Sports

2024 Belmont Stakes: How to watch, horses, odds, favorites

The 156th running of the $2 million Belmont Stakes takes place Saturday at Saratoga Race Course in New York. It is the 12th of 14 races scheduled at Saratoga that day.

Coverage of the early races will begin on FS1 at 10:30 a.m. ET and Belmont Stakes coverage will air from 4 to 7 p.m. ET on FOX.

Post time is 6:41 p.m. ET.

What is the Belmont?

The Belmont Stakes is known as the final jewel of the Triple Crown, a series of races for 3-year-old horses run on three tracks over five weeks. The Triple Crown consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

There will be no Triple Crown attempt this year after Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan was upset by Seize the Grey at the Preakness.

What’s the story this year?

This is the first time since 2013 that the Kentucky Derby winner and the Preakness winner will both race in the Belmont Stakes. Preakness winner Oxbow was second to Derby winner Palace Malice that year, and Oxbow’s former trainer D. Wayne Lukas will attempt to take both the Preakness and Belmont this year with his horse Seize the Grey.

The last horse to sweep the Preakness and Belmont after failing to win the Kentucky Derby was Afleet Alex in 2005.

Seize the Grey gave the 88-year-old Lukas his seventh Preakness win, but he’ll face some tough competition in this race against Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan and runner-up Sierra Leone, who is the 9-5 morning line favorite.

What happened last year?

Arcangelo defeated favored Forte by a length, making Jena Antonucci the first woman to train a winner of a Triple Crown race.

Forte was set to be the favorite at the Kentucky Derby last year before being scratched for medical reasons. He went on to win the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga before being retired.

Arcangelo, who also did not race in the Kentucky Derby, came to the Belmont after a win in the Peter Pan Stakes, which is same route Antiquarian is attempting to take this year.

Arcangelo went on to win the Travers at Saratoga and was retired. He won the Eclipse Award for the best 3-year-old male horse in 2023.

What’s new this year?

The Belmont has been moved upstate to Saratoga Race Course because of renovations at Belmont Park that include the demolition of the current grandstand that opened in 1968, marking the first time it will not be run at Belmont Park since 1967. The race moved to Aqueduct Racetrack from 1963-1967 during the last major renovation of Belmont Park.

The Belmont is normally run at 1 ½ miles, but because of the configuration of Saratoga’s smaller track, this year’s race will be run at 1 ¼ miles, the same distance as the Kentucky Derby. This is only the second time since 1926 that the race has been shortened; the 2020 race which was rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and was run at 1 ⅛ miles.

While Saratoga Race Course does not generally open until July, an exception has been made for a four-day meet called the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. The race will also be held at Saratoga in 2025.

Who are the contenders and pretenders?

There will be 10 horses running in the Belmont Stakes this year, including Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan and Preakness winner Seize the Gray. Sierra Leone, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby, returns to the Triple Crown trail after skipping the Preakness.

Seize the Grey (8-1)

play

1:06

The numbers behind Seize the Grey’s Preakness Stakes win

Check out the best numbers from the Preakness Stakes that saw Seize the Grey beat Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan for the win.

Terrell: Seize the Grey took an early lead on a muddy track and never gave it up to win the Preakness for his second straight graded stakes win. He likely won’t get an easy lead in the Belmont Stakes with more speed horses in the race.

Marks: Seize the Grey got the perfect ride in the Preakness and didn’t face a lot of pressure. Expect more pace in the Belmont and the distance is greater than in the Preakness, which is not to his benefit. Drawing the rail will help him save ground, however, and trainer D. Wayne Lukas is one of the best in the business.

Resilience (10-1)

Terrell: Trainer Bill Mott initially indicated his colt would skip the Belmont and try his hand at shorter distances after finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby. He changed his mind after watching the colt train for the past few weeks.

Marks: Resilience ran better than he looked in the Derby, from the No. 18 post. He had a lot of work to do and still finished sixth. He will be wearing blinkers for the third straight race, and it has helped him in the past, including at the Wood Memorial in April.

Mystik Dan (5-1)

Terrell: Mystik Dan finished second in the Preakness despite his trainer’s concerns about his ability to bounce back on two weeks of rest after the Kentucky Derby.

Marks: Mystik Dan had the perfect trip in the Kentucky Derby, finished second in the Preakness and loves running on a sloppy track. The distance of the Belmont suits him better at 10 furlongs instead of 12, but this will be his third race in five weeks.

The Wine Steward (15-1)

Terrell: The Wine Steward has finished second in all three of his graded stakes attempts dating back to last October.

Marks: This is a New York-bred horse who finished second in the Lexington and Peter Pan Stakes. He races better on a shorter distance. If this was eight furlongs, I’d like The Wine Steward more, but he will likely still be a home crowd favorite Saturday.

Antiquarian (12-1)

Terrell: Antiquarian is one of three horses trained by Todd Pletcher in this race. His lone win of the year was in the Peter Pan Stakes, where he beat several other horses that he’ll be facing in this one.

Marks: Antiquarian’s win in the Peter Pan Stakes was impressive and he has won on a sloppy track before. He has improved since that win and should be competitive in the Belmont.

Dornoch (15-1)

Terrell: Dornoch finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness. His best races this year are wins in the Fountain of Youth and Blue Grass Stakes.

Marks: Dornoch didn’t get a good ride in the Derby but he the son of Good Magic and the brother to Mage, last year’s Derby winner. He has the speed to press and give Seize the Grey a good challenge.

Protective (20-1)

Terrell: Jockey Tyler Gaffalione switches from Sierra Leone, whom he rode in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, to Todd Pletcher trainee Protective, who finished third in the Peter Pan Stakes on May 11. Protective has yet to win a race in four lifetime starts but has never finished worse than third. At 20-1, he is expected to be one of the longest shots in the race.

Marks: The Belmont will be Protective’s first Grade 1 race. He should be comfortable at this distance and his owner Mike Repole will be hoping for a win after his other horse, Fierceness, struggled to contend at the Preakness.

Honor Marie (12-1)

Terrell: Honor Marie will be a long shot after an eighth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby where he was jostled hard coming out of the gate. This colt’s best race this year was a runner-up finish to Catching Freedom in the Louisiana Derby.

Marks: Honor Marie did not race in the Preakness, so having the extra rest will be an advantage. He comes from a small barn and will be a great story to follow on Saturday. While he ran well in the Louisiana Derby, Honor Marie will need a lot of speed up front to close from behind in this race.

Sierra Leone (9-5)

Terrell: Sierra Leone gets a new jockey in Flavien Prat after a controversial runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby that featured a lot of contact with third-place finisher Forever Young. Trainer Chad Brown has lost the Belmont three times, with his best finish coming from runner up Gronkowski in 2018.

Marks: Sierra Leone is the best horse racing on Saturday. He skipped the Preakness and will have extra rest entering the Belmont Stakes. While he is better suited for 12 furlongs, as opposed to 10, Sierra Leone will be outfitted with a cage bit mouthpiece to help Prat with steering.

Mindframe (7-2)

Terrell: Mindframe is the most lightly raced colt in the field. The Todd Pletcher trainee comes off a seven-length win in an allowance race at Churchill Downs on May 4.

Marks: Mindframe has only two wins, but both have been convincing. He won his first race at Gulfstream by 13 lengths and while he lacks experience, Mindframe is uber-talented. He drew the outside post so he will likely lose some ground to start, but he has the speed to get to the front. The son of Constitution could be the winner Saturday, just as fellow offspring Tiz The Law was at the 2020 Belmont Stakes.

Bets to make

Katherine Terrell’s picks

To win: Resilience, Exacta: Resilience over Sierra Leone, Trifecta: Resilience // Sierra Leone // Mystik Dan, Protective, Seize the Grey

There are some that think that Sierra Leone (9-5) would have won the Kentucky Derby if he had run straight down the stretch, and that’s reflected in his odds. Resilience finished sixth in the Derby but has been training well, offers better value, and perhaps made a move too early in the Derby. Trainer Bill Mott initially thought that he might prefer less distance, but obviously felt good enough about how he has been training to enter him into the shortened version of the Belmont.

Anita Marks’ picks

Exacta: 2, 9, 10 (Resilience, Sierra Leone, Mindframe)

Sierra Leone is the best horse in this race. He is rested and ready to go at the same distance as the Kentucky Derby. Midframe is a strong horse who could win the Belmont as well, but I’m not in love with his starting spot at the outside post. Resilience is coming into this race fresh and should have a great trip.

Articles You May Like

Sky News voter panel reacts to ‘boring’ Starmer and ‘untrustworthy’ Sunak at leaders’ event
‘These are impossible conditions’: Mother of freed hostage feared the worst for son held by Hamas
EU is expected to unveil tariff plans for Chinese EVs this week
Boy, eight, and mother in critical condition after waterpark shooting
OPEC calls for more fossil fuel investment to prevent shortfall, dismisses peak oil demand prediction