Belmont Stakes Contenders: Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is just two noses away from being undefeated, making him a formidable contender. In the Kentucky Derby, he veered inward in the final stretch, costing himself the win and ultimately finishing second. 

Trainer Chad Brown has decided to switch jockeys, bringing in Flavien Prat to replace Tyler Gaffalione. Prat’s tactical skills and minimal errors could provide the edge Sierra Leone needs. 

Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 8, as the 156th Belmont Stakes (G1) unfolds at Saratoga Race Course. Reduced to 1 ¼ miles from 1 ½ miles because of Belmont Park’s rebuild, this race is the final leg of the Triple Crown.

For those planning to bet on horses, Sierra Leone presents compelling Belmont Stakes odds at 9-5. With a career record of 5-3-2-0 and career earnings of $1,918,000, he has proven himself in high-stakes situations. His ability to close strong, combined with the expected pace of the Belmont Stakes, makes him a serious win contender.

Sierra Leone’s performances in Graded Stakes have been impressive. He breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02.64 with stablemate Domestic Product on May 25 at Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track, demonstrating his readiness. 

Chad Brown remains optimistic, noting that he is thrilled with how Sierra Leone is moving and believes this race configuration will favor his deep-closing style.


Race Details

– Post Position: 9Belmont Stakes Contender: Sierra Leone

– Odds: 9-5

– Jockey: Flavien Prat

– Trainer: Chad Brown

– Owners: Peter Brant, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg, and Brook T. Smith

– Career Record: 5-3-2-0

– Career Earnings: $1,918,000

– Most Recent Race: Kentucky Derby, May 4 (2nd)

– Top Equibase Speed Figure: 109

– Pedigree: Gun Runner – Heavenly Love, by Malibu Moon

– Color: Dark bay or brown

– Running Style: Deep closer


Sierra Leone is sired by Gun Runner, a Hall of Famer, and the 2017 Horse of the Year. Gun Runner’s offspring, including Early Voting, has shown great promise, and Sierra Leone could become his first Belmont champion. 

Trainer Chad Brown, who has been the leading trainer at Saratoga six times, brings a wealth of experience and a local connection, having grown up just 16 miles south of Saratoga Springs.

Sierra Leone stands out as a top contender. His strong finishes, tactical jockey change, and proven performance in Graded Stakes make him a compelling choice and the clear-cut favorite. With the proven strategic approach from his trainer, Sierra Leone is poised to make a significant impact in this year’s final leg of the Triple Crown.


2024 Belmont Stakes Odds and Contenders
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