Horse race lovers are hoping to see a three-peat as Justify lines up to compete at the Belmont Stakes in June.
The Belmont Stakes main race will take place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, on June 9 — and once again, all eyes are on Kentucky Derby and Preakness champion Justify. The horse needs to win the 1 ½-mile race to earn the Triple Crown.
Justify is on a winning streak. He's been 5-0 in his brief career, and now he's ready for his chance at the Crown.
"[The Stakes is] comprised of 18 stakes worth $9.4 million in purses over the three-day festival and highlighted by the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes," the New York Racing Association (NYRA) states online.
Here's what you need to know ahead of the event.
When is the Belmont Stakes?
The Stakes starts on Saturday, June 9. The first race kicks off at 11:35 a.m. ET. The big race is expected to start around 6:37 p.m. ET. You better have your television on and ready: the race is only expected to last a few minutes.
Who is expected to win?
Bob Baffert said the way Justify won the Preakness, despite heavy fog and mud, showed another side of a horse.
"He showed the way he won the other day he's courageous in his winning efforts," Baffert said. "(Still) we need racing luck, we need everything to go well."
"The horse does run in the mud well, but you ought to see him on a dry track."
The weather in Baltimore was similar to the rainy, muddy conditions Justify faced at Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby.
"The horse does run in the mud well, but you ought to see him on a dry track," Baffert commented.
Baffert, who won the Triple Crown with American Pharoah in 2015, said another Triple Crown win would be good for horse racing and help attract a new audience to the sport. However, it won't be an easy feat.
The 1 1/2-mile race, the Triple Crown's longest leg, will pose a distance challenge against a likely field of fresher, rested horses out to deny a bid for history.
If Justify wins Belmont, he will become the 13th Triple Crown champion and the first since American Pharoah in 2015.
What are the odds?
Here are the odds, according to Horse Racing Nation:
Vino Rosso 8-1
Noble Indy 30-1
Blended Citizen 15-1
Restoring Hope 30-1
Free Drop Billy 30-1
How about their posts?
- Free Drop Billy
- Restoring Hope
- Vino Rosso
- Noble Indy
- Blended Citizen
Who won last year?
Tapwrit, trained by Todd Pletcher, won last year's Belmont Stakes.
"It was Pletcher’s third Belmont winner. He also trained Kentucky Derby champion Always Dreaming. Pletcher also trained Patch, the horse with one eye, who finished third in the Belmont and returned $6.50 to show," Fox Sports reported in June 2017.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.