Inside the Numbers of the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown Bid by Justify
The rich championship history continues June 9 at Belmont Park and the buildup to the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes is Justified. Bob Baffert-trained Justify tries to become the 13th Triple Crown winner in horse racing history. Justify is 5-for-5 entering the Belmont Stakes, and he’s not only chasing history, but a big purse of $1.5 million with the winner awarded $800,000.
Here are some facts and figures about about the Belmont Stakes, betting and what the favorite Justify is up against.
- 13.3% – The win percentage of Belmont favorites in the last 15 years. Just two have won: Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (2015) and Afleet Alex (2005).
- 20 – The number of horses who lost the Belmont with a Triple Crown on the line. The most recent to miss was California Chrome in 2014.
- 34 – The number of horses who have been odds-on in the Belmont betting. Thirteen of them have won.
- $150,249,399 – Total dollars wagered on Belmont day 2014, a record. $83,054,106 of that was bet on the Belmont Stakes itself.
- 18 stakes races – The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival was established in 2015 by the New York Racing Association (NYRA). This year’s festival will offer $9.4 million in purses for the 18 stakes races. Three on Thursday, five on Friday and 10 on Saturday including six Grade 1 events.
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Wagering is expected to be huge for Saturday with the presence of a potential Triple Crown champion. Wagering handle for Thursday and Friday was $4.13 million last year, an increase of 18 percent over the $3.49 million wagered on those first two days the year before.
All-source handle for the entire festival last June reached $124.7 million compared to $122.8 million 2016. The presence of American Pharoah, who became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, spiked the 2015 all-sources handle to $161.0 million.
Expect another huge handle and big betting at Belmont Saturday as Justify takes on the “Test of the Champion” and goes for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.