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While the Triple Crown is now out of reach for the year, as different horses won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes is still a major event with a $2 million purse.

Held at the Saratoga Racecourse this year, Belmont is the “third jewel” of the Triple Crown and it brings out all the top horses and trainers year after year.

The race takes place on Saturday, June 8th and we’ve got the inside rail – or track – in this preview.


View the latest Belmont Stakes odds at Bovada


Sierra Leone is the oddsmakers’ favorite for the Belmont, after a first-place finish in the 2024 Blue Grass Stakes in early April. And who can forget the Kentucky Derby finish, where he lost by a nose in what could easily have been the start of a Triple Crown attempt.

In fact, with 3 wins in five career starts and career earnings already approaching $1 million, this strong 3-year-old is off to a very strong start in his young career.

Having skipped the Preakness, he’s even more ready and rested. Bettors might take note of the jockey change for the Belmont, however. Sierra’s Derby jockey has been replaced by Flavien Prat.


A third horse might be a charm for Todd Pletcher, the top trainer who has three horses running in the Belmont Stakes.

Mindframe is perhaps the greenest of all the horses racing this week, making only his third career start. While both those starts have resulted in first-place finishes, this is still the young horse’s first stakes race. His Belmont Stakes odds are second-best in the field at the moment, which comes as a bit of a surprise for such an inexperienced racer.

Then again, his talent is undeniable. His two wins have been won by 13 ¾ and 7 ½ lengths respectively.

If you like a relative rookie to show up the more seasoned players, you might have the right frame of mind to go with Mindframe.


Legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas led Seize the Grey to victory at the Preakness in May, and he’s looking for a repeat. While the Belmont Stakes odds favor Sierra Leone and Mindframe ahead of him, Seize the Grey also has a win at the Pat Day Mile Stakes (a G2 race) at Churchill Downs earlier this year.

He’s only a nose or two away from the top spot and should contend for a top-3 finish.

Plus, there’s experience. With that wire-to-wire Preakness win fresh in his mind, Seize the Grey might just be able to seize the day.


After his Derby win by a nose in the first three-horse photo finish at Churchill Downs in over 70 years, Mystik Dan couldn’t repeat the magic at the Preakness Stakes a few weeks later but he did finish in second place. He’s got two firsts, a second, and a third in the 2024 season so far.

While the Triple Crown is out of reach for this year, Mystik Dan is still a strong contender.


Going toe-to-toe (or is that hoof-to-hoof?) with Derby winner Mystik Dan for the early part of that race, Resilience’s Belmont Stakes odds are a reflection of his eventual slide to sixth place at Churchill Downs.

But he did win by 2 ¼ lengths at the Wood Memorial, so he could surprise Belmont bettors.


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Two firsts and a second in 2024 give Antiquarian decent Belmont Stakes odds, especially for a horse racing in his rookie season. Take note: that first came recently at the Peter Pan Stakes, which horse racing followers often recognize as the best prep race for Belmont.

Antiquarian also has legendary trainer Todd Pletcher by his side, which may give him an additional edge.


Honor Marie made a strong debut at Churchill Downs last September, winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes by two lengths.

His Belmont Stakes odds might reflect the fact that he’s cooled off since a hot 2023 season, winning over $300,000 and notching two firsts and two seconds. This season, he has one second and two unplaced finishes to his name. Can he restore his honor at the Belmont Stakes?


With only two second-place finishes and $97,000 in earnings so far in 2024, The Wine Steward might give bettors sour grapes at this year’s Belmont Stakes.

He might have come out of the gates too strong, with three wins in three straight races to kick off his career. His debut was a six-length win at Belmont Park in May 2023, which may have helped him in oddsmakers eyes – except Saratoga is the site of this year’s race while the venerable Belmont Park undergoes renovations.


With a brother like Mage, the 2023 Kentucky Derby winner, and lineage that traces back to Big Brown, Dornoch seems primed for a big win.

He has 4 first-place finishes to his name to go with two seconds, though in 2024 his only result of note is a single first against a weakened field. His 2024 Derby finish in 10th place might have hurt his Belmont Stakes odds a little too.

On the other hand, Dornoch beat out the powerful Sierra Leone as recently as December. All these up and down performances make him a fairly attractive wager when it comes to value.


Another Pletcher-trained horse in the 2024 Belmont Stakes, Protective comes with a slightly less exceptional track record compared to Antiquarian.

He has only two third-place finishes this year, after a long layoff from what was a promising second-place debut in May 2023 at Saratoga. That track familiarity, combined with jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Sierra Leone’s jockey at this year’s Kentucky Derby), could make Protective something of a dark horse.