Belmont Stakes Betting Guide

Racing preview, predictions and odds

Every year in June, horses thunder down “the Championship Track” at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY.

The Belmont Stakes is a Grade 1 race of 1.5 miles (or 12 furlongs). It is also the third jewel in the glittering Triple Crown series. In fact, the Belmont Stakes is the final test for competitors going for the coveted Triple Crown win.

The Stakes’ run date is after the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

The Belmont Stakes is the final “Test of the Champion” that has had many legendary horses run on its historic track over the years. Nearly every American champion horse in the history of US racing has competed on the legendary Belmont Track.

In the tradition of the names for its Triple Crown predecessors, the Belmont Stakes is also known as “the Run for the Carnations,” following the Kentucky Derby’s roses and the Preakness Stakes’ black-eyed Susans.

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Belmont Stakes traditions

The Belmont Stakes is known to be the longest and most difficult of the Triple Crown races.

The winning horse of the Belmont Stakes is draped with a blanket of white carnations upon victory. By contrast, the Kentucky Derby uses roses, while the Preakness Stakes uses black-eyed Susans. The “blanket” is approximately 700 carnations and weighs around 40 pounds; the carnations imported from Columbia.

Also, the winner is presented with the famous trophy designed by Paulding Farnham and Tiffany & Co.

The Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes have traditions more or less set in stone. The Belmont Stakes, on the other hand, is a little more lax when it comes to fanfare.

The post-parade song for the race was the Sidewalks of New York until 1996. The following year it was New York, New York, by Frank Sinatra, in an attempt to draw in younger fans.

In 2010, the parade song was changed once again, this time to Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind, which was not well-received, and so New York, New York made a comeback.

No race in the Triple Crown has a more modern feel than the Belmont Stakes. However, don’t let the 21st-century edge of this race fool you. The race is as grueling as it gets when it comes to being the first horse past the finishing post.

Best betting sites for the Belmont Stakes

The betting sites that we’ve compiled for you are some of the best online horse race sites in the US.

Betting on the Belmont can be a high-stakes, high-excitement and high-stress affair. Don’t worry; we’re here to help new and experienced bettors place wagers to secure their best chance of winning.

Every site we present covers not only the Belmont Stakes but also every major horse racing event around the world. From Australia to the UK, you don’t have to miss a single moment of horse racing if you follow the betting coverage on these sites.

Placing bets on horse races has a learning curve, but we’ve got that covered as well. These sites are perfect for novices and season pros. Furthermore, each site can help of-age gamblers place an informed bet with the best odds.

Please note, however, that in some states in the US, online horse betting is illegal. You should take a moment to brush up on your local legislation to make sure you can legally bet on horses online.

How to bet on the Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is a big deal, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It might not be quite as prominent as the Kentucky Derby, but it’s no less action-packed. With a race as big as this one, there are several ways to get in on the action.

Here’s how you can lay down a wager on the most challenging race in the Triple Crown.

Online betting

Since horses were domesticated, humans have raced and placed bets on horse races.

The tradition and culture of horse racing have ancient roots, and major racing events are in almost every part of the world. The US boasts a rich history of horse racing with the Triple Crown series being the oldest sporting event in the country’s history.

In most places in the US, online betting is legal, while betting at the racetrack is legal everywhere in the US. Thanks to the internet, you can place a bet on your favorite horses from anywhere with internet or cell signal.

This technology enables you to place your real-money wagers on high-stakes races such as the Belmont Stakes. Online betting is the easiest way to get the best odds and broadest markets.

Betting at a teller

In the US, it’s completely legal to place horse racing bets with the teller at the racetrack.

Betting at the teller is the most traditional way of betting, after all, though it’s arguably more complicated and outdated than betting online.

Newcomers may be self-conscious or take too long to place a bet; however, there’s an easy way around this. When you’re placing a bet at the teller at Belmont, follow this formula so that the transaction is quick and easy.

Give the teller the following information:

  • First, the racetrack and race number (if you’re not at the racetrack in question, instead of betting at a different track).
  • Then, your bet amount and what type of bet you’re wagering.
  • Lastly, the horse’s program number.

Follow that order, and you can’t go wrong when betting on the Belmont Stakes.

Most importantly, keep your bet slip safe in your pocket or hatband, as you cannot collect any winnings without it.

Off track betting

Off-track betting (OTB) facilities are great if you can’t get to the physical track and don’t want to bet online. OTBs allow you to place your bet on your favorite horse to win, place or show — or whatever bet you fancy — at the Belmont Stakes.

Off-track betting takes place at secure locations, no matter if you’re gearing for a big win at Belmont or just an everyday bet on a track somewhere in the world.

Think betting on the Belmont Stakes is a one-dimensional affair? Think again, as the door has been blown wide open in recent years.

You can now bet on the biggest horse races in the world in several ways. Online, off-track or directly at the teller, you have three easy ways to get in on the betting action.

Is it legal to bet on the Belmont Stakes?

Gambling is a tradition in a lot of societies, and especially in the US. However, recent legislation has cracked down on online betting, which has made it difficult for bettors to place bets at certain websites.

Plenty of legal options are available though, as exceptions were made for horse racing. The 1978 Interstate Horse Racing Act has made placing bets on horse races physically judicial across the board for adults. That said, the permissible adult is up to the state.

For instance, some states require you to be at least 18 years, while others require you to be 21 years or older.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 also made exceptions for horse racing and allowed states to choose their legislation on online horse betting for races.

Currently, 39 states allow online betting on horse racing. For nine others, offshore betting sites are an option because there aren’t any federal regulations for placing bets on websites with online racebooks outside the country.

For residents of Washington state and Connecticut, you are all out of luck. All forms of online betting are illegal in these states, including offshore betting sites.

Types of bets at the Belmont Stakes

There are a few types of bets you can place in the Belmont Stakes and on horse racing, in general.

The three straight bets are win, place and show.

The basic wager types don’t require much of an explanation. Win bet is to win, place bet is to finish first or second, and the show bet is to finish third, fourth or higher.

Exotic wagers can get you a bigger payout, but the chances of winning them are lower.

The exotic bets are where things get interesting, as the odds can skyrocket in a flash.

Placing an exacta bet means betting on two horses to win in the correct order.

Meanwhile, a trifecta bet is the same wager with three horses.

The superfecta bet is betting on four horses in the correct order.

The super high five bet is, you guessed it, wagering on five horses in the correct order.

These are the core exotic bets. However, there is a world of bets beyond this that a little research will uncover.

Past winners of the Belmont Stakes

The USA’s most famous horse race is the first of the Triple Crown races, namely the Kentucky Derby.

Nevertheless, the Belmont Stakes is known among the professionals in the horse racing business as the “Test of the Champion.” The field is the smallest (usually) of the Triple Crown, as only the best thoroughbreds compete.

The earliest years of the Belmont Stakes was held at Jerome Park Racetrack. The inaugural race in 1867 was won by a filly, Ruthless, and was held every year in that location until 1890.

Morris Park Racecourse hosted the Belmont Stakes until 1905, after which the race found its home at Belmont Park on Long Island.

Since the arrival at Belmont Park, winning times amongst winners have become more consistent as you can see in the table of winners we’ve outlined below:


Belmont Stakes odds

The Belmont Stakes is the most grueling horse race of all the Triple Crown races.

For that reason and a whole bunch of others, you can expect the betting field to be fierce on post-time. Helping you make heads or tails of what’s happening, we’ve found the best odds on the runners and riders.

If you have your eye on a particular horse (or you want to cast an eye over the field) make sure you check out what’s below before you place a bet anywhere:


How the Belmont Stakes race runs

The Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes, hosts a dirt track that measures 1.5 miles. The race, as a result, is precisely one lap around the track.

It is also one of the fairest tracks, although the inside lane seems the most favorable. After all, most of the winners of the Belmont Stakes started in rail position, as of the 2013 race. This is twice the number that any other post has produced in terms of winning horses.

The Triple Crown races are a formidable test for only the best racehorses and are accentuated by them taking place so close to each other. The Kentucky Derby is held two weeks before Preakness Stakes, which is three weeks before Belmont Stakes.

To protect the horses who race all three, Belmont Park keeps its track at its best, so the horses have a decent chance to run without injury. Still, its surface can be exhausting to the horses. Nicknamed “Big Sandy,” it has foiled many would-be winners in wet conditions.

The Belmont Park grounds crew are some of the best in the business.

But, as John Forbes pointed out in a 2015 interview with, the Belmont Stakes is the farthest of the races, and the horses who compete will never run a race like it again.

The deep track makes it tiring for the horses and drives home the intensity of the race. Winning the Belmont Stakes is not an easy feat.

How to watch the Belmont Stakes

NBC is the primary place to view all of the Triple Crown races, including the Belmont Stakes. If you prefer to stream it, you can find it live on NBC TV or your smartphone through the NBC Sports app.

Given its stature in the US, millions will be watching it live.

Also, you don’t need to worry about missing this race if you’re away from your computer.

VPNs are an option for horse race enthusiasts outside of the US, and they aren’t nearly as complicated as many think they are.

Nevertheless, if you are OK to forgo the original US coverage, you should be able to find local coverage online, especially if you are in the UK and Canada.

History of the Belmont Stakes

The three Triple Crown races are the oldest sporting events in the US.

Of the three, the Kentucky Derby holds the crown for the longest-running of them all. As mentioned, the Belmont Stakes is the last to run. However, most people don’t realize that it was also the first of the Triple Crown races to be run at all.

First ran in 1867

The inaugural race was run in 1867, which was won by Ruthless. The horse was one of only 23 fillies to compete in the Belmont Stakes, and one of only three ever to win it.

The Belmont Stakes would find challenges in securing a permanent location. It moved to Morris Park in 1890, to Belmont Park in 1905 and then briefly to Aqueduct Racetrack from 1963-67, while the Belmont Track underwent restoration and much-needed renovations.

Also, the Belmont Stakes ran into trouble with New York laws, leading to the 1895 race being postponed until November. From 1911-12, anti-gambling laws then saw the Belmont Racetrack closed and events canceled.

These are the years that allowed the Kentucky Derby to claim its title as the longest-running sports event in the US. While this knocked Belmont Stakes down a couple of pegs, it’s certainly not the case that this race remained in the shadows.

Named after August Belmont

Belmont Stakes is named for the founder of the race itself, a New York businessman named August Belmont.

His son, August Belmont Jr., built Belmont Park in 1905 in honor of his father, where the race has found its home. That’s save for its brief vacation to the Aqueduct Racetrack. It’s a fitting name for a race that’s shown its ability to stand the test of time, too, with its place in the Triple Crown series.

Furthermore, it was not known as the Triple Crown until 1935. That is when horse Omaha completed all three races, following in his father Gallant Fox’s footsteps, who claimed the crown in 1930.

As the term began to be used, the title was retroactively bestowed on the first winner of the Triple Crown, Sir Barton, who completed the feat for the first time in 1919.

Triple Crown dates

Originally, the date of the Triple Crown races fluctuated from year to year. Consequently, the Preakness and the Belmont stakes have been run before the Kentucky Derby a few times.

Twice, in 1917 and 1922, the Derby and the Preakness ran on the same day. In fact, Belmont ran before the Preakness 11 times before the official Triple Crown order was established in 1931.

The Kentucky Derby occurs annually on the first Saturday of May, while the Preakness occurs two weeks after, and the Belmont three weeks after that (five weeks after the Derby).

Therefore, the earliest the Belmont Stakes is held is June 5, while the latest is June 11. These dates mark the end of the Triple Crown series for that year.

‘The Test of the Champion’

The Belmont Stakes is a race of extreme length.

The current 1.5 miles distance was established in 1926. As a result, the Belmont has earned the nickname of “the Test of the Champion,” as it is the final step for horses to claim the Triple Crown, provided they’ve won the Derby and Preakness.

It’s in the years that a Triple Crown is at stake that interest in the Belmont is high. The biggest crowds were in the years of 2002-04. During that time, three horses came close to the Crown, only to lose it at Belmont Stakes.

Before that, the record was 80,000 people to see Canonero in 1971. He, unfortunately, also lost the Crown due to a foot infection.

Winning the Triple Crown is the ultimate glory in US horse racing, but it’s no easy feat. Many a champion has fallen short at the Belmont Stakes.

So, if you plan on betting on this illustrious race, prepare yourself for heart-beating, pulse-racing action, as it’s a wild two minutes.

Belmont Stakes FAQ

When is the Belmont Stakes?

The date of the Belmont Stakes race depends on the date of the Kentucky Derby. After all, Belmont is always five weeks after the Derby and three after the Preakness Stakes. Annually, the Belmont will take place on a Saturday in June, either the first or the second. The races are spaced so that the top thoroughbred horses in the country can compete in all three, giving them the chance for the Triple Crown.

How many horses run in the race?

The Belmont Stakes has a field which hosts somewhere between 10 and 20 horses. 2019 saw 10 in the field this year. It’s safe to say that the prior races in the Triple Crown have the power to trim the field before the Belmont Stakes rolls around.

How much does the winner of the Belmont Stakes get?

As the last leg of the Triple Crown and the longest length race of the three, the Belmont Stakes offers some hefty winnings for the champion. The prize money for 2019 was $1.5 million. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Derby offers up $3 million in winnings to be divided among the top finishers.

What kind of race is it?

The Belmont Stakes is a Grade 1 stakes dirt race. It is run for three-year-old thoroughbred racehorses, like the rest of the Triple Crown races.

When is the post time?

Post time for the Belmont Stakes is usually around 6:38 pm ET.

How many fillies have won the Belmont Stakes?

The long distance of the Belmont Stakes is difficult for many horses to traverse. Only 23 fillies have competed in the history of the race, and only 3 have taken home a victory. In 1867, the first race for the Belmont Stakes, Ruthless was declared the winner. The next filly to win was Tanya in 1905. And 102 years later, Rags to Riches claimed her place as the third victor of the Belmont Stakes. The last filly to run in the Belmont Stakes was Unlimited Budget in 2013, who finished in sixth place.

How much are Belmont Stakes tickets?

The Belmont Stakes is not as big a draw for crowds as the other races of the Triple Crown. You therefore don’t see the exorbitant ticket prices of the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes. You can expect ticket prices for the Belmont Stakes to start somewhere between $10-20 for general admission, and go up for clubhouse or grandstand seats. The view of the track can also increase your ticket price, up to somewhere around $120. The Belmont Stakes is able to provide good bang for your buck.

How long does the Belmont Stakes last?

The race for the Belmont Stakes lasts approximately 2 and a half breathtaking, exhilarating minutes.

Who was the fastest horse to win the Belmont Stakes?

The legend of Secretariat has been told throughout horse racing for years now. Needless to say, he has more than earned his place as the greatest thoroughbred racer of all time. Secretariat holds the fastest time record for 2:24 flat, set in the 1973 race. He also set time records for fastest .5 mile, ¾ mile, and 1 ¼ mile in the history of all Belmont Stakes races.

The same year Secretariat secured victory at the Belmont Stakes, he also blitzed his way to the Triple Crown. In addition, that record placed him firmly in legendary status, as of the retroactive reward of the Preakness record in 2012. That’s because Secretariat officially holds the speed records for all three Triple Crown races. The record has yet to be beaten, simply because no one has come even close. No other horse has finished in less than 2:26 at Belmont Stakes, with Easy Goer (1989) holding the speed record behind this legendary horse.

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