|Friday 19th May 2023
Chasing the Triple Crown: A Preview of the Belmont Stakes
The Belmont Stakes, held annually at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, is a Grade I stakes event for three-year-old Thoroughbreds in the United States. It is a 1.5-mile race that takes place in Belmont Park. First held in 1867, the 2023 version will be the 155th edition and is scheduled for June 10.
Though not as widespread as some horse racing events, the Belmont Stakes still draws a reasonable number of people. Punters can also bet on the race after registering and claiming NonGamstopUKCasino welcome offers from some of the best sites.
If you’re a horse racing enthusiast curious to know more about the Belmont Stakes, you’re on the right page. Here, we’ve provided in-depth details about the race, including the top horses to look out for in the 2023 event.
What You Should Know About The Event
The Belmont Stakes is the third leg of the Triple Crown in American horse racing, following the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. It was first held in 1867 and was named after August Belmont, an American businessman and sportsperson.
Since its founding, the race’s distance and venue have been continuously changed. However, since 1905, it has been held at Belmont Park, close to New York City, and since 1926, the course length has been 1.5 miles (approximately 2,400 metres).
Many often refer to the event as the "Test of the Champion" because of its difficulty. The field is typically the smallest of the three Triple Crown events since only the most mature and accomplished three-year-old Thoroughbred horses remain by the time the race is run. In 2022, 46,301 people gathered to witness it live, while millions watched the race on NBC Sports.
What Does The Course Look Like
Like the Ascot Gold Cup, the Belmont Stakes takes place yearly in June. However, unlike the Ascot that’s run across 2 miles 3 furlongs and 210 yards, Belmont Stakes is run across at a mile and a half and has been that way since 1926. From its founding, it was run in a clockwise direction, similar to most English horse races. However, in 1921, it was altered to a counterclockwise direction.
The race is held at Belmont Park, in Elmont, New York, a notable thoroughbred horse racing facility in the United States that started operations on May 4, 1905. Due to its large overall dimensions (2.4 km) and thick, often challenging surface, the primary dirt track at the race facility has earned the nickname "the Big Sandy. Belmont is sometimes referred to as "The Championship Track" because nearly every major champion in racing history since the 20th century has raced at the course.
How Do Horses Get Qualified For The Belmont Race?
Only 12 horses can participate in the Belmont Stakes, though it’s rare to find a full field of 12. In other words, fewer than 12 horses usually participate in the race. It's open only to three-year-old thoroughbreds.
Horses that won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes will be entered into the event unless they're injured. Since career earnings are the primary criterion for admission, only horses that have done well in the major races will be allowed to take part.
The initial entry fee for a horse is $15,000. If the horse qualifies for the race, the owner must pay an additional $15,000. Owners pay an extra $75,000 for a horse to take part if it isn't registered for the Triple Crown events by the end of January. At the start of the race, colts and geldings should weigh 126 pounds, while fillies should weigh 121 pounds.
Top Horses to Lookout For
Eight horses will participate in the Belmont Stakes, scheduled for June 10, 2023. Of these competitors, four are noteworthy, and they include:
We the People
We the People will attempt to make history by becoming the first horse since A.P. Indy in 1992 to win both the Grade III Peter Pan and the Grade I Belmont Stakes. The horse won the Peter Pan by more than ten lengths on the sealed main track at Belmont. We the People's Grade I Arkansas Derby (7th) finish was his lone career loss from four total starts. Trained by Rodolphe Brisset, its jockey for the Belmont Stakes is Flavien Prat, and it has the highest winning chances with odds of 2-1.
Early voting defeated Skippylongstocking in the Preakness, placing him fifth overall. In his previous outing, he finished third in the Wood Memorial, 3.5 lengths behind the winner, Mo Donegal.
Skippylongstocking is yet to show that he can compete with the best of his generation, but the Belmont distance is often a great equaliser. Saffie Joseph trains the horse, while Manuel Franco will ride it at the horse racing event. Skippylongstocking is currently one of the horses with the lowest winning chances, with odds of 20-1.
His trainer, Eric Reed, and owners decided to forgo the Preakness and go straight to the Belmont Stakes after Rich Strike shocked the racing world by winning the Kentucky Derby at an 80-1 long shot. His lacklustre efforts leading up to the “Run for the Roses” disqualifying him as a serious contender in the Belmont, but his Derby win was a shock, and he could repeat the feat in the Belmont race. Sonny Leon is its jockey, and its current odds are 7-2.
In his most recent race, the Peter Pan, Golden Glider finished a distant second to We the People, marking his first career in-the-money finish in a stakes race. The Mark Casse trainee did not excel in some of the major stakes races he entered. So, it's unsurprising that its current odds are 20-1. Dylan Davis is the jockey to ride it at the Belmont Stakes.
Key Takeaways for the Belmont Stakes
The Belmont Stakes is one of the three Triple Crown events, so it’s one that horse racing enthusiasts can’t afford to miss. Besides seeing the best thoroughbreds complete, it’s an opportunity to don your finest attire and interact with like-minded people who also love the sport. It’s also fun to bet on the sport and watch to see if your favourite horse crosses the finish line first.
If you can’t make it to Belmont Park, you can catch the action live at NBC Sports. Top bookmakers also have live streaming services. With this, you can watch the race unfold after placing stakes on one or more markets.