Though Winter/Spring Meet has been over for more than a month now, Arcadia race fans have good reason to head back to the track Saturday. The "great race place" will open its gates at 8:15 a.m. for fans to watch the simulcast of the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes.
It's with good reason oddsmakers count Animal Kingdom, starting in the No. 9 post, as a heavy 2-1 favorite to win the final leg of the Triple Crown, which takes place some 2,400 miles from Arcadia at Belmont Park in New York.
The three-year old colt has risen to the occasion in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, capturing the Kentucky Derby on May 7 and finishing second at the Preakness Stakes on May 21 after a furious rally that winner Shackleford just held off.
Here's how Saturday's post positions and odds for the 143rd Belmont Stakes shake out:Post Position/Horse Morning line odds 1. Master of Hounds 10-1 2. Stay Thirsty 20-1 3. Ruler On Ice 20-1 4. Santiva 15-1 5. Brilliant Speed 15-1 6. Nehro 4-1 7. Monzon 30-1 8. Prime Cut 15-1 9. Animal Kingdom 2-1 10. Mucho Macho Man 10-1 11. Isn't He Perfect 30-1 12. Shackleford 9-2
History is not in Shackleford's favor to win Saturday. No horse who has started in the No. 12 post has ever won the Belmont.
We like Animal Kingdom to win the 2011 Belmont Stakes with Master of Hounds coming in second and Shackleford taking third.
The 143rd Belmont Stakes has an approximate post time of 3:36 p.m. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. on NBC.