Bradley, sportsbook manager at Bovada. "There are a few wagers on Oxbow, as well," but very little on second-betting choice Revolutionary.
Some experts like Revolutionary, who ran a strong third in the Derby and had won three straight before that. He has never finished lower than third, making him a natural pick for some of the Belmont Stakes head to matchup props.
"Orb ran well in the Derby and the rain is supposed to stop around 6 a.m. Saturday," said Michael Dempsey, the lead handicapping voice at TurfnSport.com. "The track at Belmont dries out quickly, so there is still a chance the track might be fast by post time."
He said the hype on Orb might be excessive, but fans would do well to not underestimate Revolutionary.
"He broke his maiden on a wet track and ran well in the Derby over sloppy track," said Dempsey. "He is bred to like it."
With all the uncertainty around the 14 runners, some fans look to prop bets. The over-under for the winning time is 2:29, a mark that has been eclipsed in four of the past five races.
And there are props that seem silly, but which might make sense. Bovada offered a prop on ‘will the winning horse's name start with the letter ‘O.' With Orb the favorite, Preakness winner Oxbow the third betting choice and Overanalyze No. 5 on the Belmont odds chart, it is tempting as a +145 bet.
2013 BELMONT STAKES - Odds to win courtesy of Bovada
1. Frac Daddy 33/1
2. Freedom Child 8/1
3. Overanalyze 14/1
4. Giant Finish 33/1
5. Orb 7/2
6. Incognito 25/1
7. Oxbow 6/1
8. Midnight Taboo 33/1
9. Revolutionary 5/1
10. Will Take Charge 20/1
11. Vyjack 22/1
12. Palace Malice 10/1
13. Unlimited Budget 9/1
14. Golden Soul 12/1