It’s time for the third and final leg of the Triple Crown: The Belmont Stakes! The first two races in this series were dramatic, as Maximum Security was disqualified from his Kentucky Derby win and Bodexpress ran riderless around the track during the Preakness Stakes.
There is no Triple Crown on the line this year, but there are still plenty of reasons to watch and wager on the Belmont Stakes this Saturday. Learn more about when and how to watch the Belmont Stakes as well as fun facts and how to celebrate the race.
The $1,500,000 Grade 1 Belmont Stakes is always held three weeks after the Preakness, which usually lands on the second Saturday in June. This year, it will be on Saturday, June 8, 2019.
The Belmont is held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, on Long Island. There are ten stakes races on the card that day, and the Belmont will be Race 11, with post time at 6:37 pm ET/3:37 pm PT.
You can watch the Belmont in several ways:
NBC and NBC Sports will cover the key races from Belmont Park on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, watch Belmont Stakes Access on NBC Sports from 5:00 to 6:00 pm ET
On Saturday, you can watch the undercard stakes races starting at 2:30 pm ET on NBC Sports, then flip to NBC at 4:00 for full coverage of the Belmont Stakes.
You can also watch Belmont Stakes coverage through the NBC Sports app and on NBCSports.com.
If you sign up for a free online account with a legal online betting site, you can watch all the Belmont races via live streaming video on your computer or mobile device. Sign up for an account at TwinSpires, TVG or Xpressbet to open an account in time for the final leg of the Triple Crown this weekend.
If you open an account with TVG, Xpressbet or TwinSpires, not only can you watch the Belmont Stakes online, you can bet it also, along with all of the stakes races on the card. You’ll be able to bet directly into the same pools as the fans at the track, with all the same bet types and chances to win. Your account will also give you access to tracks across the country and around the world.
The Belmont is the longest of the three Triple Crown races at 1.5 miles, and it takes horses about 2.5 minutes to run the track.
The record for the Belmont Stakes was set in 1973 by Secretariat as he won the Triple Crown. Big Red stopped the clock in 2:24 flat, which became not only a track record but a world dirt record for the distance.
The race is a dirt course and will feature two turns. The track at Belmont Park is known as The Big Sandy, because the track composition includes more sand than other Thoroughbred track.
The Belmont is referred to as the Test of the Champion because of its length and proximity to the other Triple Crown races. The Belmont Stakes is what makes the Triple Crown so difficult: it is the third race in five weeks, which is more often than many horses in modern times run. In addition, the 1.5-mile distance is long, longer than any of these horses have faced before.
In the last 100 years, 23 horses have swept the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to fail to win the Belmont Stakes.
The official drink of the Belmont Stakes has changed several times, but currently, it is the Belmont Jewel. The cocktail mixes lemonade and pomegranate with Woodford Reserve bourbon.
Prior to the relatively new Belmont Jewel, Belmont Stakes fans would sip on a Belmont Breeze, a more complicated cocktail including whiskey, orange juice, cranberry juice, sour mix, sherry, club soda and lemon-lime soda.
The Kentucky Derby is associated with red roses and is nicknamed the Run for the Roses, shile the Preakness Stakes is the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans. The official flower of the Belmont Stakes is the carnation, lending its name to the lesser-used nickname for the race, the Run for the Carnations. A blanket of white carnations is draped over the winning horse following the race.
White carnations are said to represent love and luck, though there is no historical explanation for why this flower was selected to represent the Belmont Stakes. Over 700 carnations are imported from Colombia to create the flower blanket for the winner, which weighs in at 40 pounds.
Located in Long Island in New York City, there are many options for New York-related theme songs for the Belmont. For many years, the song was “The Sidewalks of New York”, but since 1996, the song has been a broadcast recording by Frank Sinatra of the well-known “Theme from New York, New York”.
For one year, in 2010, the song was Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”.
Maximum Security, the unofficial but disqualified winner of the Kentucky Derby, will not run in the Belmont. Nor will the official winner of the Derby, Country House. Look for both of those horses to return this summer, however.
The good news is that War of Will, winner of the Preakness Stakes and one of the horses that was involved in Maximum Security’s interference in the Kentucky Derby, will return for the Belmont Stakes.
War of Will returns from the Preakness Stakes, as does Everfast and Bourbon War.
In addition to War of Will, Tacitus, Master Fencer, Spinoff and Tax will return from the Kentucky Derby.
Ten horses, the same number as the Preakness, entered the field on Tuesday for this year’s Belmont Stakes. Here is the official line up, including morning-line odds and the connections for each runner:
#1 Joevia (30-1)
Trainer: Gregory Sacco
Jockey: Jose Lezcano
#2 Everfast (12-1)
Trainer: Dale Romans
Jockey: Luis Saez
#3 Master Fencer (8-1)
Trainer: Koichi Tsunoda
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
#4 Tax (15-1)
Trainer: Danny Gargan
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
#5 Bourbon War (12-1)
Trainer: Mark Hennig
Jockey: Mike Smith
#6 Spinoff (15-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
#7 Sir Winston (12-1)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Joel Rosario
#8 Intrepid Heart (10-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez
#9 War of Will (2-1)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
#10 Tacitus (9/5)
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Jose Ortiz