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156th Belmont Stakes Preview – Odds – Pick to Win

Matt Dominique | June 5, 2024
2024 Belmont Stakes odds and picks

The Triple Crown season wraps with the 156th Belmont Stakes early Saturday evening, though not at Belmont Park. It’s about 200 miles due north at Saratoga Race Course, highlighting the four-day (June 6th-thru-9th) Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at the Spa (post time 6:41 PM ET).

(Since 2000, seven post-time favorites have won this race).

Due to the smaller circumference at Saratoga (mile-and-an-eighth [nine furlongs]) as opposed to the under-renovation Belmont (mile-and-a-half [12 furlongs]), a ‘shorter’ Belmont Stakes goes at the mile-and-a-quarter (10-furlong) distance, opposed to the usual once around Belmont Park.

This and next season’s edition of the Belmont Stakes are scheduled to be run at Saratoga. 

The Monday draw found 10 3-year-olds entered to contest the Belmont, with a purse of $2 million. There are seven graded stakes winners in the field, including both the Kentucky Derby (Mystik Dan) at Churchill Downs and Pimlico’s Preakness (Seize the Grey). 

However, neither of those horses was accorded the role of early favorite at the Belmont, and that colt gets a new escort. Here’s a look at the draw, along with some background in the race…

 

The Drawing Board

When the Belmont Stakes was at Belmont Park, how the draw unfolded wasn’t vital. That’s because the long distance of the race, coupled with the wide, sweeping turns of the track usually gave every horse a shot to get involved. 

With the ‘new’ mile-and-a-quarter Belmont contested over a mile-and-an-eighth Saratoga, the draw has much more of an impact. Here’s who starts where, with jockeys and early odds….

  1. Seize the Grey (Jaime Torres, 8-1 [+800])
  2. Resilience (Junior Alvarado, 10-1 [+1000])
  3. Mystik Dan (Brian Hernandez Jr., 5-1 [+500])
  4. The Wine Steward (Manny Franco, 15-1 [+1500]) 
  5. Antiquarian (John Velazquez, 12-1 [+1200])
  6. Dornoch (Luis Saez, 15-1 [+1500])
  7. Protective (Tyler Gaffalione, 20-1 [+2000])
  8. Honor Marie (Florent Geroux, 12-1 [+1200]) 
  9. Sierra Leone (Flavien Prat, 9-5 [+180])
  10. Mindframe (Irad Ortiz Jr., 7-2 [+350])

It’s the 12th of 14 races (nine stakes) on the card (first post is 10:45 PM ET).

 

Sierra Leone’s Escort

Perhaps the biggest storyline ahead of the 156th Belmont concerns Sierra Leone’s new jockey. The 9-5 (+180) early favorite, according to Belmont Stakes odds, was last seen charging home at the Kentucky Derby, eventually finishing second.

In that race, Sierra Leone and then-jockey Tyler Gaffalione found themselves in tight quarters with a Japanese rival. Though go placement was made by the stewards in what turned out to be a three-horse photo, trainer Chad Brown has made the switch to Flavien Prat

The son of Gun Runner has three wins and two seconds (both by a nose) in five career races.

 

‘Dan’ and ‘Grey’

Certainly not afterthoughts in the Belmont are Mystik Dan and Seize the Grey, former having won the Kentucky Derby (at odds at 18-1) and latter winning the Preakness (at odds of 9-1).

‘Dan’ hasn’t done much wrong, putting in a solid, second-place effort at Pimlico. Landing post No. 5 in the Belmont, the son of Goldencents, trained by Ken McPeek, becomes the only horse to run in all three Triple Crown events. 

Seize the Grey, meanwhile, was left to his own devices in the Preakness and made ‘em pay. The son of Arrogate, trained by D. Wayne Lukas (four Belmont victories, last in 2000), was an open-length winner at Pimlico. He didn’t get the best of luck in this inside draw, however, as there figures to be some company getting out of the gate. 

 

‘Frame’ of ‘Mind’

Mindframe drew outside of his nine rivals, sort of polar opposite of Seize the Grey. While ‘Grey’ has post No. 1 in his 11th career race (more than anyone here), Mindframe has the outside post with just two career races (less than anyone here). The son of Constitution, trained by Todd Pletcher (four-time Belmont winner with three entrants in this race) won those pair of races by a combined 21 lengths. He is making a first stakes try in the Belmont. 

 

Beating the Board

Longshots are always enticing, and there may be a few with legit shots in the Belmont Stakes. Resilience was a winner of the Wood Memorial (Aqueduct), Antiquarian took the Peter Pan (Belmont @ Aqueduct) and Honor Marie has license to improve after a brutal trip in the Derby. 

 

Our Pick

Go with Mindframe

Mindframe is our choice in the Belmont Stakes. We’re guessing he’s this good.

Simulcast wagering is available through the racebook all year long. 

 

 

 

 

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