Ice Box proved he was a legitimate deep closer in the Derby, but traffic troubles intervened on an otherwise impressive run. As is often the case, the deep closing types get a lot of respect in the Belmont. And that is the case with Ice Box, earning the favorite's spot at 3-1. First Dude surprised a lot of people by his gutsy stretch run in the Preakness. After leading the entire race, he was extremely hard for Lookin At Lucky to put away. He comes into the Belmont as the best speed again. His approach will be the same today. Expect him to go to the front again, but to set the softest fractions possible in doing so. I think the Preakness was his best effort of his career, and he should not be able to run back to that effort.
Fly Down gets very flattering odds, but it looks to be mostly based on what he might be. His racing history is not all that strong, except for his win in the Dwyer last time out. But he is bred to like this distance so it would not be a huge surprise. Uptowncharliebrown looks to be outclassed in the Belmont. Interactif is an interesting prospect at 12-1. He has found success on turf and dirt, and on both coasts. He may be the best challenger to First Dude on the front end, but I suspect he would rather leave that chore to someone else so he can come from just off the pace. If he does not get caught up in the pace, he could be a good wager. He should go off at higher than his morning line odds.
For wagering, Ice Box is a very obvious choice to include in all exotics. The pace may not be fast enough to suit him to a tee but it should be good enough for him to make a late run. Unfortunately, I expect his odds to drop by post time. The Belmont has historically been kind to long shots so look for someone to include at a price, and box your wagers. Interactif could be that horse if his odds float up to 15-1 or more. Stay Put is another deep closer who is bred to like this distance well. He could also get up for a piece.
What to bet: Exacta and Trifecta Box — Ice Box, Fly Down, Interactif and Stay Put Long Shot: Interactif