Belmont Stakes 2024: Post positions, analysis as Kentucky Derby, Preakness winners clash

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Belmont Stakes 2024: Post positions, analysis as Kentucky Derby, Preakness winners clash

While there’s no Triple Crown in play this year, there’s still plenty of intrigue surrounding the 2024 Belmont Stakes.

For starters, Saturday’s race will be run at historic Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a couple of hours upstate from Belmont Park, where construction of a new grandstand is expected to take several years. Consequently, the so-called Test of the Champion will be shortened from its traditional 1 ½-mile distance to 1 ¼-mile due to the track configuration.

And with the purse upped to $2 million, a strong field is expected, including the first and second place finishers in the Kentucky Derby and there of the top four from the Preakness.

Coverage of Belmont Stakes Day begins on FS1 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with FOX picking up the coverage until 7 p.m., before it returns to FS2 until 8:10 p.m.

Here are the contenders expected to run in 2024 Belmont Stakes. The post position draw is scheduled for Monday at 5 p.m., so check back later for complete coverage, including post positions and the morning line odds:


Trainer: Ken McPeek

Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

Owner: Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing & Daniel Hemby.

Goes back to the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby distance, winning the Run for the Roses with a perfect ground-saving trip and a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. At the 1 3/16-mile Preakness distance, Mystik Dan was unable to run down pace-setter Seize the Grey, and now looks to turn in a third big effort in five weeks, with Seize the Gey and Derby runner-up Sierra Leone in the field.


Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Jockey: Jamie Torres

Owner: MyRaceHorse

The Preakness winner is a contender that’s shown incredible improvement, going wire-to-wire in the Preakness to win by two lengths and picked up a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. That performance came after the colt picked up a first stakes win in the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile on Derby Day, the first graded stakes win of Torres’ career, after running seventh in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes

May 18, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Jamie Torres aboard Seize the Grey (6) lreacts after winning the 149th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


Trainer: Chad Brown.

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Owner: Mrs. John Magnier & others.

Had a great run in the Kentucky Derby, rallying from 18th to finish second by a nose to Mystik Dan, part of a three-horse blanket finish with Forever Young, credited with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. A $2.3-million yearling purchase, Sierra Leone came from way back to win the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 6, after winning the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds.


Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Owners: Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables

Unbeaten in two career starts, including a maiden victory at Gulfstream Park on March 30 that earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure, the best number in the field. But that was at seven furlongs, coming back to win a Churchill Downs allowance race in style, ridden out in a 7 ½-length win a 1 1/16-mile test.


Trainer: Danny Gargan

Jockey: Luis Saez

Owner: West Paces Racing & others.

Had traffic trouble in the Kentucky Derby, getting checked hard with a quarter-mile to go while trying to make a move and ended up 10th at 22-1. Has a win over Sierra Leone, by a nose in the Remsen at Aqueduct last year, and won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, before placing fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes.


Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Owner: William Lawrence, Walmac Farm and Stonestreet Stables.

A lighty-raced longshot comes off a sixth-place finish in the Preakness in which the Medaglia D’Oro colt got off to a slow start and never challenged. With just four career starts, Tuscan Gold was beaten less than two lengths by Catching Freedom in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, and likes to make a run from off the pace, with the extra distance helping here.


Trainer: Whit Beckman

Jockey: Ben Curtis

Owner: Ribble Farms

Was last in the Kentucky Derby after six furlongs, before rallying for a respectable eighth-place finish at 14-1. Ran second behind Catching Freedom in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on March 23, having won the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs four months earlier.


Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: TBA

Owner: Repole Stable

Pletcher is a four-time Belmont Stakes winner, with the last coming with Mo Donegal in 2022. Now he sends out a talented maiden that has yet to fulfill his potential, coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Aqueduct, finish two lengths behind stablemate Antiquarian. Ran third in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial before that.


Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

Owner: Centennial Farms

Takes a big step up in class in the fifth start of the Preservationist colt’s career, running down the Wine Steward to win the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Aqueduct last time out. Finished sixth in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes two races back, the only test so far against top-level competition.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Belmont Stakes 2024: Post positions, odds, analysis

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