The 152nd running of the famous Belmont Stakes will be its most unusual yet. Instead of being the third and final leg of the Triple Crown of racing, the Belmont acts as the first in the series after the schedule had to be moved due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When looking to bet the Belmont Stakes, it’s handy to understand at least the basics. So, here’s what you need to know in advance of what promises to be an explosive racing start to the Triple Crown in 2020.
Belmont Park June 20 at 3 PM ET. The race takes place at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY on the track known as Big Sandy. It was originally set for June 6 but has been put back to the change in schedule during the fight against COVID-19.
Belmont Race Conditions As a Triple Crown race, the Belmont is only for three-year-olds. When being staged as the traditional closer to the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes usually takes place over 1½ miles but this year has been shortened to a mile and an eighth owing to the fact that these sophomores won’t be ready to tackle the longer distance having had a lack of prep. 14 starters maximum are allowed in the gate.
Belmont Park Prize Money $1,000,000 this year. It’s usually higher, but the reduction comes due to the fact that the race will be behind closed doors so no on-track betting will be taking place.
Finding Belmont picks is being helped by the fact that the Road to the Kentucky Derby is still in operation, with the rankings helping players to decide on their bets. Each horse finishing first, second, third, or fourth in official prep races is awarded points and this, along with their earnings, begins to separate out the wheat from the chaff.
The majority of money bet on this race will be going the way of traditional win, place, and show bets. While nobody will be allowed into Belmont to wager, the online action continues and it will be those using an online account who will be shaping the Belmont Stakes from an odds point of view.
Along with the win, place, and show wagers bettors can go for an Exacta or a Trifecta, these tasking you with choosing the first two or the first three to pass the wire in the right order. You can choose to pay more and ‘box’ these bets though to provide some insurance, meaning your nominated horses can finish in any order.
Plenty of other exotic bets will be offered too and given that the winning odds of Belmont Park horses can be huge, getting these wagers right can lead to a huge payday!
A lot will be said about ratings, especially speed figures in the build-up to the 2020 Belmont Stakes but in truth the stats cannot and will not tell the whole story as they never do in racing.
Make sure you’ve checked out the main contenders visually, as in the case of certain potential runners such as Maxfield it’s clear in their style of running and their frame that they will improve significantly as time goes on, so factor this in when betting in this race as well as the Derby and the Preakness.
Belmont Stakes odds, much like those for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, are shaped around the performances a horse puts up within the best recognized trials.
In a normal year, there is no better guide to the Belmont than the other two Triple Crown events but this time around it could pay to check the odds of your chosen horse against what it achieved in one of these past races:
American Pharoah Stakes Formerly the FrontRunner Stakes, this Grade I event is one of the key juvenile races of the season, won last year by Bob Baffert’s Eight Rings.
Champagne Stakes Another Grade I juvenile event, the significance of this race is that it is run at Belmont making it the ideal early prep. Tiz The Law, currently high up in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings, won the race last season.
Breeders’ Futurity Stakes Staged at Keeneland, the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity is a huge event and was taken in impressive fashion by Maxfield in 2019 who is expected to feature highly among handicapper’s picks for the Belmont itself.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile The premier juvenile race of the season, the winner of this often heads the betting for the Triple Crown over the winter however 2019 was not a vintage year in all truth, outsider Storm The Court taking the race.
Fountain of Youth Stakes The Grade II race at Gulfstream is the usual precursor to the Florida Derby and has been proven to provide plenty of Derby, Preakness and Belmont placed horses in the past. Ete Indien was this year’s winner.
Louisiana Derby This recognized Grade II prep was taken by Wells Bayou, a horse doing well in the Triple Crown standings and perhaps a live outsider for the Belmont.
Florida Derby The Grade I Florida Derby is one of the strongest pre-Derby races on the calendar for sophomores, won in 2020 by Tiz The Law with Ete Indien back in third, something that makes the form line look really solid.
Arkansas Derby Split into two divisions in 2020 due to it being oversubscribed after the cancellation of many other Triple Crown preps, the Arkansas Derby was won by the Bob Baffert pair of Nadal and Charlatan who both put in professional performances.
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