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Triple Crown Scene Shifts to … Saratoga: Wait, Where?

There will be no Triple Crown winner this year, or the asterisk that would have been attached had there been one. Kentucky Derby champion Mystik Dan fell 2¼ lengths short as the favorite in the Preakness Stakes, so the Belmont Stakes on June 8 won’t involve a coronation. The race will be run in New York, but upstate at Saratoga as Belmont Park undergoes major renovations.

They won’t run 1½ miles either, because Saratoga’s 1⅛-mile track configuration won’t allow it, so 10 furlongs they go in what is expected to be a more talented field than the Preakness. Sierra Leone and Fierceness are expected to battle for favoritism in the horse racing odds

Triple Crown Scene Shifts to … Saratoga: Wait, Where?
Seize the Grey #6 | Samuel Corum/Getty Images/AFP

 

Belmont Stakes Information

  • Date/Time: June 8, TBD
  • Track: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
  • Belmont Stakes Live Stream: TVG

 

Last Leg of Triple Crown is Going to Be Weird

The Belmont Stakes was run at Aqueduct in 1963 – 100 years after Saratoga opened – while Belmont underwent its previous renovation. Sixty-one years later, the scene shifts to Saratoga, where the bean counters will be far happier while putting an added strain on NYRA’s cash cow. Tickets sold out faster than a Taylor Swift concert, so the Spa will be the place to be for Belmont Day – always one of the top four racing extravaganzas in the United States each year.

 

Mystik Dan Was Almost the Man

At the top of the Preakness stretch, Mystik Dan appeared poised to blow by pacesetter Seize the Grey. But as the horses thundered down the muddy lane at Pimlico, it quickly became apparent that Seize the Grey wasn’t stopping. Trainer Ken McPeek said that Mystik Dan came out of the Preakness in good shape, and will be shipped to Saratoga. McPeek, though, may have a different horse to run in the Belmont, but that decision won’t be immediately made.

Thorpedo Anna, who won the Kentucky Oaks by 4¾ lengths, will run in either the Belmont or the Acorn Stakes on the undercard. Twenty-fillies have run in the Belmont, but only three won. The last was Rags to Riches in 2007. Nest was the last to try, finishing second at 5-1 in 2022.

 

Coach ‘Em Up: Lukas Returns to Spotlight

  1. Wayne Lukas used to rule horse racing as the sport’s No. 1 trainer. The 88-year-old, affectionately known as The Coach, hasn’t been too relevant in recent years, but his farewell tour of sorts is picking up steam. Seize the Grey got an easy lead and kept on going at 7-1 odds to give Lukas an improbable seventh Preakness victory.

 

Seize the Grey’s owners – some 2,500 of them through the MyRacehorse ownership syndicate – are excited about the prospects of winning another Triple Crown race, which appears possible.

“If we had to make that decision today, we’d go (to the Belmont),”

Lukas said on Sunday. “But I’ll give it a couple of days.”

 

Other Belmont Stakes Probables

A potentially strong field could line up for the Belmont. Sierra Leone, who was second in the Kentucky Derby after a wide trip and tough stretch run, is expected to be the top choice at the BetUS racebook. Fierceness, who faded to 15th as the 3-1 favorite in the Derby, should also attract plenty of attention. Fierceness is trained by four-time Belmont winner Todd Pletcher.

Other horses of interest include Antiquarian and Honor Marie. Antiquarian, trained by Pletcher, won the Peter Pan Stakes at Aqueduct on May 11 after a sixth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby eliminated him from Kentucky Derby contention. Honor Marie was bumped repeatedly on both sides at the start of the Derby and ran into traffic trouble in the first turn and down the backstretch before coming from last to finish eighth in a better-than-it-looked performance.

 

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Why will the 2024 Belmont Stakes be run at Saratoga?


Belmont Park is undergoing major renovations, so the 2024 Belmont Stakes will be run at Saratoga.

When was the last time the Belmont Stakes wasn’t run at Belmont Park?


The 1963 Belmont Stakes was run at Aqueduct because Belmont Park was being renovated.

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