The eight horses who will run in the Belmont Stakes

The field and post positions for Saturday's 153rd running of the $1.5million Belmont Stakes were announced on Tuesday morning, with eight horses entered.

The main withdrawal from the race was UAE Derby winner Rebel's Romance, who is injured.

Field set for the 153rd Belmont Stakes

Although Essential Quality, the fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, is the favourite at odds of 2/1, there is no clear frontrunner for the mile-and-a-half conclusion of the Triple Crown Series.

There has been plenty of excitement and controversy generated in the 2021 Triple Crown races, with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes both closely contested and producing different winners. Medina Spirit won the first jewel by half a length over Mandaloun but tested positive for illegal levels of betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the potential disqualification of Medina Spirit from the Kentucky Derby, he went on to race in the Preakness Stakes but finished third to 12/1 underdog Rombauer, with Midnight Bourbon as the runner-up. With the result, it was guaranteed that no horse would have an opportunity to become the 14th Triple Crown winner and third in seven years.

In addition, Medina Spirit was denied entry into the Belmont Stakes by the New York Racing Association's suspension of Hall of Fame trainer and three-time Belmont Stakes winner Bob Baffert. The NYRA has banned Baffert from occupying any stable space or entering any horses in races at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga.

Post positions and morning line odds for the Belmont Stakes

The inside post position will be occupied by Wood Memorial winner Bourbonic, who won the 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby prep race as a 72/1 longshot in a record slow time. After a 13th-place finish in the Run for the Roses, Bourbonic skipped the Preakness and has odds of 15/1 for the Belmont Stakes.

In post position two will be the 2/1 favourite Essential Quality, who was also the top horse in the morning line at the Kentucky Derby. However, his disappointing finish prompted trainer Brad Cox to point the colt towards the Belmont Stakes instead of entering the Preakness.

Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer will start from the third position and is the second favourite at 3/1. The surprise victor in the second leg of the Triple Crown was pointed to the Belmont after his win for trainer Michael McCarthy.

Hot Rod Charlie, the winner of the 100-40-20-10 Louisiana Derby and third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, will start in the fourth position with odds of 7/2.

In the fifth spot will be the 30/1 longshot France Go De Ina, who came in seventh in the Preakness Stakes.

Florida Derby winner and ninth-place finisher Known Agenda will break from the sixth post position in the Belmont Stakes at odds of 6/1.

Rock Your World, who entered the Kentucky Derby with an undefeated record after his win in the Santa Anita Derby, ended up stumbling to a 17th-place finish at Churchill Downs and will start from the seventh post position with odds of 9/2.

Rounding off the field in the outside starting spot will be 20/1 shot Overtook, who is coming off a third-place finish in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 8.

With the three favourites starting side by side, it should be an exciting opening quarter-mile as the contenders jockey for position.