Animal Kingdom at Belmont Park<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Animal Kingdom at Belmont Park
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Rick Samuels

Animal Kingdom, 'Hounds' Early Belmont Faves

Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner held as early favorite in Belmont.

Early wagering for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), which began one day before the June 11 classic, holds no surprise as to the favorite, but some of the other betting has yielded unexpected early numbers. 

Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom  was the 5/2 favorite as of mid-morning June 11 in win wagering for the Belmont. European invader Master of Hounds was surprisingly being held as the second choice at 9/2. Master of Hounds finished fifth in the Derby and drew the rail for the Belmont. Next in the early wagering was Derby runner-up Nehro, who was listed at 5-1. He was followed by Mucho Macho Man  at 6-1.

Rather shockingly, Preakness (gr. I) winner Shackleford , who drew the outside post of 12 in the Belmont, was listed at 13-1, getting less play than Santiva  (9-1), Brilliant Speed (10-1), and Stay Thirsty  (12-1). Longshots Prime Cut (18-1), Isn't He Perfect (38-1), Monzon (38-1), and Ruler On Ice (39-1) rounded out the early betting.

A double is being offered as well, beginning with the June 10 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), which was won by Birdrun  at odds of 5/2. The double hooks the Brooklyn and Belmont winners up together, and payouts for that wager indicated that Master of Hounds received plenty of action there as well. The double to Master of Hounds would pay $34.60, only slightly more than the payoff to Animal Kingdom ($34.20).

Nehro was the next-lowest payoff in the double at $48.80, followed by Brilliant Speed at $71.50 and Shackleford at $75. The double to Santiva would pay $81 and Mucho Macho Man would pay $93.50.
Other payouts would be $237 to Stay Thirsty, $281 to Prime Cut, $434 to Ruler On Ice, $593 to Monzon, and Isn’t He Perfect at $671.