The Belmont Stakes has a safety limit of 12, so as you can imagine starting places 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, Kentucky Derby and of course the Preakness Stakes en route to New York.
Given the earnings on offer in the “classic” 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.
The Run for the Carnations is no cheap race to enter, just as it should 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.
To pass the entry box, owners will need to pay up $15,000 plus another $15,000 for the final starters. 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 if they feel they have a real contender with at least $800,000 going to the winner in prize money.
Of course, this race is only open to three-year-olds and their total weight must be 126lbs for colts and geldings, or 121lbs for fillies.
Given that these three-year-olds need to earn as much money out on the track as possible in order to earn a place in this field, their trainers will need to target the most valuable races they can qualify for at around 9 or 10 furlongs.
Here are the races to look out for early in the season when looking for potential Belmont Stakes runners:
|6||Free Drop Billy||10||$400,000|
There are plenty of other races to choose from of course, but the sheer value attached to these races means they will be targeted by most of the top trainers for their Triple Crown contenders.
Winning even one of the major prep races, such as the Blue Grass Stakes for example, before going on to win one of the Triple Crown races in either Kentucky or Maryland would pretty much guarantee a place in the Belmont Stakes field.
In England or France for example, classic fields could run right up to 20 or more with big wide turf tracks accommodating such fields, however the field in these races tends to be tight and competitive with all to play for.
There have been some great moments already in this race and this year’s renewal looks like being another classic.
Once the final field is known, our experts will be on hand to give you a more in-depth analysis of the runners and inform you how to bet the Belmont Stakes.