The Belmont Stakes will be run at Belmont Park on June 9. With I'll Have Another trying to become the first horse in 34 years to sweep horse racing's Triple Crown, the race will attract enormous attention from people all over the world.
We've attended the Belmont Stakes 25 times, including Affirmed's win in 1978 and most of the 11 times in the ensuing years when a horse came to New York with a shot at Triple Crown fame. Thus,we offer this Insider's Guide to the Belmont Stakes.
Time, Date, Location
- The Belmont Stakes is a 1 1/2-mile race run by three-year old thoroughbred horses. It is held at Belmont Park, in Elmont, New York. Belmont Park is located at the junction of Hempstead Turnpike and Cross Island Parkway, on the border of Queens County and Nassau County, on Long Island.
- This year, the date of the Belmont Stakes is Saturday, June 9.
- Post time for the Belmont Stakes has not been definitively decided; it is often at about 6:30 p.m. Eastern time., though rumor is that it may be as late as 6:48 pm this year.
- The official Web site of the Belmont Stakes includes a bevy of information about the race and events in the week leading up to the race, while the Belmont Park website includes information about accommodations in the area, getting to the track, eating at the track and other Belmont Park basics.
- General Admission tickets, at $10 for the grandstand and $20 for the Clubhouse, are available at the gate on race day - there is no need to buy them in advance from scalpers who charge higher prices.
- Parking gates open 8:15 am. Admission gates open 8:30 am. First race is at 11:35 am.
- Parking costs $10 per car.
- Crowds as high as 120,000 attended the Belmont Stakes earlier this decade. NYRA's decision to no longer allow patrons to bring in their own alcohol on Belmont Stakes Day reduced the crowd size somewhat, but allows fans who come to see the races—rather than to party—to enjoy themselves in relative comfort. There were nearly 95,000 fans in attendance in 2008, the last time a horse had a chance to win the Triple Crown.
- Belmont Park's 35,000 reserved seats are sold out. There is an active secondary market on eBay, where reserved seats are generally selling for between $125 and $500 each. Before you buy, review this Buying Guide to Belmont Stakes tickets. Tickets can also be purchased on StubHub. Also, watch for announcements by the New York Racing Association; it has in the past installed temporary seating and sold additional tickets.
- You do not need a ticket for a seat to attend the races at Belmont Park. There is plenty of room for you to walk around and take in the sights.
- If you arrive very early - probably by 7 am to wait on line for the gates to open - you may be able to snag a bench on the track apron, from which you should get a decent view of the race.
- Racetrack tradition dictates that when you place a personal item, such as a blanket, on a seat or table, you reserve it for the day.
- If you arrive later, but still before the gates open, you may be able to find seats inside the track, or in the backyard park. You can also put down your own chair or blanket in the backyard. It will be difficult for you to see the Belmont Stakes run on the racetrack, but there are hundreds of televisions all over the track, and you still get to feel the excitement of the crowd.
- The Long Island Railroad runs trains to Belmont Park from Manhattan's Penn Station, Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Terminal, and Jamaica Station. For information on fares, ticket-buying, handicap accessibility and travel tips, visit the LIRR’s Belmont Stakes page. If you do take the train, buy a roundtrip ticket in New York, so that you don't have to wait on a long ticket line after the races.
Belmont Stakes Television and Radio Coverage
The Belmont Stakes will be broadcast nationally on NBC. The program will likely start at 5 pm, with earlier coverage on NBC Sports' cable channel.
Hotels for the Belmont Stakes
Many fans choose to stay in New York City. Read our complete guide to NYC.
For fans watching the race in NYC, the best Belmont Stakes parties in NYC will be held at the following places; click the name for more info:
- Mustang Harry's (30th & 7th)
- Beer Authority (40th & 8th)
- Rattle N Hum (33rd near Madison)
- Brickyard Gastropub (52nd & 9th)
- Tempest Bar (30th and 8th)
- Tir na nOg (33rd & 8th)
- In Queens, go to Courtyard Ale House at 40-18 Queens Boulevard.
The Triple Crown
- Since 1978, 11 horses have won the first two legs but fallen short in the “Test of a Champion.” FindingDulcinea reviewed the 34-Year Drought, linking to articles and race videos of all 17 horses who have won two legs of the Triple Crown since 1978 (including 11 who came to NY with a chance for the Triple Crown).
- Click here for an article that celebrates Secretariat's extraordinary triumph in the Belmont Stakes to capture the Triple Crown on June 9, 1973.
- The Belmont Stakes is held on the first Saturday that falls on or after June 5. The Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday in May; the Preakness Stakes is held two weeks later, and the Belmont is held three weeks after the Preakness.
- The race has been run since 1867, except for a two-year hiatus in 1911-12. Originally held at Jerome Park and Morris Park in the Bronx, it moved to Belmont Park when that facility was built in 1905 and—except for a move to Aqueduct during a renovation period from 1964–67—has been run at Belmont Park ever since.
New About the Belmont Stakes
- Equidaily is the single best source of online information about horse racing. It aggregates links to informative, interesting and provocative horse racing stories and opinion from global newspapers and blogs.
- The Daily Racing Form offers news and information about the race, and data for making selections. It offers news, analysis and transcripts of chats with racing experts.
- Thoroughbred Times offers the most up-to-date news about thoroughbred horse racing, including profiles of each horse in the Belmont
Books About the Belmont Stakes - perfect timing for Father's Day!
- "To the Swift: Classic Triple Crown Horses and Their Race for Glory," is a collection of writing on the Triple Crown from famous authors and sportswriters.
- "Finished Lines: A Collection of Memorable Writings on Throughbred Racing," is an anthology that “captures the essence of the sport that is both exhilarating and breathtaking, frustrating, and cruel.”
- "Belmont Park: A Century of Champions" features portraits of 70 Belmont Stakes champions by Richard Stone Reeves, with accompanying essays.
Betting at the Track
- There are usually 13 races on Belmont Stakes Day, and most of them attract large fields, which provide lucrative betting opportunities.
- You can bet on any race at any time. For instance, you can bet on the Belmont Stakes, which is usually Race 11, even before the first race is run. Betting lines get longer as the day progresses, so if you know your selections ahead of time, try to bet many races at once.
- The self-betting terminals are intuitive and easy to use, and the lines are shorter than at the manned betting windows
- You purchase a betting voucher and insert it into the machine. You select the race you want to bet, the dollar amount, the type of bet, and then the numbers of the horses you are betting.
- Visit these machines early in the day, when there are no lines and plenty of people willing to show you the ropes. Then, when things heat up later in the day, you'll be an old pro.
Where to Bet the Belmont Stakes Online
If you search "How to Bet the Belmont Stakes Online" or any variation of it, most of the top results lead you to illegal, shady or at least questionable betting sites.
Here is a list of all the legitimate online betting services and links to their Websites.
NYRA Rewards is operated by The New York Racing Association, which operates New York’s three major thoroughbred racing tracks; it offers free, instant accounts to residents of New York and Connecticut.
XpressBet offers wagering online to residents in 32 states.
TVG.com offers wagering to residents of 15 states. Unlike the other services, TVG charges a small fee to place each wager, with a maximum of $19.95 per month. On the other hand, it does not charge a deposit fee, as most other services do.