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Thu 06/06/2024 - 11:09 EDT

Belmont Stakes 2024: Mystik Dan can get trademark rail run

The 156th edition of the Belmont Stakes happens Saturday, June 8 at Saratoga Race Course! Though the Test of the Champion is usually run at Belmont Park, that track is under construction, meaning the Belmont will be run in 2024 and 2025 at New York’s home for summer racing, the Spa.

Because of the track configuration at Saratoga, the distance of the race will be 1 ¼ miles instead of the traditional 1 ½ miles at Belmont Park. However, the race still attracted a field of the best three-year-olds in training, including Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan and Preakness winner Seize the Grey.

The spoils are rich: a newly raised $2 million purse, the blanket of carnations, and a place in horse racing history for the winner. The spoils can be just as rich for horseplayers, since the Belmont Stakes is one of the most exciting and lucrative betting opportunities of the year. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about betting the Belmont Stakes online!

Where to Bet the Belmont

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Belmont Stakes Information

The Belmont Stakes is the last of three Triple Crown races. This third and final jewel of the series is run five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, meaning it typically falls in early- to mid-June.

The Belmont Stakes began in 1868, making it the oldest of the three Triple Crown races. It has been run at four different New York tracks throughout its history: Jerome Park, Morris Park, Aqueduct, and of course Belmont Park. Saratoga, where it runs in 2024 and 2025, will mark the fifth track where it has been run.

There have been 13 Triple Crown winners to date, all of whom completed their sweep in the Belmont Stakes: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharoah (2015), and Justify (2018).

The most successful Belmont Stakes trainer to enter a horse in this year’s race is Todd Pletcher. Pletcher has trained four Belmont Stakes winners: the filly Rags to Riches (2007), Palace Malice (2013), Tapwrit (2017), and Mo Donegal (2022). Pletcher’s 2024 entrants include

Belmont Stakes Favorites

Betting favorites have won the Belmont Stakes 42% of the time, though in the last 15 years only five favorites have won the Belmont Stakes, though four of the last seven years have seen the favorite win, and in the other three of the last six years the favorite ran second.

  • 2023: Arcangelo – $17.80 (Forte second)
  • 2022: Mo Donegal – $7.20 (Favored)
  • 2021: Essential Quality – $4.60 (Favored)
  • 2020: Tiz the Law – $3.60 (Favored)
  • 2019: Sir Winston – $22.40 (Tacitus second)
  • 2018: Justify – $3.60 (Favored)
  • 2017: Tapwrit – $12.60 (Irish War Cry second)
  • 2016: Creator – $34.80 (Exaggerator eleventh)
  • 2015: American Pharoah – $3.50 (Favored)
  • 2014: Tonalist – $20.40 (California Chrome fourth)
  • 2013: Palace Malice – $29.60 (Orb third)
  • 2012: Union Rags – $7.50 (Dullahan seventh)
  • 2011: Ruler On Ice – $51.50 (Animal Kingdom sixth)
  • 2010: Drosselmeyer – $28.00 (Ice Box ninth)
  • 2009: Summer Bird – $25.80 (Mine that Bird third)

Coming into the 2024 Belmont Stakes, Sierra Leone is expected to be the favorite. Even though he will have to turn the tables on Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan, who is also expected to run, Sierra Leone has the more consistent career record and only lost by a nose in the Kentucky Derby, so he is still a logical favorite.

Belmont Stakes Horses

These are the official entrants for the 2024 Belmont Stakes, along with their post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning line odds:

  1. Seize the Grey (D. Wayne Lukas/Jaime Torres) - 8/1
  2. Resilience (Bill Mott/Junior Alvarado) - 10/1
  3. Mystik Dan (Kenny McPeek/Brian Hernandez, Jr.) - 5/1
  4. The Wine Steward (Mike Maker/Manny Franco) - 15/1
  5. Antiquarian (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) - 12/1
  6. Dornoch (Danny Gargan/Luis Saez) - 15/1
  7. Protective (Todd Pletcher/Tyler Gaffalione) - 20/1
  8. Honor Marie (Whit Beckman/Florent Geroux) - 12/1
  9. Sierra Leone (Chad Brown/Flavien Prat) - 9/5
  10. Mindframe (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.) - 7/2

The morning line can be a good guide to who is expected to take money. However, these are not guaranteed prices. Odds on track fluctuate until the moment the gates open and betting closes. Your best bet on the Belmont Stakes is to play at an online sportsbook. They offer fixed-odds wagering on major races, meaning you can lock in your Belmont Stakes odds the moment you bet.

These are the Belmont Stakes odds on leading contenders at the best online racebooks:

Sierra Leone+175+180+135
Seize the Grey+500+800+800
Mystik Dan+650+500+800

Belmont Stakes Handicapping

Belmont Stakes Best Bet

In such a competitive edition of the Belmont, it looks like Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan is going to be an overlay as the third betting choice behind Sierra Leone and Mindframe. The race should set up perfectly for him: with Seize the Gray having to deal with Dornoch, The Wine Steward, and perhaps even Mindframe, the pace scenario won’t be like the Preakness, but rather more friendly for Mystik Dan’s midpack run.

Mystik Dan To win the Belmont Stakes

The near-inside post for Mystik Dan is a dream, too. He has done his best work tracking midfield toward the inside and making a fearless inside run with jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. That sort of a trip should work in his favor again, as will the fact that he likely gets the jump on the deeper closers.

Belmont Stakes Contenders

Even though Sierra Leone will be a sharply defined favorite, he is too consistent to ignore. In five starts, he has three wins and two losses by only a nose each, including just missing to Mystik Dan in the Kentucky Derby. He should be able to do his usual dance: sustain an outside run on the far turn, keep running down the lane, and draw on his stamina to get in the frame.

Sierra Leone To win the Belmont Stakes

Two other contenders, both of whom come off of tough Kentucky Derby trips, are Honor Marie and Resilience. Honor Marie should have a better start in this smaller field than he did in the Derby, and should be able to draw on his stamina pedigree with a better-timed run. Instead of a parking-lot draw, Resilience drew close to the inside this time around, and may be able to work a sweet stalking trip like he did from the rail when winning the Wood (G2).

Honor Marie To win the Belmont Stakes

Belmont Stakes Longshot

As a maiden, Protective stands to be the longest shot on the board. However, he has strong upside. He has run third in both of his stakes starts to date. He rallied from well off the pace after a rough start in the Wood (G2), then stalked and ran on in the Peter Pan (G3). He has some tables to turn from both, but with versatility and pedigree upside with the longer trip, he can move forward at a huge price.

Belmont Stakes Picks

These are the best bets for the 2024 Belmont Stakes:

  • $20 to win - #3 Mystik Dan
  • $1 exacta key - #3 Mystik Dan with #2 Resilience, #8 Honor Marie, #9 Sierra Leone
  • $1 trifecta key - #3 Mystik Dan with #2 Resilience, #7 Protective, #8 Honor Marie, #9 Sierra Leone
  • 20 cent superfecta key - #3 Mystik Dan with #2 Resilience, #7 Protective, #8 Honor Marie, #9 Sierra Leone