American horse racing hasn't seen a Triple Crown champion in 35 years, but for the 13th time since then a horse – this one a Cinderella story from California Chrome – heads into the last of the Crown races, the Belmont Stakes, with a chance to add its name to the record books.
This year's Belmont Stakes betting party involves three tiers of betting; a big favorite, a short list of potential spoilers and a contingent of long shots. Here's how some Belmont Stakes betting odds looked as of early this week.
California Chrome has won his last six races. His last three times out he romped to victory in the Santa Anita Stakes back on April 5; then became the first Cal-bred to win the Kentucky Derby in over 50 years, besting a field of 19 back on May 3 at Churchill Downs.
And most recently he held off a field of 10 to win the Preakness Stakes May 17 at Pimlico.
Now he's faced with possibly his toughest task yet; going against a talented field that includes a couple sets of fresh legs in the longest run of his career, the mile-and-a-half Belmont.
As of early this week, online US racebooks had a price of +120 on California Chrome completing the Crown sweep with a victory in the Belmont.
Ride on Curlin, who finished a good second in the Preakness, was getting +800 at to win Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
Commanding Curve, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby at odds of 38/1, then skipped the Preakness, was getting +800 at some horse racing shops monitored by Odds Shark.
Tonalist is a newcomer to the Crown events, but owns a win on the Belmont track, in the Peter Pan Stakes three weeks ago. BetOnline was offering +850 on Tonalist to win the Belmont.
Wicked Strong won the Wood Memorial in come-from-behind fashion, then finished fourth in the Derby despite starting from the 19 hole. He'll also be ridden by New York-based jockey Rajiv Maragh, who very familiar with the Belmont track. Bovada was offering odds of 17/2 on Wicked Strong on its Belmont board.
Samraat began his career by winning his first five races, including his debut at Belmont back in October. He then finished second in the Wood and fifth in the Derby. He's getting 22/1 to win the Belmont at Bovada.
Finally, Social Inclusion, who finished third in both the Wood and the Preakness, was getting +3000 on TopBet's Belmont betting board.
The last horse to win the American Triple Crown remains Affirmed, who pulled the trick back in 1978.
The draw for post positions for the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes will take place Wednesday morning. The race itself is slated to go off at 6:52 pm ET Saturday, with NBC providing the live television coverage.