I'm sorry to say that California Chrome will not be the next Triple Crown winner. He has had impressive wins thus far in the Derby and Preakness; however, he will not be the 12th horse to enter the elite group of Thoroughbred champions (i.e. Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, etc.). Why? Because he is only a good horse, not a great one. #5 Ride on Curlin, #8 Commissioner, or #9 Wicked Strong could finish ahead of him.
Best of the Field (#2 California Chrome, odds: 3:5). I would be delighted if Victor Espinoza (jockey) and Art Sherman (trainer) were in the winner's circle on Saturday. This has been a great story and California Chrome has met or exceeded everyone's expectations. The problem will come with the 1 1/2 mile distance and the zany New York crowd - the place will be loud and crazy. He will finish in the money, but the odds are horrible and the winning ticket, if you have one, will probably be worth more as a collector's item if he wins. Good luck.
Best Value Pick (#5 Ride on Curlin, odds 12:1). John Velazquez will be the third jockey to ride this horse in the Triple Crown, which is odd. Velazquez is a fine jockey and Ride on Curlin has run well this week in practice. He was a solid second in the Preakness - and although he might be a bit tired - so is California Chrome. The odds are very good for #5 and this could be a good payout. He will likely be in the money and could be the answer to a trivia question about who beat California Chrome in the Belmont.
Long Shot (#8 Commissioner, odds 20:1). I like this horse. His pedigree includes Northern Dancer, Bold Ruler and A.P. Indy, some of my favorite horses - and Todd Pletcher is the trainer. He's really good. Although his record looks weak, he was second in the Peter Pan, which was run at Belmont, and the jockey (Javier Castellano) is a proven winner. The owners want to win the Belmont and have talked about this since January. The odds are very attractive and this could be another long-shot Belmont winner.
Betting: You should include #2, #5 and #8 in your exotics. The best bet of the day will be the Win/Place/Show on #5 (Ride on Curlin). Good luck and I hope California Chrome wins, but don't bet on it...