Horse Racing

Belmont Stakes Betting: 3 Best Bets for Today's Belmont Stakes

FanDuel Staff
FanDuel Staff
Belmont Stakes Betting: 3 Best Bets for Today's Belmont Stakes

The 156th edition of the Belmont Stakes is happening today — June 8th, 2024!

A few major things are different about this year's Test of the Champion.

With Belmont Park undergoing renovations, this year’s race happens at Saratoga Race Course for the first time in its history. And, since the traditional 1 ½-mile distance of the Belmont Stakes would put the starting gate on the turn, the distance has been cut back to 1 ¼ miles. It’s shorter than usual, but it is still the same length as the Kentucky Derby and still a significant stamina demand.

The Belmont Stakes drew a field of ten, and it is one of the deepest fields in recent memory. Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan is coming, as is Preakness winner Seize the Grey, but neither of those horses is among the top two choices in the morning-line odds.

The morning-line favorite is Sierra Leone, the ultra-consistent closer who missed by a nose to Mystik Dan at Churchill. And, the second choice is the newest of shooters: Mindframe, who has won maiden and allowance races in blowout fashion, but has yet to even try a stakes race, much less any of the other Triple Crown races.

Naturally, you can bet on which horse will win the Belmont Stakes with FanDuel Racing. Discover the exciting 2024 Belmont Stakes odds to wager on FDR and FanDuel Sportsbook and get up to $20 back on your Bet!

New FanDuel Racing users are included in the excitement with a chance to get your first win wager on a single horse in any race at any track up to $500 back if you lose. Bet the Belmont Stakes!

Belmont Stakes Best Bets

1. Mystik Dan

The Kentucky Derby shaped up beautifully for Mystik Dan: an honest pace unfolded up front, jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. took advantage of his mount’s ability to muster a fearless rail run, and taking the shortest way around helped them hold by a nose. Things weren’t so plum for Mystik Dan in the Preakness: that day, Seize the Grey got things easy on the front end, and he chased on for second behind the pace-advantaged winner.

On Belmont Stakes day, things are likely to shape up as well for Mystik Dan as they did in the Kentucky Derby. He lines up against Seize the Grey again, but Seize the Grey will have a lot more company. Dornoch has no choice but to go, and in a ten-horse field, he is somewhat less likely to run into early trouble than in the Kentucky Derby, and more likely to be part of that early pace. The Wine Steward reliably gets a spot close to the pace. Even outside-drawn Mindframe has a good chance to be on or near the pace.

Therefore, unless a massive speed bias reveals itself at Saratoga Race Course leading into the Belmont Stakes? Conditions look good for Mystik Dan to run another blinder. He does not need a blistering pace in front of him in order to run well. He has a relatively inside draw: in fact, the same 3-hole he got in the Kentucky Derby. And, if the rain in the forecast does come? Both of his outings over wet tracks have been strong.

2. Sierra Leone

Even though Sierra Leone is the morning-line favorite in an extremely competitive edition of the Belmont Stakes, he is the kind of favorite that it would be folly to toss.

After all, Sierra Leone has been the epitome of consistency during his five-race career. The Chad Brown trainee is two noses shy of perfect: he was the runner-up by that margin to Dornoch in the Remsen (G2) and to Mystik Dan in the Kentucky Derby. In five excellent efforts, he has shown the ability to show up over a multitude of racetracks: Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Keeneland, and Churchill Downs. He showed classic stamina in the Derby.

And, as closers go, Sierra Leone has proven that he is less vulnerable from a pace perspective than many horses who come from the back of the pack. In both the Blue Grass and the Kentucky Derby, he was able to mount an early move of the kind that often fizzles out, and just keep on powering home.

If it rains, Sierra Leone has that covered, too. He faced a muddy track in the Remsen and a sloppy one in the Risen Star (G2), and both times, he looked like the Sierra Leone we have come to know: he settled, he fired, and he looked good.

The biggest concern about Sierra Leone is the price: he is the morning-line favorite for the final leg of the Triple Crown, and futures wagering action backs up the idea that he will actually go off favored. But, with his consistency and stamina, it would be more surprising to see this son of Gun Runner finish out of the frame than it would be to see him reward the bettors’ faith yet again.

3. Seize the Grey

At first blush, the 8-1 morning line on Seize the Grey seems generous. But, based on futures action, even after the draw? Mindframe is getting slammed down to a clear second choice, behind only Sierra Leone, despite his lack of stakes experience. Seize the Grey, on the other hand? He rides into the Belmont Stakes on the strength of victories in both the Pat Day Mile (G2) and the Preakness, and books have him as either a joint third choice with Mystik Dan or a slight fourth choice behind the Kentucky Derby winner.

In terms of price? Though Mindframe could prove as good as advertised, it’s hard to like him at a short price. When choosing the better bet between the two, advantage Seize the Grey.

Seize the Grey still has some things to prove here. Coming into the Preakness he was looking like a miler, but he enjoyed a soft pace and was able to lead the field all the way around. With the likes of Dornoch, The Wine Steward, and even Mindframe in the field, Seize the Grey needs to prove that he can stay 1 ¼ miles without such an easy pace as he had in Baltimore.

The rail draw may make a stalking trip tougher than it otherwise would be, but Seize the Grey does not actually need to lead. He rallied from the middle of a compact field in his allowance victory at Oaklawn, and scored in the Pat Day Mile on Kentucky Derby day in stalk-and-pounce style. He did the latter with jockey Jaime Torres aboard. Especially if Saratoga is playing speed-friendly this week, if Torres can work out a similar trip with Seize the Grey in the Belmont, the son of Arrogate could make it three in a row.


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