The Belmont Stakes serves as the final leg of the Triple Crown, a three-race set of American Classics that also features the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. It is hosted by Belmont Park in upstate New York and runs in early June. The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the three American Classics having run since 1867.
The Belmont Stakes is often unpredictable with that 1 ½ mile distance. This is a far stretch from the 1 ¼ mile contenders will run at the Kentucky Derby, and much further than the 1 3/16th miles they have to complete in the Preakness Stakes. The extended distance is one that many of the runners in the Belmont Stakes will only attempt once in their lifetime. It’s why the final leg of the Triple Crown is aptly named the “Test of the Champion”.
This makes Belmont Stakes betting a bit of a gambler’s paradise. The 2013 renewal of the race was won by Palace Malice, a 15/1 longshot who edged 3/1 favorite Orb. California Chrome was upset as a 3/5 favorite when Tonalist won as an 8/1 outside shot. The payout on American Phaorah was tight as he claimed victory with 3/5 odds of his own, but those that took a flier on Creator with a mark of 10/1 were handsomely rewarded.
While the Belmont Stakes is one of the biggest races on the North American calander, interest in the event is usually based on the potential of a Triple Crown contender. This is notable in the wagering action generated from Belmont Stakes betting.
How the Triple Crown Affects Betting
In 2014, when California Chrome was bidding for the first Triple Crown in over five years, the Belmont Stakes drew a record handle of $90.3 million. This was 32.7 percent higher than the $68 million bet on Smarty Jones in the 2004 Belmont Stakes.
The following year, American Pharoah once again drew major interest from the betting world. The 2015 Belmont Stakes saw another strong day of action with $82.4 million generated from all sources.
Belmont Stakes betting dipped dramatically last year when Creator won in 2016 for two main reasons. Firstly, there was no Triple Crown up for grabs. Second, the rivalry between Nyquist and Exaggerator had served as the main storyline of the season and with the former injured, there simply wasn’t as much excitement. The 2016 Belmont Stakes handle fell to a still-respectable $52.2 million.
However, what many fans who failed to tune in missed was a dramatic finish where a charging Creator edged the front running Destin by a nose.
Each phase of the Triple Crown presents a unique opportunity. The Kentucky Derby is about betting on potential and the hope that a champion will rise from an illustrious field of three-year-olds. The Preakness Stakes is about keeping momentum, and maintaining hope that a Triple Crown can bet attained in any given year. The Belmont Stakes is a true gamble, and one that all sorts of horse players should relish and enjoy.
Anything can happen in Belmont Stakes betting. That’s the beauty of it all. You can witness history being made, or legends being denied of an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. It is the essence of everything we love about sport…and gambling on it along the way.
Read further on ideas of how to bet the Triple Crown.