2021 Belmont Stakes odds, contenders, picks: Legendary expert unveils surprising predictions


With the Kentucky Racing Commission still awaiting test results that will decide whether or not Medina Spirit will be stripped of his 2021 Kentucky Derby win, the New York Racing Association has made the decision not to allow any Bob Baffert entries in the 2021 Belmont Stakes. The race will take place at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 5 and post time is scheduled for approximately 6:49 p.m. ET. Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer has already been shipped to Nassau County and he’ll look to become the 32nd horse in history to win the Preakness-Belmont double.

However, the return of Kentucky Derby challengers like Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie means that Rombauer isn’t the favorite in the 2021 Belmont Stakes odds. Essential Quality is listed as the 7-2 favorite, followed by Hot Rod Charlie at 9-2 and then Rombauer comes in at 5-1. Other 2021 Belmont Stake contenders include Rock Your World (6-1), Known Agenda (9-1) and Rebel’s Romance (11-1). Before making any 2021 Belmont Stakes picks, you need to see the latest horse racing predictions from legendary handicapper Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg.

The former horse racing analyst for ESPN and NBC, Goldberg became a legendary handicapper by going straight to the source. In 2004, he had dinner before the Belmont Stakes with trainer Nick Zito at a pizzeria in Queens. The dinner led Goldberg to play Zito’s 36-1 monster long shot Birdstone to win and on top of his exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets. When Birdstone shocked the world, Goldberg won $24,000. 

His success has continued at SportsLine. In the San Felipe Stakes in March, Hammer gave out a $20 exacta that paid 9-1. In the Belmont Stakes last June, Goldberg was all over Tiz the Law, who scored a convincing victory in the year’s first Triple Crown race. In the Blue Grass Stakes, Hammer nailed the Art Collector-Swiss Skydiver exacta. In July, he hit the Authentic-Ny Traffic exacta in the Haskell. In August in the Pacific Classic, he gave out the Maximum Security-Sharp Samurai exacta.

Before last year’s Kentucky Derby, trainer Bob Baffert told Goldberg that Authentic was his best Derby runner. As a result, Goldberg listed him among his top horses, and Authentic held off Tiz the Law by almost four lengths. Anyone who has followed Goldberg’s lead is way up.

Now, Goldberg has studied the 2021 Belmont Stakes horses and released his analysis on several top contenders only at SportsLine.

Top 2021 Belmont Stakes predictions

For the 153rd Run for the Carnations, we can tell you Goldberg is fading Essential Quality, even though he is favorite at 7-2 in the Belmont Stakes 2021 odds. The son of Tapit by Delightful Quality earned his status as the favorite by going undefeated in the run up to the Kentucky Derby, winning the Breeders’ Futurity and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a two-year-old before winning the Southwest Stakes and the Blue Grass Stakes in his three-year-old season.

He wound up getting bumped out of the gate at the Kentucky Derby by Rock Your World, but that didn’t stop jockey Luis Saez from getting him into a solid stalking position. Unfortunately, he just didn’t have the speed to chase down Medina Spirit, stablemate Mandaloun and Hot Rod Charlie, finishing fourth. Having made six starts against high-quality competition already, Goldberg thinks fatigue may be a factor for Essential Quality at the Belmont Stakes 2021.

How to make 2021 Belmont Stakes predictions

Instead, Hammer’s top choice is a horse “coming off his best couple races.” This horse has a key x-factor working in his favor at the Belmont. He’s sharing his predictions for the top 2021 Belmont Stakes contenders here.

So who wins the 2021 Belmont Stakes? Which surprising horse is a must-back? Check out the latest 2021 Belmont odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Goldberg’s picks for the 2021 Belmont Stakes.

2021 Belmont Stakes contenders, odds

Essential Quality 7-2
Hot Rod Charlie 9-2
Rombauer 5-1
Rock Your World 6-1
Known Agenda 9-1
Rebel’s Romance 11-1
Promise Keeper 15-1
Keepmeinmind 20-1
Bourbonic 26-1
France Go de Ina 28-1
Overtook 30-1





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