After victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, California Chrome will get a chance at winning the Triple Crown during Saturday’s 146th Belmont Stakes.

Only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown; Sir Barton was the first in 1919 and Affirmed the last in 1978. None were born in California, which should not be surprising in light of an ever-growing emphasis on speed rather than stamina. In fact, there have been just two California-bred Belmont winners in thoroughbred racing history – Comanche in 1893 and Africander in 1903.

Also working against California Chrome is the draw of the No. 2 spot, which hasn’t produced a winner in some time.

So what’s the best wagering strategy? Bet the field. Five of the last six Belmont winners have double-digit returns and the last favorite to win the 1.5-mile race was Afleet Alex in 2005.

Based on the morning-line odds, by wagering on the field using the Kelly Criterion model for an event with mutually exclusive outcomes, you could skew the risk/reward matrix in your favor by eliminating California Chrome from contention altogether.

Post Horse ML Odds Return on $2 bet
1 Medal Count 20  $                          40
3 Matterhorn 30  $                          60
4 Commanding Curve 15  $                          30
5 Ride On Curlin 12  $                          24
6 Matuszak 30  $                          60
7 Samraat 20  $                          40
8 Commissioner 20  $                          40
9 Wicked Strong 6  $                          12
10 General a Rod 20  $                          40
11 Tonalist 8  $                          16

The downside, of course, is if California Chrome makes history, but all wagering comes with risk. It’s just a matter of maximizing your odds.