Justify, trained by Bob Baffert, is undefeated entering the 2018 Belmont Stakes and looking to become just the 13th horse racing Triple Crown winner ever. The last horse to accomplish the feat, American Pharoah in 2015, was also trained by Baffert. All eyes will be on the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, which takes place on Saturday, June 9 from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. Justify is the early 1-1 favorite after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. And before you lay down any bets, you need to see what horse racing legend Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg has to say. In 2004, he turned $300 into $21,000 at the Belmont, or 70 times his money.

The reason Goldberg has been so successful: He goes straight to the source. In 2004, he was all over Birdstone as a 36-1 monster long shot to win the Belmont Stakes over the heavily favored Smarty Jones, who was undefeated like Justify. Goldberg had dinner with Birdstone’s trainer, Nick Zito, before the Belmont Stakes at a pizzeria in Queens.

“Nick told me Birdstone had been training great,” Goldberg said. “He was training off the charts and Nick said the horse would love the Belmont because he had the running style that fit well with the track.” The Hammer pounced on the long shot to win and put him on top of his exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets.

Birdstone, of course, beat Smarty Jones by one length in one of the most thrilling Triple Crown races ever. Royal Assault — almost a 30-1 long shot on the Belmont Stakes odds board and also trained by Zito — finished third, giving the Hammer and his followers monster payouts. Now, he’s gearing up for the 2018 Belmont Stakes.

A legendary prognosticator and current CBS Sports expert, Goldberg couldn’t have been more dead-on about the 2018 Kentucky Derby. He picked Justify to win, saying he excelled in the slop. The result: Justify sloshed to victory over Good Magic in the rain and mud by two-and-a-half lengths.

Then, he called Justify repeating at the Preakness despite an injured heel and sloppy conditions — which is exactly what happened. He also cashed the Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6 at Pimlico this year.

Now that the 2018 Belmont Stakes lineup is taking shape, Goldberg released his early picks, predictions and exotic bets over at SportsLine.

We can tell you Goldberg thinks Justify will be a tired horse as he pursues horse racing’s Triple Crown as the Belmont Stakes favorite.

“The Preakness took a lot out of Justify,” Goldberg told SportsLine. “He’s going to have considerable competition in the Belmont. He has to run on a tiring track for a mile-and-a-half. Some of his competitors are well-rested.” Goldberg is sharing his projected finish position for Justify over at SportsLine.

One horse he’s high on: Blended Citizen, who’s going off at 12-1 Belmont odds early on.

“I think Blended Citizen has a heck of a chance in the 2018 Belmont Stakes,” Goldberg told SporstLine. “He had an impressive race in the Peter Pan Stakes and looked really good. He’s a horse to keep an eye on. Blended Citizen is fresh too, unlike Justify and other horses in the Belmont Stakes field.”

Blended Citizen upset Core Beliefs in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park by 1 1/2 lengths on May 12. He also won the Jeff Ruby Stakes in March over Pony Up and Arawak. He has two wins in his last three starts.

Goldberg is also eyeing a long shot who has a big edge in distance, which is exactly what’s needed in the Belmont Stakes 2018. He’s sharing which horse it is, and his predictions for every Belmont Stakes contender, over at SportsLine.

So what are Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg’s 2018 Belmont picks? Where does Justify finish? And what long shot should you back? Check out the early Belmont Stakes odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Goldberg’s picks for the Belmont.

Justify (1-1)
Audible (5-1)
Hofburg (7-1)
Bravazo (9-1) 
Tenfold (11-1)   
Blended Citizen (12-1)
Vino Rosso (20-1)
Free Drop Billy (50-1) 
Gronkowski (69-1)


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