2023 Belmont Stakes Odds, Picks, Post Positions: National Treasure

By US Racing Team

The $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) is the final leg of the Triple Crown. The 155th running of the 1 ½-mile “Test of the Champion” is Saturday, June 10. US Racing will be publishing profiles on all the contenders, including updated versions with odds and post-positions following the gate draw on Tuesday, June 6.

2023 Belmont Stakes Entries


There’s likely no other jockey that knows more about riding in the Belmont Stakes than John Velaquez.

That’s because the Hall of Famer will be riding in his 26th Belmont Stakes, and that’s another reason why Preakness Stakes, winner National Treasure has a strong chance to win the final leg of the Triple Crown, a 1 ½-mile marathon known as the “Test of the Champion.’’

After his first victory in the Preakness Stakes, Velazquez will be seeking a third win in the Belmont as well as giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a fourth victory in the race.

National Treasure became familiar with Belmont this past week and posted a 4-furlong workout in 50.85 seconds. Whether he can lead from the start and hold on over such a long distance is the big question.

“This horse hasn’t gone a mile-and-a-half, so we don’t know how we’re going to handle it,’’ Velazquez said. “I just know that every race he runs, he gallops out pretty strong. If we can manage to get him a good rhythm, that is we try to save the best we can for the last part of the race, we’ll be in good shape.”

National Treasure has an impressive record over six starts – a maiden win at first asking plus the Preakness Stakes victory; runner-up in a Grade 1 (American Pharoah), thirds in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Grade 3 Sham, and fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby (with Tim Yakteen as trainer while Baffert was serving a two-year suspension by Churchill Downs).

With blinkers on in the Preakness Stakes, and Baffert back as the colt’s trainer, National Treasure may be putting it all together.

“He’s a horse that’s a little bit spotty. With the help of the blinkers, (he) can kind of concentrate a little bit better. And he showed that. He showed that in the Preakness,’’ Velazquez said.

2023 Belmont Stakes Contenders: National Treasure

Post position: 4

Odds: 5-1

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: John Velazquez

Owners: SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Catherine Donovan

Career record: 6-2-1-2

Career earnings: $1,335,000

Best Equibase speed figure: 102

Pedigree: Quality Road-Treasure, by Medaglia d’Oro

Color: Bay

Running style: Front-runner

Notes: Baffert returns to Belmont after a yearlong suspension by NYRA due to the 2021 Kentucky Derby DQ of Medina Spirit for a medication overage. He’ll send out his first Belmont starter since 2018, when Justify became a Triple Crown champion … Both of Baffert’s Triple Crown winners, American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify three years later, led wire-to-wire.

2023 Belmont Stakes Contenders, Odds and Post Positions

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Tapit Shoes 3-1 Brad H. Cox Jose Ortiz
2 Tapit Trice 3-1 Todd A. Pletcher Luis Saez
3 Arcangelo 8-1 Jena M. Antonucci Javier Castellano
4 National Treasure 5-1 Bob Baffert John R. Velazquez
5 Il Miracolo 30-1 Antonio Sano Marcos Meneses
6 Forte 5-2 Todd A. Pletcher Irad Ortiz, Jr.
7 Hit Show 10-1 Brad H. Cox Manuel Franco
8 Angel of Empire 7-2 Brad H. Cox Flavien Prat
9 Red Route One 15-1 Steve M. Asmussen Joel Rosario
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