Belmont Stakes: Selections and Wagering Strategy For All Budgets

Chris Adams

This Saturday marks the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes. It is the culmination of a stacked two day racing card from New York’s Belmont Park.

Weather Warning

Handicapper’s should be aware that the weekend looks to be a bit rainy in New York. They are likely to get rain at times on Thursday and throughout much of Friday. Saturday projects to be mostly clear, but their could be some lingering moisture in the track.

This could cause significant changes to the fields, especially on Friday, where races may run over a sloppy main track of which some horses don’t run well on.

It could also mean that some races get taken off of the turf. When this happens they are run on the main track instead to protect the grass. This could cause a bevy of scratches and completely change the running of the turf races.

Belmont Stakes Analysis

Thus far this has been a terribly underwhelming group of 3 year olds. With no clear standout, I feel it is best to start with the perceived best horse and figure out if anyone projects forward enough to beat them.

Essential Quality

The likeliest winner has to be #2 Essential Quality who was undefeated going into the Derby and came within a length of victory despite a wide trip.

Assuming Essential Quality runs his race, who could beat him and how?

Rock Your World

Rock Your World #7 was at the top of the odds board in the Derby and is the most likely early speed in the race. If the distance proves too long for all of these and the front runner is unchallenged on the front end, it could be a wire to wire win. However, that was also the plan in the Derby when he missed the break, shuffled back, and called it a day.


Projecting late comers who are rounding into form, #3 Rombauer would seemingly be in he conversation after popping his career best speed figure in the Preakness. He has been steadily improving throughout his career.

It could be possible it took him longer to develop and he is ready to leave these runners in his wake. He also has proven stamina if the race falls apart.

Hot Rod Charlie

#4 Hot Rod Charlie has shown versatility and finished ahead of Essential Quality in the Kentucky Derby. He has raced against some of the top contenders at these classic distances, maybe with a smaller field he can repeat his Louisiana Derby victory.

Known Agenda

#6 Known Agenda has Todd Pletcher and Irad Ortiz Jr. in his corner. The horse is based in New York and is 1 for 1 in the money at Belmont with a 2nd place finish in his first career race. Maybe home field advantage is enough to put him over the top. If the track retains moisture he has one of, if not the, strongest wet track pedigree in the group.

While these are the likely contenders, this group still feels like one in which anything can happen. I would genuinely not be surprised by any outcome.

Belmont Weekend Selections

With heavy projected rain, the selections represent my perception of best overall horses in the race. Key handicapping factors such as pace were not considered in races where there projects to be a lot of scratches.

Undercard Selections


  • *= Best Bets
  • (MTO)= Entered for Main Track Only
  • (AE)= Also Eligible (requires scratch to draw in)


  • Race 1: 2-4 (MTO)-1A-6
  • Race 2: 7-13 (MTO)-6-2
  • Race 3 (Tremont Stakes): 3-6-4-1
  • Race 4: 4*-3-8-5
  • Race 5: 12-1-8-6 (MTO)
  • Race 6: 3*-1-4-6
  • Race 7 (True North G2) : 1-2-3-6
  • Race 8 (Bed oRoses G3): 1-6-4-5
  • Race 9 (New York G2): 5-12-6-4
  • Race 10 (Belmont Gold Cup G2): 3-9-2-5
  • Race 11: 5*-1-3-4


  • Race 1: 3-4-2-6
  • Race 2: 7-8-1-5
  • Race 3 (Woody Stephens G1): 4*-3-1-6
  • Race 4 (Brooklyn G2): 9-5-2-6
  • Race 5 (Acorn G1): 6-1-2-4
  • Race 6 (Jaipur G1): 6*-12-4-11
  • Race 7 (Ogden Phipps G1): 5-2-3-1
  • Race 8 (Just a Game G1): 4-5-11-2
  • Race 9 (Met Mile G1): 6*-1-5-2
  • Race 10 (Manhattan G1): 10-4-9-7
  • Race 11 (Belmont Stakes G1): #2 Essential Quality-#3 Rombauer-#6 Known Agenda-#1 Bourbonic
  • Race 12: 9-2-5-3

Wagering on the Belmont Stakes

Wagering Menu

The Belmont race card will feature the standard Win-Place-Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, and Pick 6 wagers.

The two day card will also feature some unique horizontals offered only on Belmont Stakes weekend. These bets are the 2 Day Pick 6, 2 Day Pick 4, the New York Stakes-Met Mile Double, the Belmont Gold Cup-Belmont Stakes Double, the Filly & Mare Double, and the Sprint Double.

Those new to wagering would be wise to familiarize themselves with the various types of wagers and how each produces a winning payout.

Belmont Wager Strategies for All Budgets

The following wagers are designed as a guide for horseplayers to use in their Belmont Stakes plays. In horse racing it is best to craft bets that emphasize your opinion on the race. A shrewd player will modify the bets below to fit their opinions of the race and their betting personality.

In each of the wagers below the first dollar amount is the base wager. Next is the bet type followed by the horse numbers to be used.

Commas separate runners while the word with is used to separate positions in the race (1st, 2nd, 3rd,) or races in the Pick 5.

The final dollar amount in parenthesis is the total cost of the wager since many of the recommendations include multiple tickets.

$20 Budget

  • $1 Exacta Box 1,2,3,6 ($12)
  • $1 Exacta Key Box 2 with 3,6 ($4)
  • $.50 Trifecta 2,3 with 2,3,6 with 1,2,3,6 ($4)

$100 Budget

  • $20 Win and Place Bet Essential Quality at odds of 2-1 or higher OR the horse with the higher odds between Known Agenda and Rombauer ($40)
  • $2 Exacta Box 1,2,3,6 ($24)
  • $2 Exacta Key Box 2/1,3,6 ($12)
  • $1 Trifecta 2,3/2,3,6,7/1,2,3,6,7,8 ($24)

$.50 Late Pick 5 Ticket

The all stakes late pick 5 begins in race 7 with the Ogden Phipps.

  • Race 7: 1,2,3,5 with
  • Race 8: 4,5,11,2 with
  • Race 9: 6 with
  • Race 10: 10,4,9 with
  • Race 11: 1,2,3,6

Ticket Cost: $96

Best of luck in all of your Belmont Stakes wagering endeavors!

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