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Belmont Stakes Day is on Saturday, June 8, 2024. This year for the first time in history, the 156th running of the Grade 1, $2 million Belmont Stakes will be held at the Saratoga Race Course while the big reconstruction project continues at Belmont Park. Due to the configuration of Saratoga’s main track, the Belmont Stakes will be contested at 1 1/4 miles this year rather than the traditional 1 1/2 miles.

The Belmont Stakes will air nationwide on FOX and also as part of the “America’s Day at the Belmont” show on FS1, with a scheduled post time of 6:40 p.m. ET.

Belmont Stakes Contenders and Pretenders

All 10 horses are listed in post-position order, including their jockey and morning-line odds.

Post 1: SEIZE THE GREY, Torres, 8-1

His 2500 owners had a May to remember, scoring back-to-back wins in the Pat Day Mile and 2 weeks later with an unpressured front running score in the Preakness over a quirky muddy track. Will be on or near the lead from the start, but I feel the distance, quick fractions and more pressure will take its toll on him late. PRETENDER 

Post 2: RESILIENCE, Alvarado, 10-1

Ran a very respectable 6th in the Derby breaking from post 18. Made a strong wide middle move to challenge for the lead approaching stretch but faded slowly. His best chance to win a race like this would be going shorter, but he’s improving. I wouldn’t be surprised if he landed a piece with a perfect ride and trip.  CONTENDER

Post 3: MYSTIK DAN, Hernandez, 5-1

He’s been the star of the Triple Crown so far with wins in the Derby and a big second in the Preakness, getting perfect rides and trips from jockey Brian Hernandez. Trainer Ken McPeek would not run him in the Belmont if he wasn’t 100 %. He’s tactical, handles the distance and has proven to be genuine. CONTENDER

Post 4: THE WINE STEWARD, Franco, 15-1

In 6 starts, he has 3 wins and 3 seconds, but all his races have come against weaker and shorter distances. He will be forwardly placed from the start, but figures to falter in the stretch. PRETENDER

Post 5: ANTIQUARIAN, Velazquez, 12-1

Has shown steady improvement in all 4 starts as a 3-year-old, capped off by a determined win in a weak renewal of the Peter Pan. Will be forwardly placed from the start, but his lack of seasoning and the added distance will likely take its toll on him late. Don’t envision him winning, but he can land a piece at a price. PRETENDER

Post 6: DORNOCH, Saez, 15-1

When he drew post 1 in the Derby, this speedster’s fate was sealed. Quickly shuffled back to 13th in the early going and never got involved from there. This smaller field and a better start will likely put him on the lead. He’s overmatched and wants no part of 1 ¼ miles. PRETENDER

Post 7: PROTECTIVE, Gaffalione, 20-1

This colt has yet to win a race in 4 starts, even though he’s put back-to-back 3rd place finishes in a pair of weak graded stakes this spring. Has too much to overcome. PRETENDER

Post 8: HONOR MARIE, Geroux, 12-1

Experienced a ton of trouble soon after the start in the Derby and ran respectable to finish 8th. He had shown steady improvement and a strong late kick in his prior starts. Needs a lot to go his way to win the Belmont, but of the long shots in this field, it wouldn’t be a shock if he made his presence felt at the finish. CONTENDER

Post 9: SIERRA LEONE, Brown, 9-5

The deserving favorite has never run a bad race in 5 starts, scoring 3 times. He’s been his own worst enemy with his 2 defeats coming by a nose, including last time out in the Derby. This late running well bred colt tends to lug in late, which has cost him dearly.  Trainer Chad Brown has switched the type of bit he will be running with to help his rider have more control of him during the running, especially late in the race. It appears to have helped, based on the 3 works I’ve seen following the Derby. Brown switches riders to Flavian Prat, who fits his running style well. Gets a lively pace to close into and if he brings his ‘A’ game to the Belmont, Sierra Leone will be tough to deny. CONTENDER

Post 10: MINDFRAME, Irad Ortiz Jr., 7-2

With only 2 starts, he’s by far the least experienced 3-year-old in the field but could have the most upside. Both his starts have been blow-out wins in very fast time. He rated kindly in his debut and went wire-to-wire last time out. This will be his first stakes try stretching way out in distance against much tougher competition. He will be in a perfect striking position from the start with every chance to make his presence felt late. Trainer Todd Pletcher has won the Belmont 4 times. CONTENDER

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Last updated: February, 2024

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