As of noon eastern time, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird was the overwhelming even-money favorite for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in advance wagering action. The Birdstone gelding comes into the Belmont off a strong runner-up finish in the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) three weeks ago. He has been galloping strongly over the Belmont surface this week.
Two horses are being held next at 5-1. Charitable Man, who won the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont May 9, has generally been thought of as the main threat to Mine That Bird, and the son of Lemon Drop Kid figures to close the gap in the wagering before post time. Charitable Man will break from post 6, just inside Mine That Bird.
Also at 5-1 in the advance wagering is Chocolate Candy, the fifth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby in his last start. Chocolate Candy was sent to Belmont several weeks before the Belmont Stakes to be accustomed to the racing surface, and his trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, has been pleased with the progress of the Candy Ride colt owned by diet guru Jenny Craig.
Dunkirk, the lightly raced runner-up in the Florida Derby (gr. I), is the only other started in single digits in the odds, at 7-1 in early betting. Dunkirk finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby in only his fourth career start, and should be fresh coming into the Belmont for trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the race two years ago with the filly Rags to Riches, marking his first win in the Triple Crown series.
Total wagering as of noon eastern time was just under $1.4 million. Here are the individual odds: