The Belmont Stakes is the third and final race of the American Triple Crown. The Belmont Stakes is known as “the test of a champion” because it is the longest of the Triple Crown races at 12 furlongs (1.5 miles) and is the third race in a grueling 5 weeks of racing for the 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses. The Belmont Stakes race generates a ton of hype when there is the potential for a Triple Crown victory. There have now been two Triple Crown champions over the past five years with American Pharoah winning all three races in 2015 and Justify accomplishing the feat in 2018. Prior to American Pharoah’s win there hadn’t been a Triple Crown winner Affirmed in 1978, despite 13 opportunities in those 36 years.
The Belmont Stakes race is held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York in early June (three weeks after the Preakness Stakes). When there is the chance for the Triple Crown the Belmont Stakes rivals the Kentucky Derby in terms of viewership and betting handle. Proof of this is can be seen on Google Trends where ‘Belmont Stakes’ comes closer to matching the search volume of ‘Kentucky Derby’ in 2014, 2015 and 2018, but is dwarfed in all other years where there is no Triple Crown potential.
Click here for information about the upcoming Belmont Stakes race from the official website.
Where To Bet On The Belmont Stakes
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Every sportsbook online that accepts Canadian bettors will take bets on the Belmont Stakes race, seeing as it’s one of the biggest horse races of the year. The above table outlines the 3 betting sites I recommend to Canadians here at SportsBettingCanadian.ca. The horse race betting section will often be in a part of the site than the other sports and will be labelled ‘Racebook’. This is true for both Sports Interaction and Bodog out of the list above, while Bet365 offers horse race betting out of their regular sportsbook.
My favourite site to bet on horse races is Sports Interaction, so I will quickly go over the steps to find the odds for the Belmont Stakes race at that site. Once at the SportsInteraction.com website you should click on ‘Racebook’ in the top navigation bar. Then once on the Racebook page select ‘Belmont Park’ from the left sidebar. This will bring up all of the races at Belmont Park for the day, which will include the Belmont Stakes race.
If you want to place a bet on the Belmont Stakes race earlier in the week you will also be able to find fixed odds in the regular Sports Interaction sportsbook.
A Brief History of the Belmont Stakes
The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the three Triple Crown races, with the first race having been held in 1867. This first race was held at Jerome Park Racetrack in The Bronx and the race was held here until 1890 when it moved to Morris Park Racecourse. It was 15 years after this initial move, in 1905, that the race moved to the new Belmont Park, where it still takes place today.
The race is known as the ‘Test of a Champion’ because the longer distance of 12 furlongs is very difficult for the top 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses who are used to more traditional 10 furlong distances. This extra length is one of the reasons that horses that win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes still rarely complete their Triple Crown effort at the Belmont Stakes. The last winner of the Triple Crown was Justified, back in 2018. American Pharoah also accomplished the feat in 2015, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years since Affirmed pulled it off back in 1978.
Secretariat currently holds the record for the fastest Belmont Stakes race at the 12 furlong distance with a time of 2:24.00. Secretariat also holds the records for both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.
For more history of the Belmont Stakes including the changes in distance, the traditions, and all of the past winners and records check out the Belmont Stakes Wikipedia page.