In terms of North American horse racing, there aren’t too many races bigger than the Belmont Stakes. The Triple Crown event has long been one of the best attended spectacles of the season, previously bringing in over 100,000 people to Belmont Park in New York. Since 2015, the capacity at the course has been capped at 90,000 due to overcrowding concerns but this is more than enough to create a rapturous atmosphere.
Nicknamed the Test of the Champion, this one and a half mile battle stands as the oldest and final leg in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. It is run at Belmont Park, a course known for being one of the fairest around thanks to its wide turns and long homestretch. Recently published data also shows that it’s one of the safest American courses too due to the meticulous way the surface is maintained.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 20th June 2020
- Winner: Tiz The Law
- SP: 4/5
- Trainer: Barclay Tagg
- Jockey: Manuel Franco
1m1f is the trip for this Grade 1 contest in the US, with the race offering a whopping $1 million in guaranteed prize money in 2020. In common with many of the top races in the States, the race takes place on a dirt surface.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Dirt||1m1f||Grade 1||$1 million||10 Runners||1/5 1-3|
Belmont Stakes Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
Many in the UK will solely be focussed on Royal Ascot this Saturday but there is a huge contest to savour from the States too. Traditionally the third and final leg of the American Triple Crown - following the Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby - this event is one of the major races of the American season. We won’t be seeing a horse land the Triple Crown in the race this year, but we do still look to have a very high quality field set to go to post.
We are also in for a unique edition of the race in 2020. Generally held over the 1m4f trip, bringing the stamina of competitors firmly into play, the reduced distance this year may just place more emphasis upon speed.
Favourite backers have found themselves out of pocket in this event over the past decade, with only two market leaders obliging over this period. With each of those winners returning an odds-on SP, supporters of the favourite have suffered a level stakes loss of just under 6.5 units, so it could well pay to look at least a little further down the betting here.
|Tiz The Law||8/11||Barclay Tagg||Manuel Franco|
|Tap It To Win||11/2||Mark Casse||John R Velazquez|
|Dr Post||15/2||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz Jnr.|
Tiz The Law (8/11)
Their record may not great in recent times, but we do look to have a solid favourite for the 2020 edition of this race, in the formidable shape of the Barclay Tagg runner, Tiz The Law. This imposing son of Constitution burst onto the scene when cantering home in a maiden at Saratoga last season and, barring one slight blip at Churchill Downs, has looked to be a star in the making.
Four from five in his career to date, this smooth traveller, boasting a distinctive white blaze across his face, has already scored twice at the highest level, including over this trip at Gulfstream Park last time out in March.
Also encouraging for supporters is the fact that the most visually impressive piece of form on the horse’s CV came in his only previous outing at this track. Cantering in behind as they turned into the straight that day, he rapidly put a number of lengths between himself and the field, before being allowed to coast home to score by four lengths.
Although clearly talented, this runner isn’t the easiest to watch. As mentioned he’s a very smooth traveller, but can hang his head awkwardly when asked to go and win his race. Many runners have their quirks though, and it will likely still take a very good one to repel him if he is anywhere close to the lead turning for home.
Tap It To Win (11/2)
Trainer Mark Casse may be remembered by fans on British shores thanks to the exploits of his wonder mare Tepin at Royal Ascot, and it was he who bagged this prize 12 months ago with Sir Winston. It has been a while since a trainer has registered back to back successes in this event, but Casse will have high hopes of achieving just that as he sends the hat-trick-seeking Tap It To Win into battle.
Beautifully bred for the dirt, being by star US sire Tapit, and out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare, this one initially started well last season with a debut success at Saratoga. What went wrong on his next two outings perhaps only the horse knows, as he failed to beat a single rival in being beaten by a combined 65 lengths.
Any problems do seem to have been ironed out now though, with the colt now a perfect two from two in the current campaign – albeit at a significantly lower level than this. He has however been handed box number one, which is ideal for one who likes to attack and make the running, and with the shorter distance of the race this year, he may well make a bold bid from the front.
Dr Post (15/2)
With no entry from the record setting Bob Baffert yard this year, it is Todd Pletcher who boasts the best record of the trainers who are represented in the line-up. The Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winning handler has also landed this prize on three occasions, and sends two to post for the 2020 edition.
Of the two runners from the Pletcher yard, it is the Quality Road colt, Dr Post, who would look to boast the strongest claims. Put away for the year following an underwhelming debut over 5½f at this track in July 2019, he then made his comeback in March at Gulfstream Park. Looking a bigger and stronger performer, the break appeared to have served him well, as did the step up in distance to 7f as he recorded a comfortable 1¼l success.
It was his latest effort when stepped up to 1m½ for the first time in the Unbridled Stakes which really thrust his hat into the ring for this though. Initially appearing outpaced as the race began in earnest, he then stayed on to really good effect to wear down his rivals and ultimately appear well on top at the line. Like the favourite, expect this one to be doing all of his best work late in what could be a cracking finish to this huge race.
Belmont Stakes Winners
|2020||Tiz The Law||4/5||Barclay Tagg||Manuel Franco|
|2019||Sir Winston||102/10||Mark Casse||Joel Rosario|
|2018||Justify||4/5||Bob Baffert||Mike Smith|
|2017||Tapwrit||5/1||Todd Pletcher||Jose Ortiz|
|2016||Creator||16/1||Steve Asmussen||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|2015||American Pharaoh||3/4||Bob Baffert||Victor Espinoza|
|2014||Tonalist||9/1||Christophe Clement||Joel Roasrio|
|2013||Palace Malice||138/10||Todd Pletcher||Mike Smith|
|2012||Union Rags||11/4||Michael Matz||John Velazquez|
|2011||Ruler On Ice||248/10||Kelly Breen||Jose Valdivia Jr.|
About the Belmont Stakes: Tasty Racing in the Big Apple
Belmont Park is one of the most important sites in American horse racing. Known as ‘The Championship Track’ the New York State racecourse has played host to virtually every major horse in American racing history.
Of all the races to take place annually at Belmont Park, the Belmont Stakes is the most important. The 12 furlong, Grade 1 race is the final leg of the American Triple Crown and, as of 2019, features a prize fund of a rather healthy $1.5 million.
A Rich History
The Belmont Stakes is a truly historic race. First run just three years after the oldest horse race in America, the Travers Stakes, the Belmont Stakes has been held in New York since 1867. The Belmont Stakes was initially held at Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx (which was financed by August Belmont Sr., after whom the race is named) before moving to Morris Park Racecourse and then Belmont Park in 1905.
The race was just growing in stature following the move to Belmont Park but had to be cancelled in 1911 and 1912 due to the Hart-Agnew Law which banned gambling in New York. Thankfully for racing fans, it returned to in 1913 and as of 1926 the winner was presented with the August Belmont Trophy.
The Test of the Champion
The American Triple Crown was rarely referred to before Omaha completed a hat-trick of wins in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in 1935. His sire, Gallant Fox, had done the treble five years previously and was subsequently honoured for the feat, as was Sir Barton who won all three races back in 1919.
The Triple Crown is now so important in American racing that it sets the date of the Belmont Stakes. The final leg of the Triple Crown now always takes place three weeks after the Preakness Stakes which is itself held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, which takes place on the first Saturday in May.
Just as with the final leg of the British Triple Crown, the St Leger, the Belmont Stakes is the longest of the three races. At one mile and four furlongs, the trip is shorter than the St Leger (one mile and six furlongs) and isn’t too much longer than the Kentucky Derby (one mile and two furlongs) or the Preakness Stakes (one mile and one and a half furlongs). Still, the Belmont Stakes is known as ‘The Test of the Champion’ due to its longer trip, which has caught out many horses attempting the Triple Crown over the years.
Trends to Keep In Mind
The Belmont Stakes is an important race far beyond New York. Punters from around the world follow the race and there are plenty of useful trends to help them come up with a winner. The first thing to note is just how tough it is to win the Triple Crown. Horses who come into the race on the back of a run in the Preakness Stakes have a poor record in the Belmont Stakes with those who arrive fresh generally preferred. It really does take a special horse to win all three of course.
Belmont Park is widely regarded as one of the fairest tracks around but it still trips some horses up so previous experience of ‘Big Sandy’ is a help even if the importance of Belmont experience has diminished in recent years. Winning the Belmont requires a certain amount of stamina with those who can hit the front fairly early before holding on preferred over horses who tend to kick strongly for home later on in races.