2024 Belmont Stakes introduces big changes. Here’s the full race field, with odds. (2024)

The 2024 Belmont Stakes has some big changes this year.

The final leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown will feature a different venue, and a different distance, compared to normal.

With Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, out of action due to ongoing renovations, this year’s Grade 1, $2 million Belmont Stakes will instead be run at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.

And because of the configuration of Saratoga’s main track, this year’s Belmont Stakes will be run at 1 1/4 miles instead of the usual 1 1/2 miles at Belmont Park.

But those major changes — along with the impossibility of a Triple Crown winner — did little to dampen the excitement that came with Monday’s post-position draw for the Belmont Stakes, which has a post time of 6:41 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast on Fox.

A field of 10 horses were assigned starting gates and morning-line odds during a pill pull event at Universal Preservation Hall in downtown Saratoga Springs.

Sierra Leone — who won the Risen Star Stakes and the Blue Grass Stakes before running second in the Derby as part of a three-way photo finish — is the morning-line favorite for the Belmont. Sierra Leone has odds of 9-5 and will leave from post position 9, which is the second-furthest outside post.

“He’s been doing great. He bounced out of the Derby, which can obviously be a tough race on horses, he’s bounced out well,” said Sierra Leone’s trainer, Chad Brown, after the post-position draw. “He shipped up here right away and he’s trained really good here. Just hoping for a good trip.”

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione was aboard Sierra Leone for the Kentucky Derby, and was fined but not suspended for his part in a Derby stretch duel with third-place finisher Forever Young. On Saturday, Sierra Leone will be ridden by jockey Flavien Prat in a race for the first time.

The second choice according to the morning-line odds is Mindframe, a Todd Pletcher trainee who is making his Triple Crown debut in the Belmont. Mindframe — a perfect 2-for-2 in his young racing career — has 7-2 odds and will leave from post position 10, the furthest outside post.

Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan, who ran second in the Preakness Stakes, will leave from post position 3 (the same starting spot he had in the Kentucky Derby) and has morning-line odds of 5-1.

“He’s a very consistent horse,” trainer Kenny McPeek said of Mystik Dan. “I think that’s the biggest deal. You’ve got to be a little careful with the spacing of these races nowadays, and I had been worried about it, making sure that he’s right. But he’s been very consistent from the Arkansas Derby all the way through today.”

Preakness Stakes winner Seize the Grey, who went wire-to-wire in winning the second leg of the Triple Crown, is also back for the Belmont. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee will leave from post position 1, the furthest inside starting spot, and had morning-line odds of 8-1.

Of the 10 horses in the Belmont Stakes field, only Mystik Dan will be completing all three Triple Crown races by running Saturday.

Four horses in the Belmont field — Antiquarian, Mindframe, Protective and The Wine Steward — will be running in their first Triple Crown race.

Four horses set to run in the Belmont — Dornoch, Honor Marie, Resilience and Sierra Leone — all ran in the Kentucky Derby.

Dornoch ran 10th in the Derby after departing from post position 1 in that race. Honor Marie, who received significant pre-Derby buzz, ran eighth in the Run for the Roses. Resilience finished sixth. In running second and losing out in a photo finish, Sierra Leone was part of the closest finish to a Kentucky Derby since 1996.

According to America’s Best Racing, horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby have won 12 of the last 20 editions of the Belmont Stakes. This includes 10 winners who went straight from the Derby to the Belmont, without a start in between.

In addition to Mystik Dan, Seize the Grey is the only other horse in the Belmont field that ran in the Preakness Stakes.

In the last 20 years, three horses have won the Belmont after also winning the Preakness: Afleet Alex (2005), American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018). American Pharoah and Justify did so as part of Triple Crown-winning campaigns.

2024 Belmont Stakes introduces big changes. Here’s the full race field, with odds. (1)

Belmont Stakes field includes plenty of past racing champions

While there won’t be a Triple Crown on the line this weekend in Saratoga Springs, there will be plenty of quality on offer with the 10 horses that make up the Belmont field.

The winners of the Kentucky Derby (Mystik Dan), Preakness Stakes (Seize the Grey), Blue Grass Stakes (Sierra Leone), Wood Memorial (Resilience) and Peter Pan Stakes (Antiquarian) will all be running.

Pletcher — a four-time Belmont Stakes-winning trainer with filly Rags to Riches (2007), Palace Malice (2013), Tapwrit (2017) and Mo Donegal (2022) — leads all trainers with three horses in this year’s Belmont field.

Antiquarian (post position 5 with 12-1 morning-line odds) won the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes last month. The field for that race also included two other Belmont horses: The Wine Steward (post position 4 with 15-1 morning-line odds) and Protective (post position 7 with 20-1 morning-line odds).

The Wine Steward ran second in the Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in April (the final Kentucky Derby prep race), while Protective is also trained by Pletcher.

Gaffalione, the former jockey of Sierra Leone, will ride Protective in the Belmont.

According to America’s Best Racing, the Peter Pan Stakes — or an equivalent race contested under the same conditions — has produced four Belmont Stakes winners since 2010.

The final Pletcher trainee in the Belmont field is Mindframe, who is the second choice on the morning line and has won both career starts in a maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park and in an allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs.

Mindframe is the only horse in the Belmont field yet to compete in a graded stakes race.

“He’s a very talented colt,” Pletcher said. “His two races have been very impressive. He trained very impressively before his debut. Of course, we’re giving up a lot of seasoning, a lot of experience to some good really good horses. So that’s the main concern.”

Each of the other seven horses in the Belmont field — Seize the Grey (D. Wayne Lukas), Resilience (Bill Mott), Mystik Dan (Kenny McPeek), The Wine Steward (Michael Maker), Dornoch (Danny Gargan), Honor Marie (Whit Beckman) and Sierra Leone (Chad Brown) — has a different trainer.

Lukas, who picked up his first Triple Crown win since 2013 when Seize the Grey won the Preakness, is aiming for his fifth Belmont Stakes victory. Lukas previously won the Belmont with Tabasco Cat (1994), Thunder Gulch (1995), Editor’s Note (1996) and Commendable (2000).

2024 Belmont Stakes introduces big changes. Here’s the full race field, with odds. (2)

2024 Belmont Stakes to have different distance, venue

As referenced earlier, this will be a unique edition of the Belmont Stakes.

This will be the first edition of the Belmont Stakes ever to be run at Saratoga, which opened in 1863.

The shortened distance that will come with this venue change — going from the traditional 1 1/2 miles at Belmont Park to 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga — marks the first time the Belmont Stakes will be run at 1 1/4 miles since 1905. The Belmont was first run in 1867.

Last year’s Belmont Stakes was also a history-making occasion: Jena Antonucci became the first woman to train a winning horse in a Triple Crown race when Arcangelo won the 2023 Belmont Stakes.

Brown — the trainer of the 2024 Belmont Stakes morning-line favorite Sierra Leone — is from Mechanicville, New York, which is less than 20 miles from Saratoga.

“When I set out my goals when I wanted to be a trainer, I never thought winning the Belmont up here was ever on the list,” Brown said of competing so close to home in a Triple Crown race. “... It would be very memorable (to win the Belmont at Saratoga) and I think it’s a great thing to have this race up here, the oldest racetrack in the country.”

Complete 2024 Belmont Stakes field, with trainers, jockeys and odds

The complete field for the 2024 Belmont Stakes — from the rail out with trainers, jockeys and odds — is as follows:

1—Seize the Grey (D. Wayne Lukas, Jaime Torres, 8-1).

2—Resilience (Bill Mott, Junior Alvarado, 10-1).

3—Mystik Dan (Kenny McPeek, Brian Hernandez Jr., 5-1).

4—The Wine Steward (Michael Maker, Manny Franco, 15-1).

5—Antiquarian (Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 12-1).

6—Dornoch (Danny Gargan, Luis Saez, 15-1).

7—Protective (Todd Pletcher, Tyler Gaffalione, 20-1).

8—Honor Marie (Whit Beckman, Florent Geroux, 12-1).

9—Sierra Leone (Chad Brown, Flavien Prat, 9-5).

10—Mindframe (Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 7-2).

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2024 Belmont Stakes introduces big changes. Here’s the full race field, with odds. (2024)
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