What Is All the Excitement Around Belmont Stakes Betting?
The winding down of spring also means the nearing of the 155th running of the Belmont Stakes, one of horse racing’s most prestigious and unique events. The grueling 1.5-mile run will take place on Saturday, June 10, in Elmont, NY.
As always, the primary talk will focus on which horses are the best bets to win. From newcomers just learning how to bet on the Belmont Stakes to experienced handicappers trying their luck with sophisticated betting strategies, this post will delve deeper into what type of bets will be available before the horses leave the gate at Belmont Park, along with an early preview of the 2023 race.
The Belmont Stakes
Held annually at Belmont Park since 1867, the third race in the Triple Crown series is always one of the highlights of the racing calendar, with a prize purse of $1.5 million. While the purse this year is the same as last year, the winner will receive $900,000, a more than 12-percent increase from 2022.
The 1.5-mile track is known as the sport’s most strenuous run, rewarding horses who are not only fast, but have the stamina to go the long distance. In fact, it is nicknamed “The Test of the Champion.” The contenders traditionally feature some of the best horses in the world, particularly those with stellar endurance to go the full mile-and-a-half.
Throughout history, the Belmont has witnessed incredible moments, maybe none more prominent than Secretariat’s legendary run in 1973, where he shattered the field by 31 lengths in a record 2 minutes, 24 seconds. American Pharoah’s 2015 ride is more recent in people’s memories. As Victor Espinoza and his horse distanced themselves from the pack down the home stretch and crossed the finish line, they not only broke the “Triple Crown curse,” they captivated the hearts of Americans everywhere looking for a thoroughbred hero.
How Betting on a Horse Race Works
Wagering on the Belmont Stakes can be a lucrative way to participate in the race, with big payouts if you select the right horses. Some people will look at the pick sheet for a race and see all kinds of terms they may or may not be familiar with, such as quinella, exacta, trifecta, pick 6, etc.
The most common type is the win, place, or show bet, wherein a bettor selects one horse to finish in the first (win), second (place), or third (show) place. There are the exacta and trifecta wagers for a more daring approach, which involve selecting two (exacta) or three (trifecta) horses to finish in exact order.
Other bets include the daily double, which requires selecting the winner of two consecutive races; quinella, where the goal is to pick two horses that finish in either first or second position; and superfecta, whereby you must select the top four horses in the correct order. Depending on the horse’s odds, hitting any of the different combinations can reward enormously.
For those looking for even bigger rewards, Pick 4 and Pick 6 betting options involve picking winners across multiple races each day. With these choices come higher risk and potentially higher rewards should all selections prove successful.
Early 2023 Preview
With Mage losing the Preakness Stakes, no Triple Crown will be on the line this year. Like any Belmont Stakes, the field is a bit different from the first two races because you see more distance horses entered, along with fresh horses who only ran just one leg of the Triple Crown compared to two. This is one reason why Mage will not be running in this year’s Belmont Stakes, instead taking the time to rest and prepare for the Travers in August.
Early indications are that some Kentucky Derby horses will return for the Belmont after skipping the Preakness, including Forte, Kingsbarn, Angel of Empire, Two Phil’s, and Tapit Trice. These horses being held back from the second Triple Crown leg is what led some to say it was a weak Pimlico field, featuring just seven horses.
Preakness winner National Treasure, who didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby, may also be a part of the Belmont field. Arabian Lion, the wire-to-wire winner of the San Barton and a reasonable distance runner, could enter the Belmont after not running in the first two legs of the Triple Crown.