The Belmont Stakes is usually the third and final leg of the American Triple Crown, taking place the second Saturday of June at Belmont Park. However, the 2020 Belmont Stakes is rescheduled for Sat., June 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be run as the first leg of the Triple Crown. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) also reduced the distance of the race from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles.
The reason for the adjusted distance, according to a NYRA press release, was “to properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training.” Because of the configuration of the Belmont track, the race will be run with only one turn.
Below you’ll find betting odds and post positions for the 2020 Belmont Stakes, along with strategy and predictions from our team of experts. Read on before placing your bets!
Belmont race schedule and where to watch
Here is more information and tips on betting the Belmont Stakes, and how you can watch and wager on this year’s event.
- Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020
- Time: 5:42 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC
- Tablet, Online, Mobile: NBC Sports App and streamed live on NBCsports.com/live and fuboTV
- Track & Location: Belmont Park in Elmont, NY
- Distance: 1 1/8 miles (reduced from 1 1/2 miles for the first time since 1926)
- Surface: Dirt
- Horses: 3-Year-Old Thoroughbreds
- Track Record: Secretariat (2:24.00 in 1973)
- Largest Margin of Victory: Secretariat, 31 lengths in 1973
Belmont Stakes odds 2020
|1||Tap It To Win||6-1||Mark Casse||John Velazquez|
|2||Sole Volante||9-2||Patrick Biancone||Luca Panici|
|3||Max Player||15-1||Linda Rice||Joel Rosario|
|4||Modernist||15-1||Bill Mott||Junior Alvarado|
|5||Farmington Road||15-1||Todd Pletcher||Javier Castellano|
|6||Fore Left||30-1||Doug O'Neill||Jose Ortiz|
|7||Jungle Runner||50-1||Steve Asmussen||Reylu Gutierrez|
|8||Tiz The Law||6-5||Barclay Tagg||Manuel Franco|
|9||Dr. Post||5-1||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|10||Pneumatic||8-1||Steve Asmussen||Ricardo Santana, Jr.|
Horse racing wagers and bets
In addition to the traditional “straight” wagers (Win, Place, Show), fans can also attempt to cash big in the various “exotic” pools. Exacta (first two), Trifecta (first three) and Superfecta (first four) wagering are all offered, and cashing a ticket in any of these pools can produce a bigger payday.
- Win: Bet on the horse you think you will win the Belmont Stakes.
- Place: Get paid the place price if your horse finishes first or second.
- Show: A show bet pays the least, but you win and get paid the show price if your horse finishes first, second or third.
- Exacta: Predict the first two horses in the correct order.
- Trifecta: Predict the first three horses in the correct order.
- Superfecta: Predict the first four horses in the correct order.
- Super High Five: Predict the first five horses in the correct order.
The Belmont Stakes betting odds are finally determined by the pari-mutuel system at the track which means your potential payout depends on how much money is in the pot overall, divided by how many bets are placed. The odds will fluctuate in the build-up to the race and never more so than in the final few moments before post time.
ALSO READ: Belmont Stakes best bets for Saturday
Belmont Stakes field analysis
Here is the field and capsules for the horses in the 2020 Belmont Stakes:
1. Tap It to Win (6/1): Three wins in six starts with an off-the-board finish in his only graded stakes race last fall in the Breeder’s Futurity (G1) at 3-1 odds. Returned from sesamoid surgery and enters on the heels of a front-running facile Allowance race win June 4 over the Belmont surface and nearly set the track record. Last year’s winning Belmont Stakes trainer Mark Casse brings his rapidly-improving Tapit colt right back with Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez a two-time Belmont winner riding in his 24th Belmont Stakes.
2. Sole Volante (9/2): Sole Volante has hit the board in all six starts, and his four wins include the Sam F. Davis (G3). He was also runner-up in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). French trainer Patrick Biancone prepped Sole Volante with an Allowance race win June 4 at Belmont, and he’s a closer that will try to catch Tap It to Win and Tiz the Law. Journeyman jockey Luca Panici makes his Belmont Stakes debut and rides at Belmont Park for just the second time in his career.
3. Max Player (15/1): Trainer Linda Rice shoots to become the first woman to train a Belmont Stakes winner, and says Max Player has “dramatically improved” in his training since winning the Withers (G3) Feb. 1 at Aqueduct. Max Player will try to rally from off the pace, and he’s is in good hands with strong stretch rider and two-time Belmont Stakes-winning jockey Joel Rosario in the irons. Rosario road Tonalist (9/1) and last year Sir Winston (10/1) to Belmont Stakes glory and he’s hit the board in five of eight Belmont Stakes starts. Tough challenge though with Max Player moving up in class and off a layoff.
4. Modernist (15/1): Jockey Junior Alvarado will be pressing the pace and stalking the leaders with Modernist, who has won twice at this 1 1/8 mile distance including the second division of the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott is just 1-for-8 in the Belmont Stakes but that winner was longshot Drosselmeyer (13/1) in 2010. A similar result would be very surprising as Modernist does not possess the speed ratings of the stronger horses in the field.
5. Farmington Road (15/1): One of two horses in the field for EPO trainer Todd Pletcher, a 3-time Belmont Stakes winner. Pletcher is always a threat going a route of ground on his home track, and rider Javier Castellano will try to rally him from the back of the pack. Castellano is a prominent rider on the NY racing circuit and four-time Eclipse Award winner as the nations top jockey. Does he have the horse to win his first Belmont Stakes after three close runner-up finishes? Farmington Road is working well, and finished a distant fourth in his two graded stakes starts including the tougher second division of the Arkansas Derby (G1).
6. Fore Left (30/1): A late addition to the field this week, trainer Doug O’Neill decided to enter this four-time winner and got top NY jockey and 2017 Belmont Stakes-winning rider Jose Ortiz to hop aboard. Fore Left will set or press the pace, but he’s never run this distance. Fore Left won his last race in February in Dubai going one mile.
7. Jungle Runner (50/1): Trainer Steve Asmussen has the biggest longshot in the race. This son of top sire Candy Ride has not come close to hitting the board in his last three starts which includes 8th in the first division of the May 2 Arkansas Derby (G1). He’s a closer, but won’t be making up ground on better colts. The youngest rider in the field Reylu Gutierrez (23) gets his shot in a Classic race.
8. Tiz the Law (6/5): The prohibitive favorite with four wins in five starts including the Florida Derby (G1) in March by more than four lengths and a three-length win in the Holy Bull (G3). His only defeat came over a sloppy track so watch the weather at Belmont Saturday, but only a stray of showers or thunderstorms possible days before the race. Jockey Manny Franco is just 25 years old but has more than 9,000 races under his saddle, and he’s been among the leading riders at Belmont in recent years. Franco rides in his first Belmont Stakes for New York-based trainer Barclay Tagg. Tiz the Law will be be stalking the leaders and heavily bet as a popular choice to win for his Saratoga Springs owner and investor group.
9. Dr. Post (5/1): This is the stronger colt of trainer Todd Pletcher’s pair in this race, but Dr. Post will try to win the Grade 1 Belmont in his first graded stakes race. He’s 2-for-3 in his career wining from off the pace in a minor stakes race at Gulfstream in April with his career-best speed figure. Dr. Post is a well-bred improving and versatile runner and he gets the guidance of New York-based rider and 2016 Belmont Stakes-winning jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr, who leads all jockey’s in victories this year.
10. Pneumatic (8/1): This Steve Asmussen-trained colt is also 2-for-3 and finished third in his stakes debut in the Matt Winn (G3) a month ago at Churchill Downs. Pneumatic had the lead at the three-quarter pole and will try to press the pace and hold up going a little longer in this race with underrated Ricardo Santana, Jr. riding again in his second Belmont Stakes start. Pmeumatic is a late-bloomer with speed, worked very well June 8 in prep but still must show improvement to pull a big upset.
Belmont Stakes changes in 2020
The Belmont Stakes is known as the “Test of the Champion” because the 3-year-old thoroughbreds run 1 1/2 miles for the first time. However, that will change in 2020 with the race being contested at 1 1/8 miles for the first time since 1926.
The Belmont track oval is 1 1/2 miles and has two wide, sweeping turns for the traditional Belmont Stakes. Now the race is one turn with a long run down the backstretch before turning for home. The pace will be faster than a traditional Belmont Stakes, and the shorter distance changes the complexion of the race and the Triple Crown.
That’s especially true with Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert losing his elite 3-year-olds Nadal (retired) and Charlatan (ankle) just three weeks before the big race.
Three time Belmont Stakes-winning trainer Todd Pletcher added, “this is a very different dynamic when you talk about a one-turn mile and an eighth.”
The field was expected to grow with the distance cut back and more trainers considering the race. Now with two of the favorites out and undefeated Maxfield out of the Triple Crown series with an ankle injury, the field won’t be as large. Still, at least nine colts are expected to run in the Belmont Stakes and the opportunity of a potential longshot score is greater with three top contenders out of the Triple Crown race.
The shakeup of the Triple Crown trail has not only affected the dates and shuffling of the races with the Belmont Stakes running before the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but also the overall racing schedule, training patters and Derby preps schedule. And perhaps the biggest change is there will be no fans in the stands for the Belmont Stakes as the COVID-19 heath crisis continues to impact society and sports.
New York-based trainers and those most familiar with Belmont Park and working their horses in preparation have an edge. Those include Chad Brown, Rudy Rodriguez and Barclay Tagg, who trains Belmont Stakes entry and favorite Tiz the Law. Also an added edge for Todd Pletcher, who has two horses ready to run in the Belmont Stakes – Farmington Road and Dr. Post – but has redirected Gouverneur Morris to the July 11 Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland – A Road to the Kentucky Derby series race.
Along with Pletcher’s three Belmont wins, his horses have finished in the money 11 times.
Picking a Belmont Stakes winner
In the last 13 non-Triple-Crown editions of the Belmont Stakes, the favorite has won just twice. Afleet Alex (2005) won by 7 lengths and Point Given (2001) by 12 lengths. Six of the 12 winners were double-digit odds, so long shots have cashed in and provided some strong payouts in the win and exotic pools.
Belmont Stakes history and results
|2020||Tiz the Law||4-5||1:46.53 (1 1/8 miles)||Manny Franco|
|2019||Sir Winston||10-1||2:28.30||Joel Rosario||Mark Casse|
|2018||Justify||4-5||2:28.18||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
|2017||Tapwrit||6-1||2:30.02||Jose Ortiz||Todd Pletcher|
|2016||Creator||15-1||2:28.51||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Steve Asmussen|
|2015||American Pharoah||3-5||2:26.65||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert|
|2014||Tonalisst||12-1||2:28.52||Joel Rosario||Chris Clement|
|2013||Palace Malice||13-1||2:30.70||Mike Smith||Todd Pletcher|
|2012||Union Rags||3-1||2:30.42||John Velazquez||Michael Matz|
|2011||Ruler on Ice||24-1||2:30.88||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||Kelly Breen|
|2010||Drosselmeyer||13-1||2:31.57||Mike Smith||Bill Mott|
|2009||Summer Bird||12-1||2:27.54||Kent Desormeaux||Tim Ice|
|2008||Da' Tara||38-1||2:29.65||Alan Garcia||Nick Zito|
|2007||Rags to Riches (f)||4-1||2:28.74||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|2006||Jazil||6-1||2:27.86||Fernando Jara||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|2005||Afleet Alex||6-5||2:28.60||Jeremy Ros||Tim Ritchey|
|2004||Birdstone||3-1||2:27.40||Edgar Prado||Nick Zito|
|2003||Empire Maker||2-1||2:28.20||Jerry Bailey||Robert Frankel|
|2002||Sarava||70-1||2:29.60||Edgar Prado||Ken McPeak|
|2001||Point Given||7-5||2:26.40||Gary Stevens||Bob Baffert|
|2000||Commendable||18-1||2:30.00||Pat Day||D. Wayne Lukas|