The Belmont Stake should be run under totally different conditions to the other races in the Triple Crown.
On the morning of the Kentucky Derby, the Churchill Downs track was listed as fast. That didn’t last long. By the time the Derby horses went to post the track conditions had been downgraded to sloppy. Pimlico Racecourse was in the middle of a week-long storm during the Preakness, and that made the race really wild to watch. And it obviously made the surface there sloppy as well.
The Belmont will be different. There may have been a slight rain scare earlier in the week, but it has since cleared up. For the race, Belmont park should be sunny, dry and kind of hot.
The fast track has the potential to shake things up a bit. Justify (and Bravazo) obviously handled the mud sell enough, but some horses who finished further back, or who didn’t run in the derby, might not have liked it. So their performances could see a significant jump in the Belmont.
The Triple Crown is put together to test, and challenge, the horses’ versatility. Though the track conditions are not actually included, it often turns out they are. This year’s series was slightly unusual simply because of how sloppy both of the first legs were. Now, to close out the most difficult of the three Justify will need to prove that his performances were not helped that much by the mud. Of course, it’s unlikely that actually helped him, but some of the others may have been more compromised by it. Assuming the weather holds (which it should) that will not be the case in the Belmont.
The track is currently listed as fast, and while there is a slight chance for rain today, it is only a slight chance. Don’t expect the track conditions to be downgraded before race time. If that does happen, any of those changes can be found here.