Belmont Picks From Richmond-Based Handicapper, “Derby” Bill Watson

Derby Bill” Watson was the official handicapper at Colonial Downs for six years and has been a professional handicapper for 21. Hear him, Nick Hahn and Frank Vespe on “Off to the Races,” each Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. on 950 AM and 99.5 FM or at

His Belmont Super: No. 3 Master Fencer, No. 5 Bourbon War, No. 10 Tacitus, No. 2 Everfast.

1. Joevia (30-1) Trainer: Gregg Sacco Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Missed Derby with 11th place stinker in Wood Memorial, has the speed for a mile, but test of champions is 1½.

2. Everfast (12-1) Trainer: Dale Romans Jockey: Luis Saez

The 29-to-1 runner-up stunner in Preakness has trainer with past four third-place finishes at Belmont.

3. Master Fencer (8-1) Trainer: Koichi Tsunoda Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Japan invader runs for $1 million NYRA bonus after using Kentucky Derby as a prep race.

4. Tax (15-1) Trainer: Danny Gargan Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

His $277,500 taxable earnings this year after $50,000 claim may have IRS in winner’s circle if he pulls off upset.

5. Bourbon War (12-1) Trainer: Mark Hennig Jockey: Mike Smith

Big Money Mike jumps aboard, taking blinkers off; has top closer if rest of field wilts at distance.

6. Spinoff (15-1) Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Javier Castellano

Was 52-1 in Derby, he beat only one in slop, but three-time Belmont champion trainer is still a believer.

7. Sir Winston (12-1) Trainer: Mark Casse Jockey: Joel Rosario

The “other” Casse entry showed a war of will finishing second in Peter Pan, a N.Y. career-best effort.

8. Intrepid Heart (10-1) Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: John Velazquez

A Tapit sire has won three Belmonts [Tonalist, Creator Tapwrit] since 2014.

9. War of Will (2-1) Trainer: Mark Casse Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Preakness champ only colt to run entire Triple Crown, weariness a concern at low price.

10. Tacitus (9-5) Trainer: Bill Mott Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Another son of Tapit’s Belmont gold streak makes this well-rested colt the chalk.

Triple Crown winner Justify and jockey MIke Smith are shown parading after winning the 150th Belmont Stakes in 2018. Photo from AP.