Run annually in June exactly three weeks following the Preakness Stakes and five weeks after the Kentucky Derby, the Grade 1 Belmont is the oldest and longest of the three races. Carded at the mile and one-half distance on the main track, the Belmont was inaugurated in 1867. The race is known as "The Test of the Champion," signifying both its importance in crowning 12 Triple Crown winners and its grueling distance. The Belmont Stakes carried a purse of $1.5 million in 2016.
Belmont Stakes Entries
The Belmont Stakes and its undercard races attract a heavy wagering volume, making the day one of the most popular betting events of the year. With a reliable online racebook, the modern bettor is well-equipped to take advantage of greater convenience and profitability. Bet the Belmont Stakes using one of the following online racebooks and enjoy the bonus, loyalty and rebate programs they offer.
With the full array of betting options on the menu, the Belmont Stakes is typically an excellent wagering race as are the other stakes races surrounding it on the card. Both the Pick 4 and Pick 6 attract heavy wagering on Belmont Stakes day with the big race usually representing the last leg of both multirace exotic bets. The Belmont Stakes has also produced its share of hefty exacta, trifecta and superfecta payouts as the mile and one-half distance proves to be a significant handicapping variable, often capable of producing chaotic results.
The Belmont Stakes is known as one of the three American "classics" for three-year-old horses and has been won by many of thoroughbred racing's elite. The race annually draws a large crowd and national television audience, but both are heightened when a horse has won the first two legs of the crown. While dozens of horses have won both the Derby and Preakness, only 12 have managed to sweep the three Triple Crown events. Since 2000, Smarty Jones (2004), Big Brown (2008), (I'll Have Another 2012), California Chrome (2014), and American Pharoah (2015) all won the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Only American Pharoah would go on to win the Belmont, making him the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978.
Belmont Stakes Picks
The Belmont Stakes is an intriguing race for handicappers and prognosticators to ponder given the multiple variables involved. In years where a horse is going for the elusive Triple Crown, bettors must first consider the taxing effort required to win all three races with a tired horse often facing much fresher rivals. The mile and one-half distance of the Belmont is also quite unique given that none of the participants will have ever raced so far.
In fact, the mile and a half dirt race is an anomaly in American racing and only a few events each year are carded further than a mile and a quarter. This variable can often produce unpredictable results as the form of the horses doesn't necessarily translate accordingly. Breeding plays a significant role. Simply put, horses bred to run long have a distinct advantage in the Belmont Stakes. The speed of the runner - typically the most analyzed attribute - is blunted, or at least mitigated when a horse has to negotiate 12 furlongs on dirt.
Belmont Stakes Payouts
Some of the most monumental upsets and largest payouts have been produced in the Belmont Stakes. Since 2000, Sarava (2002), Birdstone (2004), Da'Tara (2008), Drosselmeyer (2010), Ruler on Ice (2011), and Creator (2016) all produced substantial mutual payouts. Among those winners, Sarava went off at 70/1, Birdstone (36/1) and Da'Tara (38/1) with the horses each spoiling Triple Crown bids from War Emblem, Smarty Jones and Big Brown respectively.
In this regard, close observers of history may choose a cautious approach before taking a very short price on the next Triple Crown hopeful.