Picking Mystik Dan to Win the Belmont Stakes?!

The last leg of the Triple Crown is among us and we think Mystik Dan will win it out. He's got everything it takes to beat out the field.
Picking Mystic Dan to Win the Belmont Stakes?!

The Belmont Stakes, known as the "Test of the Champion," is the final leg of the Triple Crown and a race that demands both speed and endurance from the horses on the track. This year's field is filled with promising thoroughbreds, as is typical of this race, each bringing unique strengths to the track.

But who’s going to win the big race? Our money is Mystik Dan, and here’s why.

The Case Ffor Mystik Dan

Mystik Dan, with odds at 5-1, is a horse that has shown remarkable potential and has already dominated in the market, as shown in his recent win at the Kentucky Derby. Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., MystikDan has a combination of experienced guidance and solid recent performances that make him our pick of the field.

Performance and Stamina

Mystik Dan has consistently demonstrated a blend of speed and stamina in his races, both of which are necessary if they’re going to take it all on the 1.5-mile Belmont track

His recent workouts indicate that he is peaking at the right time, with strong finishes that hint at his ability to handle the extended distance of the Belmont Stakes. It's going to take everything he has, but he can do it.

Unlike shorter races, the Belmont requires a horse to maintain a steady pace while having enough left in the tank for a powerful finish. Mystik Dan's track record shows he is more than capable of winning on a big track.

Strategic Riding

Brian Hernandez Jr., his rider, brings a strategic approach to races that will undoubtedly be pivotal in a high-stakes competition like the Belmont. After all, he was able to inch Mystik Dan’s nose past Catching Freedom and Sierra Leone at the Kentucky Derby and barely lost out to Seize the Grey at Preakness.

Hernandez has a knack for positioning his mounts well throughout the race, conserving energy for a strong finish. He’s going to need this mindset more than ever going into Belmont.

Training Insights

Kenny McPeek, Mystik Dan's trainer, has a history of preparing horses for big wins in major stakes races. The recent results should convince you of that.

McPeek's training regimen focuses on building endurance and strategic pacing, which aligns perfectly with the demands of the Belmont Stakes. It’s a long track (the longest of the Triple Crown), and Mystik Dan needs to be well-trained for this type of track. His experience and attention to detail will ensure that Mystik Dan is not only physically prepared but also mentally ready to take on the competition.

Sierra Leone as a Strong Contender

Sierra Leone at Risen Star Stakes
Sierra Leone Finishes First at the Risen Star StakesThoroughbred Daily News

While Mystik Dan is our top pick, Sierra Leone cannot be overlooked. With odds at 9-5, Sierra Leone is the favorite in the field, and it’s easy for even the most novice of horse bettors to see why.

Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Flavien Prat, this horse has the credentials and recent performances that make him a serious threat to any competitor on the track, even Mystik Dan. After a heartbreaking second-place finish at Preakness after coming off of the Kentucky Derby win, we think Mystik Dan can beat out Sierra Leone as he has the drive to get it done.

Proven Track Record

Sierra Leone has consistently performed at a high level, showcasing both speed and a strong finishing kick in his races. With 5 starts, 3 wins, and 2 seconds, his record speaks for itself. This highlights his ability to compete with the best. In regards to Belmont, we think he’ll finish in the top 3, but his big wins so far are only on 1 ⅛ mile tracks. That ⅜ mile difference between Belmont and the Risen Star and Blue Grass Stakes is a big difference.

The Competition

While Mystik Dan and Sierra Leone are our top picks, the Belmont field is full of talented horses, each with their own potential to surprise on race day. Here's a quick look at the other thoroughbreds in the field and how they compare to our picks.

Mindframe (7-2 odds)

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Mindframe is a strong contender with solid performances under his belt. His odds reflect that he’s got the potential to compete at a high level, though questions remain about his stamina over the Belmont's longer distance. We think he’ll place between 2 and 4.

Seize the Grey (8-1 odds)

With Jaime Torres riding and D. Wayne Lukas training, Seize the Grey brings a mix of speed and unpredictability to the field. He has the potential to make a surprising impact if he can manage the longer track. Many horse bettors like Seize the Grey. After all, he did win the Preakness Stakes in 2024, but he only has 4 wins over 10 starts, and none were long tracks. We think he’ll come across the finish line between 3 and 5.

Resilience (10-1 odds)

Junior Alvarado teams up with trainer Bill Mott to bring Resilience to the Belmont. Known for his strong finishes, Resilience will need to live up to his name and maintain a consistent pace to be in contention at the end. While he only has 4 starts under the saddle, the lone win is on a 1 1/16 mile track. We think the odds are a bit skewed here, and he’ll come in the bottom half of the field, but he could be the biggest surprise during the big race.

Honor Marie and Antiquarian (both at 12-1 odds)

These horses, trained by Whit Beckman and Todd Pletcher, respectively, bring unique strengths to the race and will surely be fun to watch. With Florent Geroux on Honor Marie and John Velazquez on Antiquarian, both horses have highly experienced jockeys that could help them take on the Belmont's challenges. The biggest downside to these horses is their experience on the longer tracks. They’ll most likely fall in between 4th and 7th place.

The Longshots

Of course, we have to mention the long shorts. After all, it’s a 10-horse field, and anything can happen — especially during the Belmont Stakes. This includes longer shots like The Wine Steward (15-1 odds), Dornoch (15-1 odds), and Protective (20-1 odds). While less favored, these horses can still surprise with strong performances, especially in a race as unpredictable as the Belmont Stakes.

Place Your Bets, and Ours Will Be On Mystik Dan, Again.

The Belmont Stakes is always one of the most exciting races of the year. In fact, we think it’s even more eventful than the Kentucky Derby just due to its sheer size. This year, Mystik Dan stands out as our top pick, with his combination of stamina, strategic riding, and expert training positioning him well for a win. We picked him for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness; we’re going to go with our pattern on this one.

Since anything can happen before and during the big race, we naturally have to have a second pick as well. Sierra Leone, with his proven track record and top-notch team, is our pick for a close second.

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