Kentucky Derby winner Mage won't be in the 2023 Belmont Stakes on Saturday, but his jockey will be. Javier Castellano is hopping aboard Arcangelo for Saturday's Belmont Stakes 2023 after riding Mage in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Castellano is seeking the first Belmont victory of his Hall of Fame career, as he's finished as runner-up three times with 14 previous starters. He does have experience aboard Arcangelo after the two of them won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park in May. Forte is the 5-2 favorite in the 2023 Belmont Stakes odds, even though he hasn't raced in 10 weeks. Stablemate Tapit Trice is 3-1, while Arcangelo is an 8-1 longshot in the 2023 Belmont Stakes field.
The 2023 Belmont Stakes post time is 7:02 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, National Treasure
One surprise: Demling is fading Tapit Trice, even though he's one of the top favorites at 3-1. After the horse won at one mile, 1 1/16 miles and 1 1/8 miles in successive races, trainer Bob Baffert then said that the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby was "right in his wheelhouse." However, Tapit Trice started slowly, but also was bumped and never truly got going at Churchill Downs. Despite being the second-favorite, he finished in seventh place only after passing several tired horses down the stretch.
Baffert is still singing the same tune as the distance goes to 1 1/2 miles for the Belmont Stakes 2023, but Tapit Trice's results say otherwise. Two of the horses that finished ahead of him at Churchill Downs are also in the 2023 Belmont Stakes field, while Tapit Trice didn't have a favorable 2023 Belmont Stakes post draw. He'll exit from the No. 2 post, which has produced just the fifth-most winners. 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. His connections have been longing for more distance for their horse, and they will get plenty of it on Saturday at the Belmont Stakes 2023. Angel of Empire will race further than he ever has, stretching out from the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby to the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes distance.
Angel of Empire took on the role of Kentucky Derby favorite when Forte was scratched on the morning of the race. He won two of his three starts as a two-year-old before winning the Arkansas Derby in his final Triple Crown prep race. His slow start at the Kentucky Derby was ultimately too much to overcome, but he closed with a strong burst to finish a half-length behind runner-up Two Phil's and one-and-a-half lengths back of first-place Mage. See Demling's prediction for Angel of Empire here.
National Treasure (5-1) was deemed to be behind his stablemates as a two-year-old, but trainer Bob Baffert wasn't worried. Last fall, Baffert said National Treasure would be a "really nice horse" by the spring, and he was spot on. National Treasure upset Kentucky Derby favorite Mage by winning the Preakness Stakes by a head.
With Red Route One as the only other Preakness horse in the 2023 Belmont Stakes field, that means just one other Belmont horse has attempted a race longer than 1 1/8 miles. That could be an advantage for National Treasure, who has proven he can sustain longer than 1 1/8 miles while nearly all others have not. See Demling's prediction for National Treasure here.
Forte, who entered the Triple Crown season with perhaps more fanfare than any other horse, will return at the Belmont Stakes 2023. He was the morning-line favorite at the Kentucky Derby before he was scratched on race day to a hoof injury. That injury placed him on a 14-day veterinary restriction list that also kept him out of the Preakness Stakes.
He's the 5-2 favorite and he was assigned stall No. 6 during Tuesday's 2023 Belmont Stakes post draw. His five-race winning streak is the reason for his status as the favorite, but now he'll have to prove that the injury didn't disrupt his training or overall speed. He hasn't raced since his win at the Florida Derby on April 1, so rust could be a factor as Forte tries to salvage what looked to be an elite 3-year-old campaign. See Demling's prediction for Forte here.
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
|1||Tapit Shoes||20-1||SEE PICKS|
|2||Tapit Trice||3-1||SEE PICKS|
|4||National Treasure||5-1||SEE PICKS|
|5||Il Miracolo||30-1||SEE PICKS|
|7||Hit Show||10-1||SEE PICKS|
|8||Angel of Empire||7-2||SEE PICKS|
|9||Red Route One||15-1||SEE PICKS|