2015 Belmont Stakes Odds

There are few, if any, bettable 2015 Belmont Stakes odds until a few days before the race.  Occasionally a race or sports book will offer futures and props heading into the race but only if there’s a potential Triple Crown winner or other ‘big name’ horse competing.  With just three weeks between the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont and a fairly small potential field it just doesn’t make sense from a bookmaking standpoint to offer a futures betting market for the race.  The first official ‘track odds’ on the Belmont Stakes will be released to the public on the Wednesday before the race immediately after the post position draw.

THE FIELD TAKES SHAPE AFTER THE PREAKNESS

Although a few three year olds may have been informally pointed toward the Belmont Stakes the majority of the competitive field will be determined after the running of the Preakness Stakes.  Some horses may have run in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness with plans to return at the Belmont.  This is an increasingly common trend since it gives a horse a more reasonable turnaround time between races.  It’s becoming less common for a horse to run all three Triple Crown races unless they’re in a position to win horse racing’s most elusive title.  To underscore the difficulty of completing the Triple Crown consider this—since the last Triple Crown winner (Affirmed in 1978) 11 horses have entered the Belmont having won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.  None finished higher than second place (Smarty Jones, 2004).

A FAMILIAR FIELD

Due to the scheduling of the Belmont Stakes at the end of the Triple Crown trail and with a tough distance there are very few ‘unknown quantities’.  In other words, most of the field will be comprised of well known three year olds that have raced in the Kentucky Derby and/or Preakness.  For this reason you need to evaluate Belmont odds very carefully since many of these ‘name’ horses will be overbet.  Since the year 2000 only two post time favorites have won the Belmont Stakes, the last coming in 2005 (Afleet Alex).  The fact that most of the top contenders in the field will be well known to racing fans means that there will be few extremely high priced long shots.  You can also expect several horses to be priced in a close range at the top of the field and not one prohibitive favorite.

A FEW NEWCOMERS

Conversely, the Belmont Stakes betting odds on lower profile horses could be attractive—since they don’t have the ‘name recognition’ of many horses in the field they could be underbet.  Every year a few horses enter the Belmont Stakes field that didn’t compete in either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes.  Typically these are horses that are highly regarded but were slow to develop in their three year old campaign for a variety of reasons.  In addition, some horses with extensive experience on the Belmont Park track could also be in the field.  Given the poor performance of favorites over the past decade the astute handicapper can always find a competitive horse at a decent price.  Pay attention for odds moves in the second tier of horses—this can often indicate a ‘sharp money’ play on an undervalued horse.