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Justify draws dreaded rail for Belmont Stakes

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor
Belmont Stakes hopeful Hofburg gallops around the track during a workout at Belmont Park, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. Hofburg drew the No. 4 post position, and has the second best odds behind Justify, who drew the rail. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Justify will try to become the second Triple Crown winner in just four years on Saturday at the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, attempting to follow up American Pharoah’s Triple Crown in 2015 — one that snapped a 37-year drought.

The horse’s quest for the Triple Crown was made easier in May, too, when Audible — Justify’s prime competition who won the Florida Derby and took third at the Kentucky Derby in May — was benched for the Belmont.

Justify drew the rail on Tuesday, and will race in the No. 1 post position in the field of 10. He opens with the best odds to win the race at 4-5, followed by Hofburg at 9-2, who is in the No. 4 post position.

The 2018 Belmont Stakes Draw

Here is the complete rundown of the draw, with horse, jockey and odds:

  1. Justify: Mike Smith, 4-5
  2. Free Drop Billy: Robby Albarado, 30-1
  3. Bravazo: Luis Saez, 8-1
  4. Hofburg: Irad Ortiz Jr., 9-2
  5. Restoring Hope: Florent Geroux, 30-1
  6. Gronkowski: Jose Ortiz, 12-1
  7. Tenfold: Ricardo Santana Jr., 12-1
  8. Vino Rosso: Jon Velazquez, 8-1
  9. Noble Indy: Javier Castellano, 30-1
  10. Blended Citizen: Kyle Frey, 15-1

What the rail means for Justify

Even though Justify drew the rail, often seen as one of the tougher starting positions, he should be fine. As long as he breaks clean and doesn’t get trapped in the rail, Justify has the speed to get to the front of the pack early.

Though if he gets trapped inside early and gets pinned, it can be anybody’s race.

The Belmont Stakes weather forecast

What was once a clear forecast is now quickly shifting in the opposite direction.

Like both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes — which were both a muddy, rainy mess — horses racing in the Belmont Stakes will likely face rainy conditions.

The Weather Channel predicts a 60 percent chance of rain on Saturday in Elmont, New York, as of Tuesday night, predicting that “rain showers in the morning will evolve into a more steady rain in the afternoon.” There will be a high of 73 degrees, and a low of 61 degrees.

The Belmont Stakes

When: 6:46 p.m. ET | June 9, 2018

Where: Belmont Park | Elmont, New York

How to Watch: NBC | Coverage begins at 5 p.m. ET

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