Belmont Stakes Distance: 2024 Marks Rare Year Horse Race Is Not 1 1/2 Miles

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Belmont Stakes Length

Handicapping Belmont Stakes odds will be different than most years come Saturday at Saratoga, as Belmont Park is undergoing remodeling. With the new location, the Belmont Stakes distance will be 1 1/4 miles instead of the standard 1 1/2 miles. While the 2020 race was run at 1 1/8 miles, due to COVID delays in the three-year-old race schedule, you must go further back in time to find other instances.

Let’s take a look at the past races and how Belmont Stakes has seen changes in race distance.

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Belmont Stakes Distance Changes Over The Years

Jerome Park Era

The first 23 Belmont races were held at Jerome Park from 1867 through 1889. There, horses ran at two lengths, 1 5/8 miles from 1867 to 1873 and 1 1/2 miles from 1874 to 1889.

Morris Park Era

Morris Park followed, and between 1890 and 1904, the race would see three different lengths.

When 1 1/2 Miles Became Tradition

It was not until 1926 that the standard 1-1/2 mile distance became consistent. Since then, only 2020 saw an anomaly.

That is until 2024 which will see the race run at 1 1/4 miles. The Belmont had not run from this length in well over a century. The last time the Belmont ran at 1 1/4 miles was 1905.

Belmont Stakes Race Distance History

LengthYears
1 5/8 miles1867-1873
1 1/2 miles1874-1889, 1926-2019, 2021-2023
1 1/4 miles1890-1892, 1895, 1904-1905, 2024
1 1/8 miles1893-1894, 2020
1 3/8 miles1896-1903, 1906-1925

How The New Length Can Affect Betting

In many cases, the Triple Crown races can boil down to a race of attrition. How long can the lead horse maintain its distance in front of the competition? With the shorter length, a racehorse that would normally tire out or slow down may have enough to reach the finish.

How much will horses be affected by the shortened racing length in the 2024 Belmont Stakes? All will be revealed come Saturday.

2024 Belmont Stakes Post Positions and Morning Line Odds

PostHorseMorning Line oddsTrainerJockey
1Seize the Grey8-1D. Wayne LukasJaime Torres
2Resilience10-1Bill MottJunior Alvarado
3Mystik Dan5-1Kenny McPeekBrian Hernandez, Jr.
4The Wine Steward15-1Michael J. MakerManuel Franco
5Antiquarian12-1Todd PletcherJohn Velazquez
6Dornoch15-1Danny GarganLuis Saez
7Protective20-1Todd PletcherTyler Gaffalione
8Honor Marie12-1Whit BeckmanFlorent Geroux
9Sierra Leone9-5Chad BrownFlavien Prat
10Mindframe7-2Todd PletcherIrad Ortiz, Jr.

Photo by ASSOCIATED PRESS

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