The 2022 Belmont Derby takes centre stage this Saturday as we’ve 13 final runners looking to scoop the lucrative first prize. It’s a truly international affair again with runners from the UK, Ireland and France, that include the Frankie Dettori-ridden NATIONS PRIDE – while top Irish handler Aidan O’Brien sends over STONE AGE as the yard bids to win their third Belmont Derby since 2016.
Belmont Derby Runners, Riders and Horse Profiles
1. IMPLEMENTATION @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: John R Velazquez
Trainer: P & J Brandt (Fra)
Only career win came back in February at Chantilly and is another runner coming over from France. Was 2 lengths behind Machete, who also runs here, earlier this year too so has a bit of ground to make up with that horse – but draw 1 is the plus.
2. STOLEN BASE @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Luis Saez
Trainer: Michael J Maker (US)
Had Sy Dog back in third when winning the American Turf Stakes last time at Churchill Downs in May. Not been seen since so freshened up for this. Could be ready to kick-on now, but that last win was only his first from opening 8 runs.
3. NAPOLEONIC WAR @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Flavien Prat
Trainer: Chad Brown (US)
Same owner as the likely favorite Stone Age, but has a fair chance too. Last seen running just a length 2nd behind Emmanual here at Belmont in early June in the Pennine Ridge Stakes – 50% of the last 8 winners ran in that race too. Lightly-raced and should have more to give.
4. CLASSIC CAUSEWAY @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Julien R Leparaux
Trainer: Kenneth McPeek (US)
One of the more experienced in the field and was last seen running third in the Ohio Derby at Thistledown at the end of June. Before that was 11th in the Kentucky Derby too, but this will be his first run on the turf so that’s a slight unknown.
5. GRAND SONATA @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
Trainer: Todd Pletcher (US)
Drawn well in 5 helps and will be fitter for a return run at Churchill Downs at the start of June. Third of 11 that day was a fair effort and from 5 runs on the grass is yet to finish out of the first three (2 wins). Comes from the powerful Todd Pletcher camp.
6. MACHETE @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Stephane Pasquier
Trainer: F Chappet (Fra)
French raider that was 7th in their Derby last time out. That form was boosted last weekend with the winner – Vadeni – winning the Coral Eclipse, so not without a chance. Negative is that both career wins have been on the dirt and he’s 0-from-4 on the grass.
7. SY DOG @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Manuel Franco
Trainer: H Graham Motion (US)
Has won 3 of his 4 starts, including here on debut back last October. Third last time out at Churchill Downs – only beaten 2 1/4 lengths – and been freshened up with 2 months off. But interesting that regular jockey Irad Ortiz Jr rides Emmanuel here though.
8. ROYAL PATRONAGE @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Charlie and Mark Johnston (UK)
Another UK raider and also ran in the Epsom Derby last time out (16th). Didn’t stay that 1m4f trip so the drop back to 1m2f will suit and before that last run was a decent runner-up to the eventual Derby winner – Desert Crown – in the Dante Stakes at York. Nice draw in 8 and not without a squeak.
9. TIZ THE BOMB @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Dylan Davis
Trainer: Kenneth McPeek (US)
Last in action when 13th in the Kentucky Derby back in May. Will be fresher than most as a result and before that had won well twice at Turfway Park. Looks the sort that could easily bounce back now switched back to the turf where his better forms is.
10. NATIONS PRIDE @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Trainer: Charlie Appleby (UK)
Popular jockey Frankie Dettori rides for Godolphin and he’s got a huge chance. Might need a bit of luck from draw 10 but has 1m2f to overcome that. Last seen running 8th in the Epsom Derby, but probably didn’t stay the trip. Back to 1m2f here a plus and is 3-from-3 over this distance!
11. EMMANUEL @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr
Trainer: Todd Pletcher (US)
2 of the last Belmont Derby winners took the Pennine Ridge Stakes last time out, so that’s a plus. He beat Napoleonic War by a length in that race and with it coming at Belmont Park too we know the track suits. Is 1-from-1 on the turf too and if able to overcome the wide draw looks one of the main players for the home-based yards.
12. LIMITED LIABILITY @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Jose L Ortiz
Trainer: Claude R McGaughey III (US)
Third behind Emmanuel last time out here in the Pennine Ridge Stakes and with 50% of the last 8 Belmont Derby winners contesting that race, this is a plus. Only beaten 1 1/2 lengths that day too and has the 2017 winning jockey on – Jose L Ortiz – riding, but drawn wide in 12.
13. STONE AGE @ SP with BetOnLine
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Epsom Derby 6th and the form of that race has been franked since with the third – Westover – winning the Irish Derby. Likely Belmont Derby favorite and looks to have a big chance. Represents last year’s winning yard (Aidan O’Brien) and top UK jockey Ryan Moore comes over for the ride. Draw 13 not ideal, but their runner – Deauville – won this race from that stall in 2016.
Stone Age The 2022 Belmont Derby Favorite and Our TOP PICK
Epsom Derby sixth – Stone Age – has been installed as the 2022 Belmont Derby favorite @ SP with BetOnLine ahead of Saturday’s $1,000,000 race and if successful will be top Irish trainer’s Aidan O’Brien third win in the Belmont Park contest after winning the pot 12 months ago in 2021 with Bolshoi Ballet and also in 2016 renewal with Deauville.
Stone Age seemed to not quite last out over the 1m4f trip last time out in the English Derby at Epsom, so the drop back to 1m2f here will be a huge positive. Plus, the form of the Epsom Derby has been frankied with the third – Westover – landing the Irish Derby impressively last month. While prior to his last run Stone Age was a decnt winner over this trip at both Leopardstown and Navan in Ireland. He bypassed the Coral Eclipse at Sandown last Saturday with this race in mind, and that move by connections in a race they love to target can pay off. Ryan Moore, who rode the 2021 Belmont Derby winner rides.
With 7 of the last 8 Belmont Derby winners coming from stalls 8 or lower, then draw 13 for Stone Age isn’t ideal. Moore will have to work some magic, but O’Brien’s 2016 Belmont Derby winner – Deauville – showed it’s possible to win from that berth as he was drawn 13 too.
DID YOU KNOW? Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the Belmont Derby twice in the last six years
Frankie Dettori Set To Ride Nations Pride In 2022 Belmont Derby
This weekend’s Belmont Derby will also have another interesting sub-plot with Frankie Dettori, who has been in the headlines after his sabbatical with top UK trainer John Gosden, is coming to America too. The pocket Italian has been using his time away from riding for the Gosdens well by picking a select bunch of horses and is heading to Belmont Park this Saturday to ride the Charlie Appleby-trained – Nations Pride – for his old bosses Godolphin.
Nations Pride, who is drawn 10, will have a live chance too after also running in the English Derby (8th) but not lasting out. Those looking to side with him though will be pleased to know he’s 3-from-3 over the Belmont Derby trip (1m2f), so the return to this distance is a big positive, but being another drawn high will need Frankie to get a bit of luck in-running.
Dettori is also down to ride their With The Moonlight in the Belmont Oaks over the weekend.
The Best US Challengers For The 2022 Belmont Derby
Tiz The Bomb, who is drawn 9, and Emmanuel, from stall 11 are others that have wide draws but look to have leading chances for the US to wrestle back this prize.
EMMANUEL was last seen winning here at Belmont Park too, when taking the Pennine Ridge Stakes (4 of the last 8 winners ran in that race) last month. He beat Napoleonic War that day by a length and with that run also coming off a 2 month break can be expected to have improved for it as well. Therefore, we know the track is fine too and with just five career runs looks the sort to have more in the tank.
TIZ THE BOMB hasn’t been on the track since running down the field in the Kentucky Derby in May, so will head here fresher than most. Prior to that run he’s won twice at Turfway Park and the switch back to the turf looks in his favour – he’s run three times on the grass and recorded 2 wins and a second.
Belmont Derby Trends
- 7/8 – Had between 2-4 runs that season
- 7/8 – Had won between 2-4 times before
- 7/8 – Drawn 8 or lower
- 6/8 – US Bred winners
- 6/8 – Group winners in the past
- 5/8 – Didn’t win their last race
- 4/8 – Ran in the Pennine Ridge Stakes last time (2 won)
- 3/8 – Had run at Belmont Park before (2 won)
- 2/8 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
- 2/8 – Ridden by Jose Lezcano
- 2/8 – Winning favorites
- 2/8 – Ran in the Epsom Derby last time
Recent Belmont Derby Winners
|2021||BOLSHOI BALLET (21/20 fav)||Ryan Moore||Aidan O’Brien (Ire)|
|2020||GUFO (208/10)||Junior Alvarado||Christophe Clement|
|2019||HENLEY’S JOY (29/20 fav)||Jose Lezcano||Michael J.Maker|
|2018||CATHOLIC BOY (51/10)||Javier Castellano||Jonathan Thomas|
|2017||OSCAR PERFORMANCE (11/2)||Jose Ortiz||Brian A. Lynch|
|2016||DEAUVILLE (63/10)||Jamie Spencer||Aidan O’Brien (Ire)|
|2015||FORCE THE PASS (101/10)||Joel Rosario||Alan E. Goldberg|
|2014||MR SPEAKER (235/10)||Jose Lezcano||C.R. McGaughey|
Belmont Derby Race Conditions
- Track: Belmont Park, New York
- Former Name: Jamacia Handicap
- Distance: 1 1/4 miles (10 furlongs)
- Surface: Turf
- Age: 3 year-olds only
- Sex: Colts, Geldings and Fillies
- Purse: $1,000,000