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152nd Belmont Stakes Betting Odds
Like everything else in 2020 horse racing’s Triple Crown has been turned upside down thanks to COVID-19. For the first time ever the Belmont Stakes will be the first leg of the Triple Crown. Typically the third jewel and referred to as The Test of the Champion, this year’s running comes only weeks after the originally scheduled date with the distance reduced from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles due to the adjusted schedule. Because of this the Belmont Stakes is more of a prep race for the Kentucky Derby.
This year’s field took a hit when Nadal, one of legendary trainer Bob Baffert’s early favorites, sustained an injury and was retired. Another front-runner and Baffert-trained horse Charlatan will miss the Belmont Stakes and the Kentucky Derby due to a minor ankle problem. That leaves the door open for the field of three-year olds thoroughbreds with Tiz the Law now the early favorite.
The 2020 Belmont Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, June 20. As is the case every year, the action at Belmont Park can be seen live on NBC.
2020 Belmont Stakes At a Glance
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020, 3-6 p.m. ET
Location: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY
Length: 1 1/8 miles ( 9 furlongs ), dirt track
Purse: Approximately $1 million
Belmont Stakes TV Coverage: NBC
Belmont Stakes Format
The Belmont Stakes is open to 3-year-old thoroughbreds and in normal circumstances - which had been every year until 2020 - they needed to qualify to run the race. With the Belmont Stakes being the first leg of the Triple Crown, the parameters have changed. Eight starting spots are given to the highest money winners in graded stakes races at a mile or longer. Five additional spots are granted according to non-restricted stakes earnings regardless of distance. The field has expanded to a maximum of 16 horses. There’s a good chance the lineup falls below that number.
In 1905 Belmont Park became the permanent home and the usual distance of 1 1/2 miles was set in 1926. Up until this year it was the longest of the Triple Crown races. In 2020 it’s the shortest. There are other differences at Belmont this year due to COVID-19. This is the first race in the Triple Crown with more openings than usual and the prize purse dropped to $1 million from the normal $1.5 million.
Fillies don't run in the Belmont Stakes often, but they do from time to time. With the Triple Tiara becoming less and less notable as time goes on, you'll sometimes see a filly get off of that trail and run in the Belmont instead. A total of 23 fillies have run in the Belmont Stakes with three winning it. Rags To Riches in 2007 was the last filly to win the Belmont Stakes.
Belmont Stakes Winners (2000)
||Mark E. Casse
||Irad Ortiz Jr.
||Ruler on Ice
||Jose Valdivia Jr.
||Rags to Riches
||D. Wayne Lukas
There really isn't a way to put Secretariat's run at the 1973 Belmont Stakes into perspective. To say that he was phenomenal that day is an understatement, as he ran the race in a record 2:24 flat and won by a record 31 lengths. There aren't many unbreakable records in sports, but this is one of them. We've never even seen a horse run the third leg of the Triple Crown in 2:25, let alone in 2:24, and to win any race by 30+ lengths is just stupefying.
You should consider anything under 2:27 a great time to win the Belmont Stakes. American Pharoah blazed through the mile and a half in 2:26.65, the second fastest time ever for a Triple Crown winner behind Secretariat, and he and Point Given are the only two horses to run the Belmont in less than 2:27 since 2000. The next closest since then was Birdstone in 2004, and he needed 2:27.50 to finish the race.
Longest Odds To Win
Upsets in the Belmont Stakes have certainly been more frequent in recent years than in the past, and there have been some massive upsets in that mix. Sarava pulled off the upset of all upsets when he cashed in at a whopping price of 70 to 1 in 2002, ending the Triple Crown bid of War Emblem. He's one of the three who have ever won this race at a price of 50 to 1 or better.
Most Jockey Wins
||1882, 1883, 1884, 1886, 1887, 1888
||1941, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1952, 1955
||1921, 1923, 1924, 1927, 1930
||1957, 1959, 1962, 1967, 1975
It really shouldn't be shocking that the old time jockeys are the ones who have won the Belmont Stakes most often. The record of six held by Eddie Arcaro and Jim McLaughlin will probably never be touched. Joel Rosario won his second Belmont Stakes last year and his third Triple Crown race taking Sir Winston to the winner’s circle. The only jockey who is even halfway to the record and still riding is Mike Smith, who took Justify to the Triple Crown in 2018. Now in his early-50s he's not sticking around long enough to win this race three more times.
Most Trainer Wins
|James G. Rowe Sr.
||1883, 1884, 1901, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1913, 1931
||1899, 1909, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1923, 1924
||1930, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1939, 1955
||1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986
||1928, 1946, 1950, 1954
|D. Wayne Lukas
||1994, 1995, 1996, 2000
|R. Wyndham Walden
||1878, 1880, 1881, 1898
The greatest run in the history of any of the Triple Crown races for trainers came from 1982 through 1986 when the great Woody Stephens trained five consecutive winners at the Belmont Stakes. Stephens immediately became one of the best trainers in NYRA history, and no one will ever touch five straight Belmont Stakes victories ever again. James G. Rowe Sr.'s record of eight Belmont victories will very likely also never be touched.
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