After the amazing celebrations that greeted the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes last year, the juggernaut continues with New York looking at the next 150 years of this wonderful mile-and-a-half race.
Known to race goers as the “Run for the Carnations”, the Belmont Stakes is a true test of a thoroughbred champion and forms the final part of the Triple Crown, won in the past by such greats as Seattle Slew, Secretariat, Affirmed and in 2018, Justify.
The world record for this distance on dirt is held by a Belmont winner in fact after Secretariat’s dazzling display back in 1973, a performance that still ranks as one of the best horse racing performances of all time.
Belmont Stakes 2019 post times, contenders and odds will all be available on our dedicated pages as the race draws near.
2019 Belmont Stakes betting really gets going in earnest right after the Kentucky Derby is run on May 4 and by the time the Preakness Stakes [link to ‘Preakness Stakes 2019’ page] is completed, we should know our Belmont Favorite and whether or not there is a chance of a 14th Triple Crown star.
Those previous Triple Crown legs will determine the shape of the betting for this race but whatever happens to the odds list between now and then, you’d be wise to get clued up on how to bet the race and we’re here to guide you through.
If it’s not feasible to be in New York to see this all play out in front of you, at the very least you can be one of the estimated 20 million TV viewers watching on from afar and to go along with that you can fully play your part in the experience by betting the race.Here’s an explanation of the main bet types on offer:
WIN – Your chosen horse must win the race outright for you to be paid.
PLACE – This time your pick must finish in the first two.
SHOW – Your horse must finish in the first three to get a return
On the Pari Mutuel system, your return depends on how much money is in the betting pot overall, divided by how many bets are placed on your horse.With this in mind, the highest payouts are generally on win bets as this is the hardest bet of the three to get right, the second highest returns are on place bets and the lowest returns are on show bets.
Should you wish to make things a little more interesting in the Belmont Stakes betting you could try an Exacta.Placing an exacta involves picking two horses and they must finish first and second in the correct nominated order for you to get paid.
Payouts on correct exactas can be pretty big but if you are confident in your two picks but not in the order they’ll come home in, you can box this bet.Boxing the bet means you pay double, but it doesn’t matter in which order your two horses finish so long as they are first and second.
To go for an even bigger pay day you may try a Trifecta bet too.The rules are the same as above, only this time you’re picking out three horses to finish 1-2-3 in the exact order.Once more you can pay extra to box the bet so that they may finish in the first three in any order.
The Superfecta is run under the same conditions but involves four horses; get that right and you have the right to either call yourself a pro or at least count your lucky stars!
It’s a great thrill to bet the Belmont Stakes and really feel involved in it all, especially if you can be present to walk up to the teller and collect your cash in person.You don’t have to be at the venue to do this though and in fact you can bet the race right here at TVG.
You can always read up on the form of each intended runner to check out their relative strengths and weaknesses, take note of workout times and check on the breeding to see who may be suited to this brutal mile-and-a-half distance but by checking back right here you can get all the information you need as we approach go time in New York.
With any luck after the Preakness Stakes is run at Pimlico on May 18 we will still be on course to see another Triple Crown champion.The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the series, staged on May 4, but already the anticipation is growing towards what should be a great day at Belmont Park.
Over the winter and all through spring we have dozens of well bred horses all touted as potential Triple Crown and Classic contenders by their connections but by the time the Belmont rolls around we truly know who the best three-year-olds in the country are.
The Kentucky Derby takes place over 1¼ miles, the Preakness over a mile and an eighth while this race is run over a stamina-sapping 1½ miles meaning not only the best, but also only the toughest and most versatile horses have a chance of landing the title.
Only the best and the toughest come to Belmont Park each year in June to contest this race which has led to it being known over the years as the Test of the Champion.Given its place in the racing calendar, the Belmont Stakes is synonymous with the world famous Triple Crown series and is now in its 151st year.
The Belmont Stakes has been a popular fixture on the racing schedule since way back in 1868, staged originally at Jerome Park and Morris Park until it found its current and permanent home at Belmont in 1905.
When anti-gambling legislation was passed, Belmont Park was closed between 1911 and 1912 with the result being that this race was cancelled though happily it quickly returned and history was made in 1920 when the famous Man O’War won the race by 20 lengths, setting a new record in doing so.
In fact, the term ‘Triple Crown’ was first coined colloquially when Gallant Fox won three big races in 1930 though it wasn’t used more widely until 1935 when Omaha repeated that success.The idea of an official Triple Crown title then evolved and so Sir Barton was retroactively given the same label.
In 1931 the order of the Triple Crown became the Kentucky Derby first, the Preakness Stakes second and then finally the Belmont Stakes in June and things have remained the same to this day.
Given the grueling schedule its perhaps not a surprise that the Belmont Stakes has been a graveyard for top thoroughbreds.Between 2002 and 2004, three Belmont Stakes in a row saw horses arrive looking to land the Triple Crown having won the first two races in the shape of War Emblem, Funny Cide and Smarty Jones only to be beaten in New York.
Crowds have grown in recent times with around 100,000 people regularly attending this event and they have been treated to some great scenes; American Pharoah and Justify becoming the 12th and 13th Triple Crown winners in 2015 and 2018.
Just as is the case with the other two Triple Crown legs, three-year-olds only can enter this race with colts and geldings set to carry 126lbs and the fillies 121lbs.
The Belmont Stakes has a safety limit of 12 starters in the gate, so as you can imagine places in the final line-up for the big race are very valuable indeed.
Primarily, horses qualify for this race based on their career earnings to date and so this adds to the importance of running in the biggest races such as the Wood Memorial, Florida Derby, Preakness Stakes and of course the Kentucky Derby en route to New York.
Given the earnings on offer in the Triple Crown races, any horse which has won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes will of course be entered here and would be given the chance to become the latest Triple Crown champion just as Justify did in 2018.
The Run for the Carnations is no cheap race to enter, nor should it be with so few places on offer and so owners are expected to pony up some good money in order to have a contender at Belmont Park.
To pass the entry box, owners will need to pay up $15,000 plus another $15,000 for the final starting places.If an owner wants to be nominated for the Belmont Stakes, they may pay a huge $75,000 for the privilege though it may be worth it given the size of the purse.
In 2019 the Belmont Stakes is worth a total of $1.5million, keeping it in line with the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico but as of this year some way behind the $3million on offer for the Kentucky Derby.
Situated right on the outskirts of New York City in Elmont, Belmont Park has been open for business and hosting this race since 1905.
The main dirt track here has got not only bigger dimensions than most around the country giving it the nickname “Big Sandy”, but it also tends to be quite deep meaning the 1½ mile distance in this race really tests these young thoroughbreds out.
Huge crowds can be accommodated just as they are at both Churchill Downs and Pimlico, in fact over 120,000 were in attendance for Smarty Jones’s Triple Crown attempt back in 2004 only for Birdstone to play the villain and upset the favorite after he blew the start.
Belmont truly is one of the USA’s premier tracks and hosts not only this event but races such as the Suburban Handicap, the Mother Goose Stakes and the Man O’War Stakes among others.
Belmont Stakes betting is sure to be competitive even if there is another Triple Crown attempt but as of now, contenders for this race essentially mirror those going for the Kentucky Derby on May 4 with the race wide open.
Code Of Honor
After winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes and beating both Hidden Scroll and Vekoma in the process, this horse has announced himself as a contender but he’ll need to prove his metal if turning up at Churchill Downs.
Game Winner was the outstanding juvenile last year, winning the Del Mar Futurity, American Pharoah Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to become a three-time Grade 1 winner.His sire Candy Ride often gets horses with as much speed as stamina however which is a major doubt going into this race.
Outstanding on debut back in January at the Pegasus World Cup meet, Bill Mott’s good looking colt was slightly disappointing in the Fountain of Youth but could bounce back and may have enough stamina in his pedigree to show up well here.
As the horse who beat Mucho Gusto easily last year by 5 lengths he looks the real improver in Bob Baffert’s barn.A big prep is expected of him before the Kentucky Derby and what he does at Churchill Downs should tell us plenty about his chances in this race.
Now a Grade 3 winner, he is in this list on merit but he was well and truly put in his box by Improbable late last year and most likely ranks no better than number three in Bob Baffert’s barn full of Grade 1 hopefuls.
A Grade 3 winner, Vekoma was on many shortlists for the Kentucky Derby but could not beat Code Of Honor in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream.He is another colt by Candy Ride, leaving his stamina one again open to question despite the exploits of his daddy on the track.
War Of Will
The fact he has been worked hard so far with seven runs already to his name may not be so bad, that sort of toughness could come in handy when tackling this race and so as long as he is not completely outclassed in Louisville and Baltimore he would arrive here with a chance.
Although English and Irish trainers are increasingly looking to win the Kentucky Derby, this race could be even more in their wheelhouse so to speak given that the distance could suit some of the European-bred horses.
This was evident when Gronkowski, who had been prepared in England before moving to the States, made his comeback from injury last year in this very race and ran Justify close to finish an excellent second.
The European trainers are learning fast regarding how to prep these horses for the States and while no contender stands out just yet, keep an eye on things over in Dubai as well as in England and Ireland as something could yet emerge to challenge.We will list any horse we feel stands a chance of making the final field and landing a blow.
NBC will be showing live TV coverage of the 2019 event as always, once again looking to attract over 20 million people and you can bet Belmont Stakes viewers won’t be disappointed.
The network will of course be hoping to capture another Triple Crown winner being anointed but it will be hard to beat the spectacle of Justify taking the crown on the Belmont’s 150th running in 2018.
No longer though must we rely on getting to a television set in order to not miss one of the biggest races of the year.Advances in technology means live streaming is available now on all major sporting events, including the Belmont.
As well as live TV coverage there will be a chance to watch the Belmont Stakes via live online streaming.The race can be streamed through NBC Sports Live Extra or by using the NCB Sports Live Extra App for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
NBC’s online coverage mirrors their live televised coverage for the most part, taking in all the atmosphere and tradition of the day as well as just the racing.You may simply be asked for your TV provider and a password to access the online coverage.
There have been some amazing Belmont Stakes moments over the years beamed live to millions via TV and now online streaming.Some of the highlights are:
So soon after American Pharoah Justify became only the 13th ever Triple Crown champion, staying on resolutely to see off the opposition in a style many thought he couldn’t win in over a mile-and-a-half.Injured for the Kentucky Derby, Gronkowski took a huge step forward and filled the runner-up position.
American Pharoah (2015)
Having won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, American Pharoah came into this as the 3/4 favorite and duly landed the Triple Crown to become only the 12th such champion and the first since Affirmed in 1978.
He won this race in a time of 2:26.65 which made him the second fasted Triple Crown winner to do so (after Secretariat) and the sixth fastest overall.Over 90,000 were in attendance.
Smarty Jones came into this race as another potential Triple Crown winner and went off at very skinny odds indeed.Birdstone though came home best of all to win an enthralling contest by a length and spoil the party, his owner shouting “sorry, sorry, sorry” in the ring afterwards!
A record crowd of 120,000 saw this event, Smarty Jones for the record finishing a find second on his bid for glory after blowing the start.
Point Given (2001)
Although a disappointing fifth in the Kentucky Derby, one of the best three-year-olds of his time, Point Given, won the Preakness Stakes three weeks before this race then scorched home here in a quick time of 2:26.56 to beat A P Valentine by an amazing 12¼ lengths.
Point Given was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 and his jockey, Gary Stevens, says he was one of the best horses if this entire decade.
Editor’s Note (1996)
Ridden by Rene Douglas who stepped in after an injury to Gary Stevens, Editor’s Note had a massive stretch battle with Skip Away here which is long remembered.The win was also trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ third Belmont Stakes win in a row.
Ridden home by Steve Cauthen in a time of 2:26.80, Affirmed took part in the third slowest start in Belmont history only to run the fastest last mile in the race ever.Affirmed came home ahead of big rival Alydar to become the 3rd Triple Crown winner in six years.
Seattle Slew (1977)
Having already taken the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, Seattle Slew came into this race under huge expectation but duly obliged and in style.
Slew won this by four lengths in front of a massive crowd, becoming the 10th Triple Crown winner in history at the time and increasing his unbeaten record to nine races – the first Triple Crown winner to finish the series undefeated.
This one needs no introduction really; one of the greatest performances in racing from one of the greatest horses to grace a race track.
Our team will be on hand to offer their in-depth analysis and expert picks leading up to post time at Belmont Park and remember, you can find out who is in the running to win the 151st Belmont by checking out our dedicated contenders page [link to ‘Belmont Stakes Contenders 2019’ page].
TVG is your trusted one stop destination for legal online picks and remember; new customers are eligible for a first time deposit bonus!Tweets by TVG