2024 Belmont Stakes: Will Mystik Dan Join Seize the Grey for the ‘Test of a Champion’?

Seize the Grey Mystik Dan
Jockey Jaime Torres riding Seize the Grey #6 leads #5 Mystik Dan as they approach the finish line during the 149th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2024. Samuel Corum/Getty Images/AFP

The Belmont Stakes is the culmination of the Triple Crown season series. Even when the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes crown different champions, as they did this year, the Belmont still commands attention, especially from New York state horse racing fans.

Winning the “Test of a Champion,” as the Belmont Stakes is commonly known, resonates with racing fans for generations and secures a place in history for the horse, jockey, trainer and owner, with the latter three never forgetting the accomplishment.

Our guide to this major horse race will spotlight the top betting sites for Belmont Stakes wagers. We’ll break down the key horse racing betting options available for the race and explain some of the intricacies. Read on to discover more about online horse racing betting on the Belmont Stakes.

When is the Belmont Stakes?

The 2024 Belmont Stakes takes place on Saturday, June 8. The race is traditionally held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. 

  • Track: Saratoga Race Course*
  • Race: 13
  • Post Time: 7:01 PM ET
  • Race Status: Grade 1
  • Distance: 1-1/4 miles*
  • Conditions: Dirt
  • Purse: $2,000,000
  • Track: Left-handed

2024 Belmont Stakes Betting Facts

The Belmont Stakes presents an intriguing paradigm shift in 2024 and 2025. As avid long-time followers of the sport know, the long-revered Belmont’s 12-furlong marathon, a grueling test of stamina for even the most seasoned contenders, will not be in play for the next two years.

The upcoming relocation of the Belmont festivities is to Saratoga Race Course. This will result in a reduction of distance to 10 furlongs (same as the Kentucky Derby). This will undoubtedly rub some folks the wrong way, yet, in truth, that only matters if a horse captures the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Luckily, that’s not the case this year.

Saratoga Race Course Belmont Stakes
Thoroughbreds race at Saratoga Race Course during opening weekend of the thoroughbred racing season 27 July, 2003 in Saratoga Springs, New York. Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP

Where to Bet the Belmont Stakes




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Be sure to review the Preakness Stakes betting options available in your state, as they can vary by location. For example, Bet365 offers fixed odds in Colorado (see our Bet365 Review), so it’s crucial to explore what your local providers are allowed to offer.

2024 Belmont Stakes Probable Starters

The field is just beginning to take shape, but a few horses have already been confirmed for the 2024 Belmont Stakes. Notably, Seize the Grey, fresh off a victory in the Preakness Stakes, is set to compete. Below, we’ve provided a list of probable starters.

Horse Trainer Last Race / Result WPS Record Last Speed
Sierra Leone Chad Brown 2nd Kentucky Derby (G1) (5) 3-2-0 102
Fierceness Todd Pletcher 15th Kentucky Derby (G1) (6) 3-0-1 74
Seize The Grey D. Wayne Lukas 1st Preakness Stakes (G1) (10) 4-0-3 95
Honor Marie Whit Beckman 8th Kentucky Derby (G1) (6) 2-2-0 86
West Saratoga Larry Demeritte 12th Kentucky Derby (G1) (11) 2-5-1 76
Antiquarian Todd Pletcher 1st Peter Pan Stakes (G1) (4) 2-1-0 90
Batten Down William I. Mott 1st Maiden Special Weight (4) 1-1-1 94
Mystik Dan Kenny McPeek 2nd Preakness Stakes (G1) (8) 3-2-1 101
Thorpedo Anna Kenny McPeek 1st Kentucky Oaks (G1) (5) 4-1-0 96
Catching Freedom Brad Cox 3rd Preakness Stakes (G1) (7) 3-0-2 99
The Wine Steward Mike Maker 2nd Peter Pan Stakes (G1) (6) 3-3-0 97
Dornoch Danny Gargan 10th Kentucky Derby (G1) (7) 3-2-0 81
Tuscan Gold Chad Brown 4th Preakness Stakes (G1) (4) 1-0-1 93
Probable starters as of May 22nd

2024 Belmont Stakes Early Preview

First off, a potential clash between the Kentucky Derby victor, Mystik Dan, and the Preakness Stakes champion, Seize the Grey, could steal the spotlight. On Tuesday, May 21st, Seize the Grey’s trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, confirmed the horse’s bid for the double. Meanwhile, Mystik Dan has already been shipped to Saratoga, although a final decision is pending. 

While this year may not crown a Triple Crown victor, the Belmont Stakes already boasts a formidable lineup of contenders. Another confirmed entry is Derby runner-up Sierra Leone.

A notable change for this year’s event is the venue, with the race taking place at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, due to ongoing renovations at the traditional Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Consequently, the race distance will be adjusted to 1-1/4 miles from the traditional 1-1/2 miles.

Bigger Purse

Additionally, the stakes are higher this year, with the purse now standing at $2 million. It’s worth noting that Saratoga Race Course, often dubbed “The House of Upsets,” has a history of surprising outcomes.

Historically, even renowned champions like Man o’ War (suffering his sole defeat in 1919), Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox (1930) and the legendary Secretariat (1973) have faced defeat here. More recently, in 2015, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah experienced his second career loss at this track.

Sierra Leone #2, ridden by jockey Tyler Gaffalione (L) and Forever Young #11, ridden by jockey Ryusei Sakai cross the finish line second and third in the150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 04, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Belmont’s Historical Legacy is Often Unforgettable

For horse racing handicappers, delving into the Belmont’s rich history evokes a profound sense of reverence. Dating back to 1867, this storied race predates its Triple Crown counterparts, serving as a beacon of tradition and excellence in the sport.

Iconic moments like Secretariat’s awe-inspiring dominance in 1973 are still regularly watched on YouTube by fans of the sport.

The unforgettable duel between Affirmed and Alydar in 1978 exemplifies the timeless allure of the Belmont Stakes, especially with the Triple Crown on the line as it was that day.

More modern race fans saw something in 2015 that had not occurred in a generation of watching Triple Crown races when American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes, ending a period of 37 long years of one horse winning all three major races.

Belmont Stakes Fascinating Facts

  • The Belmont Stakes is older than the Kentucky Derby or Preakness
  • The Belmont Stakes (1867) is the fourth oldest stakes race in North America, originally the Phoenix Stakes, at Keeneland (1831); the Queen’s Plate in Canada (1860); and the Travers at Saratoga (1864).
  • The original Belmont Stakes was even longer at a mile and 5/8 and was not reduced to a mile and ½ until 1927.
  • From its origin until 1921, the Belmont was run counter-clockwise (like various non-North American race tracks do).
  • The winner of the 1999 Belmont Stakes was a name for the ages: Lemon Drop Kid, owned by Jeanne Vance, and the future winner of the Travers, Whitney and Woodward. The Lemon Drop Kid is a 1951 comedy film starring Bob Hope as a racetrack tout; it is based on the short story of the same name by Damon Runyon.
  • After the 2018 Belmont Stakes, Justify was retired to follow Seattle Slew as the only Triple Crown winners to take the title without having lost a race. Justify won all six of his career starts.
  • Trainer Jena Antonucci when Arcangelo stormed up the rail to capture the 2023 Belmont Stakes, marking the first time in history that a female trainer had won a Triple Crown race.

The Belmont Still Matters Even Without a Triple Crown on the Line

In the history of horse racing and handicapping, there have only been 13 horses that won the Belmont after winning the Derby and Preakness.

That rarity is brought to life knowing there were 23 other instances of a three-year-old horse capturing the initial two races only to come up short in the longest and toughest one. Though we don’t know at the time this article was posted, the hope is the Kentucky Derby will join the Preakness winner to run at Saratoga generating the possibility of another head-to-head duel we saw in Baltimore.

If one of those champions would win the Belmont, he’s a contender for Horse of the Year.

Belmont Stakes Post Time

As of May 22nd, 2024, the post position for the 155th Belmont Stakes is yet to be officially announced, however, it’s believed that it will be the same as last year.

Nine horses vied for victory on the second weekend in June, with the Belmont Stakes starting at 6:50 P.M. local time (EST) on Saturday, June 10, 2023.

Track conditions for the 2023 Belmont Stakes were quite unusual. Belmont Park, located in Elmont, New York, just east of New York City, faced challenges due to smoke from Canadian wildfires, which resulted in potentially hazardous air quality. Racing was canceled on Thursday before the race due to air quality concerns, but conditions improved enough for the horses to run on time. On Thursday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) registered a concerning 155 (where the ideal range is 0-50), but it dropped to as low as 57 on Friday.

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority mandates that if the AQI exceeds 100, officials must “monitor the facility daily if the AQI consistently reaches 100 and there is cause for concern in the local environment.” Governor Kathy Hochul announced that if the AQI surpassed 200 on Saturday, the event would need to be postponed.

Fortunately, the race proceeded as scheduled. It was broadcast on FOX Sports, with some online sports betting sites offering streams and replays of the event.

Arcangelo with Javier Castellano up wins the 155th Running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 10, 2023 in Elmont, New York. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Belmont Stakes Betting Odds

Immediately following the post position draw, the track handicapper will release the Morning Line odds. These odds represent the handicapper’s best estimate of the pari-mutuel payout each horse will offer, and are only available for win bets.

Bets placed on race day will be settled based on the pari-mutuel dividends for each market, with the tote board displaying the payout for each $1, $2, or $0.50 wagered.

Types of Bets Available at Belmont Stakes

You can choose from a wide range of straight bets and exotic wagers on Belmont Stakes Day. Here are the key online betting options that racebooks release after the post positions are revealed:

  • Win: A simple wager on the first horse past the post, the most popular horse racing betting option.
  • Place: A wager on a horse to finish first or second.
  • Show: A wager on a horse to secure a first-place, second-place, or third-place finish.
  • Exacta: Predict the winning horse and the second-place horse in that exact order.
  • Trifecta: A wager on the winner, runner-up, and third-place horse, in that order.
  • Superfecta: A bet on the first four horses past the post.
  • Pick 3: A bet on the horse that finishes first in three consecutive races. These types of bets can also be placed on up to six races.

Belmont Stakes Post Position Draw

The post position draw date for 2024 has not been announced yet. The post position draw for the 155th Belmont Stakes took place on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, with the race run on the following Saturday, June 10, 2023.

The Belmont Stakes is typically held on the first or second Saturday in June, five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. Starting gate assignments for the race are determined by a random selection process a few days prior to the event.

In this process, numbered tokens are placed into a machine, similar to a lottery or sweepstakes draw. Representatives for each horse then draw these tokens to determine the order in which horses will choose their starting positions.

The first horse to draw gets the first choice of starting gate, and this selection process continues until all participating horses have chosen their gates.

Belmont Stakes History

The inaugural Belmont Stakes took place in 1867, established by financier and sportsman August Belmont Sr. as a gathering point for New York’s elite society. Initially, the event was small-scale, featuring only a handful of competing horses.

However, over time, the race grew in prominence, drawing larger audiences and offering higher prize money. By the early 20th century, the Belmont Stakes had become one of America’s premier sporting events, attracting thousands of spectators from around the globe.

The race has developed several traditions over the years, such as its iconic white carnations, Belmont Jewel cocktails, and the playing of “New York, New York” before the start of each race.

Since its inception in the 19th century, spectators have placed bets on horse finishes. In the early years, betting was informal, with spectators wagering among themselves. By 1910, the need for a more structured system became apparent, leading to the introduction of the pari-mutuel betting system by the New York State Racing Commission.

Since then, betting on the Belmont Stakes has grown in popularity, with millions of dollars wagered each year. From traditional win, place, and show bets to more complex bet types like exacta and trifecta, a wide array of wagering options is available to horseplayers.

Today, comparing horse betting odds across multiple online racebooks is simple; modern horse racing betting sites offer extensive tools for handicapping races and provide attractive bonuses to retain their users.

The Belmont Stakes remains the final jewel in the Triple Crown, and it will be fascinating to see how the betting landscape evolves as these incredible races continue to captivate audiences each year.

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