24 Stakes Shine at Belmont Stakes Festival with $10.1 Million in Purses

The 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, highlighted by the 156th edition of the GI Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 8, promises an exciting lineup of 24 graded stakes races with a total purse of $10.1 million.

Hosted at Saratoga Race Course from Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9, this festival marks the highest purse levels and the most stakes races offered since the event’s inception in 2014.

Bet on Belmont Stakes 2024This year, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has made significant enhancements to the stakes schedule. Notably, the Belmont Stakes purse has been increased from $1.5 million to $2 million, the first major boost since 2014. Additionally, the race distance has been adjusted to 1 1/4 miles due to Saratoga’s track configuration.

The stakes schedule includes notable increases for other races as well. The GI Resorts World Casino Manhattan’s purse has been raised from $750,000 to $1 million, and the GI New York’s purse has been boosted from $600,000 to $750,000. The total purses for the 2024 festival will exceed $10 million for the first time.

Other stakes have also seen purse increases. The GIII Poker’s purse has been raised from $200,000 to $350,000, while the GI Woody Stephens, the GI Jaipur, and the GII True North each received an additional $100,000. As a result, Woody Stephens and Jaipur will now offer $500,000 each, while True North will increase to $350,000.

The differing track configurations between Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park have necessitated slight distance adjustments for several races as well as interesting Belmont Stakes odds. On the main track, races such as the Acorn, Ogden Phipps, Commentator, and Critical Eye, traditionally run at 1 1/16 miles, will now be contested at 1 1/8 miles around two turns. 

On the turf, the Manhattan and New York will be run at 1 3/16 miles instead of the customary 10 furlongs. Additionally, the Jaipur and the upgraded GII Intercontinental will each be run at 5 1/2 furlongs rather than six furlongs.

 

The First Day 

For people looking to bet on horses, the festival kicks off on Thursday, June 6, with four stakes races, headlined by the $250,000 GII Belmont Gold Cup for older horses traveling two miles on the turf. The day also features the $150,000 Jersey Girl for sophomore fillies sprinting six furlongs, the $150,000 Tremont for juveniles sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs, and the $150,000 Astoria at 5 1/2 furlongs for juvenile fillies.

 

The Second Day 

Friday, June 7, features four stakes races, including three Grade I events. Highlights include the New York for fillies and mares four years old and up, the $500,000 Acorn for sophomore fillies, and the $500,000 Just a Game at one mile on the turf for fillies and mares four years old and up. The GII Intercontinental for older fillies and mares rounds out the day’s stakes action.

 

The Main Event

A blockbuster Belmont Stakes Day at Saratoga awaits on Saturday, June 8, with nine stakes races, including six Grade I events. The day culminates with the Belmont Stakes and features three Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” qualifiers: the $1 million GI Metropolitan H. for three-year-olds and up (Dirt Mile), the $500,000 GI Ogden Phipps for older fillies and mares (Distaff), and the $500,000 GI Jaipur for three-year-olds and up (Turf Sprint). 

The prestigious Grade I races on Belmont Stakes Day include the $1 million Resorts World Casino Manhattan for older horses and the seven-furlong $500,000 Woody Stephens for sophomores.

Belmont Stakes Day will also feature the GII True North for older horses sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs, the GIII Poker for older horses at one mile on the turf, and the $350,000 GII Suburban for older horses at 10 furlongs.

The festival concludes on Sunday, June 9, with a special New York Showcase Day, featuring six stakes exclusively for New York-breds. 

Here are the 2024  Contenders for the Belmont Stakes

 

2024 Belmont Stakes Odds and Contenders
PPHorseJockeyTrainerOwnerOdds
1Seize The GreyJaime TorresD. Wayne LukasMyRacehorse8-1
2ResilienceJunior AlvaradoBill MottEmily Bushnell & Ric Waldman10-1
3Mystik DanBrian Hernandez, Jr.Kenneth McPeekLance Gasaway, 4 G Racing LLC & Daniel Hamby III5-1
4The Wine StewardManny FrancoMike MakerParadise Farms Corp. and Staudacher, David15-1
5AntiquarianJohn VelazquezTodd PletcherCentennial Farms12-1
6DornochLuis SaezDanny GarganWest Paces Racing LLC, R. A. Hill Stable, Belmar Racing and Breeding LLC,   Two Eight Racing LLC & Pine Racing Stable15-1
7ProtectiveTyler GaffalioneTodd PletcherRepole Stable20-1
8Honor MarieFlorent GerouxWhit BeckmanRibble Farms LLC12-1
9Sierra LeoneFlavien PratChad BrownMagnier, Mrs. John, Tabor, Michael B., Smith, Derrick, Westerberg, Rocket   Ship Racing, LLC and Brant, Peter M.9-5
10MindframeIrad Ortiz, Jr.Todd PletcherRepole Stable and St. Elias Stables LLC7-2