2011 Belmont Stakes Sleeper Picks, Tips and Longshots to Bet On – Monzon at 32/1 a Dark Horse Bet: At 2/1 odds, Animal Kingdom is the favorite to win Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. After his win in the Kentucky Derby and near win in the Preakness Stakes, he deserves to be considered the frontrunner, but the payoff isn’t exactly attractive. Bettors looking for some serious money are going to have to take a chance on a wildcard, and one attractive longshot that could spring the upset is Monzon.

On the surface, the horse’s overall record isn’t all that impressive. Monzon has won twice in seven career starts, but he has finished fifth or worse four times as well. While his victories did come while racing against some legitimate competition such as Pants on Fire, the horse doesn’t exactly have the resume of a top contender, which is a big reason why he enters the Belmont with 65/2(+3250) odds to win.

However, Monzon does have one very important factor working in his favor. His pedigree makes him a perfect horse to tackle the lengthy distant of the Belmont. The horse was sired by Thunder Gulch. For those that don’t remember, Thunder Gulch won the Belmont in 1995, along with the Kentucky Derby. Not to mention the fact that other sire of Thunder Gulch – Point Given – won the Belmont in 2011. Winning the Belmont might literally be in Monzon’s blood. At any rate, the horse should have the stamina needed to have a fighting chance against the favorites in the field.

All indications are that Monzon has practiced well in the weeks leading up to the Belmont, and while practice and the actual race are two different things, the horse appears to be healthy and performing up to his trainer’s expectations. Not to mention the fact that Monzon is well rested having skipped the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The argument can be also made that the layoff will hurt the horse, but in a 1.5-mile race like the Belmont, extra rest probably isn’t going to be a bad thing for any horse.

The size of this year’s field should also play to the horse’s strengths. With only 12 horses scheduled to start, Monzon should be able to hang toward the back and utilize his stamina to make a late charge. Without much traffic to stop him, a path to the front should clear for Monzon if the horse’s endurance really is as advertised.

Monzon isn’t the type of horse that bettors will want to go all or nothing on. That being said, there isn’t another longshot in the field with a blood line more conducive to success in this Saturday’s race. Bettors will still want to put some money on the big names in the field, but Monzon does make a nice speculative pick that could turn a small bet into a hefty total. The horse also makes a savvy, payout-boosting addition to any trifecta.

Check the latest 143rd Belmont Stakes Favorites and Expert Picks preview articles as well as updated 2011 Belmont Betting Odds for Saturday’s big race.

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Odds to win the 2011 Belmont Stakes – (NOTE: See CURRENT 2011 Belmont Stakes Odds Below)
Master of Hounds +825
Stay Thirsty +1615
Ruler On Ice +2550
Santiva +1215
Brilliant Speed +1015
Nehro +425
Monzon +3250
Prime Cut +2050
Animal Kingdom +265
Mucho Macho Man +850
Isn’t He Perfect +3250
Shackleford +825

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