This year’s running of the 152nd Belmont Stakes will kick off the first jewel of the Triple Crown, with the Kentucky Derby scheduled for September 5, and the Preakness on October 3. The order of the races has been shaken up because of the pandemic, and the track will be closed to spectators, and even the owners of the horses. So you’ll be watching the race the same way as almost everyone else.

Its the first time ever the Belmont will go in front of the other two big races, and there are a few other changes as well. The race will be trimmed down to 1 1/8 miles from the traditional 1 1/2 miles, making it the shortest of the Triple Crown races instead of the longest. Also, it’s going to be run around one turn because of the track layout at Belmont, and that will figure in how trainers set their race strategy.

The field size for the first leg is much smaller this year with 10 horses running. By compairson, the Kentucky Derby field last year consisted of 19 horses.

But with all that said, we still have racing on Father’s Day weekend. The morning line favorite at odds of 6-5 is TIZ THE LAW, the only horse in the field who has won a Grade 1 race. This strong looking colt has four wins in five starts, with the lone loss was on a sloppy track.

So pray for rain if you’re going to try and beat him.

Here are my top contenders.

TIZ THE LAW hasn’t done anything wrong, and is training like a machine leading up to the race. Tactical runner who likes to sit within shouting range of the front runner, before making his threatening move for the take over. He dominated the two Florida prep races, the Holy Bull and Florida Derby, and is well rested. The heavy favorite, expect the price to drop around 4/5 when the gates open. He’s strictly the one to beat. Expect another big effort today.

TAP IT TO WIN is the one to catch to get the win. He is expected to be sent fast out of the gate with the inside draw and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez aboard. Sharp winner 16 days ago on the Belmont track in gate-to-wire fashion. With a lack of group speed in the race, Velazquez will try to separate the duo from the field, and get a picnic on the lead. This is a big step up in class, but anything can happen if Velaquez can pull off the plan.

SOLE VOLANTE, FARMINGTON ROAD, and DR POST will be doing their better running in the later stages and are must use on your trifecta and other exotic plays. Thiose horses are going to need a complete meltdown up front to get the win.

I just don’t see that happening.

So how do you make money with a dominant horse in the field.

My $100 plan is a $50 exacta box with TIZ THE LAW and TAP IT TO WIN.