New to horse racing and looking to get started this week at the Belmont? This article will get you up to speed in a hurry. Check out our Belmont betting odds to find out who is the favorite to win.

For more information on the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes, take a look at my betting guide below. If you need some help handicapping the race, check out my Belmont Stakes predictions.

Belmont Stakes Betting 101: Understanding Where & How to Bet the Race

Race Information

Date: Saturday, June 8
Time: Approx. 6:50 pm EST
Location: Elmont, New York
Track: Belmont Park
Surface: Dirt
Distance: 1 1/2 Mile Track (12 furlongs)
Horses: 3-Year-Old Thoroughbreds

Different Betting Options

Straight Bets

A “Win” wager is a type of straight bet and they don’t get any easier than this. You simply pick the horse you think will win the race and you win if the horse wins.

A “Place” wager usually pays less than the win bet because your odds improve. For this wager, you select a horse which you think will place first or second.

A “Show” wager then is placed on a horse you feel will come in either first, second, or third.

One thing you may want to consider is the “Across the Board” wager. This is an easy way to say that you want a horse to finish in any of the first three spots.

For example, $2 Across the Board = $2 to win, $2 to place, and $2 to show. If the horse wins, you’ll win on all three wagers. If the horse comes in second, you’ll cash on the place and show. If the horse comes in third, you’ll just collect on the show. This would be a great way for you beginners to tackle this event.

Exotic Bets

The “Quiniela” is a form of an exotic wager. With this, you must accurately pick the horses that will come in first and second. Either horse can finish in either place and you still win.

The “Exacta” is just like the Quinella. The only difference is that you must pick the top two finishing horses in the exact order. This wager pays better than the Quinella because it’s slightly more difficult.

The “Trifecta” requires you pick the exact order of the first three horses in the race.

The “Superfecta” is a nice payout if you can pull it off. It requires a bettor to pick the first four finishing horses in the exact order of their finish. This is usually placed when you feel a field is top heavy, as long-shots tend to ruin this wager.

How to Box, Key or Wheel Your Exotic Bets

A “Boxed” bet is essentially taking every combination possible for an exotic. Say you like the No. 5, No. 4 and No. 8 horses in a particular race, but aren’t sure which one will win. You can box the three in a Trifecta and guarantee a win as long as those three horses finish 1-2-3.

A “Key” bet is where you have a specific horse you think is going to finish in a certain spot (more times than not to win). You then take every combination with the other horses you like. For example, say you are confident the No. 2 horse will win but aren’t sure if the No. 5, No. 7 or No. 4 are the best option to finish out your Trifecta. With a key on the No. 2 and the other three horses, you will win as long as the No. 2 comes in first and either the No. 7, No. 5 or No. 4 finish second and third.

With a “Wheel” bet you basically pick the horse(s) you think will win, place or show. How many you need to pick depends on what exotic you are using. From there you take every other possible combination based on the number of horses in the field. Using the previous example from the key. You could place an exacta wheel on the No. 2, which gives you an Exacta wager on every combination in the field with the No. 2 winning.

Handicapper Guide to Making Smart Bets on Horses at the Belmont

Experienced Jockey

So much attention is given to the horses, a lot of people overlook the impact that a jockey can have in a race. It’s especially important in a long race like this one. For more on this, check out our article that takes a look at the Belmont Stakes jockeys for this year’s race.

Don’t Bet the House on the Favorite

Unlike the Derby and Preakness, where the favorites win the majority of the time, it’s not as common at the Belmont. In fact, it’s happened just 8 times in the last 40 years. This has been painfully true for those horses racing for the elusive Triple Crown. While Justify (2018) and American Pharoah (2015) have delivered in that spot recently, each of the previous 13 failed to deliver on the 1 1/2 mile track.

That’s not to say the favorite can’t win or we won’t see another Triple Crown winner. I would just encourage you to include at least a couple exotic wagers or win bets on some other horses in the field. Get to know the other contenders in our Belmont horses preview.

Rest Is Critical

Rest has proven to be a decisive advantage at this event. American Pharoah and Justify are the only horse in the last 12 years to win this race having run in both the Derby and Preakness.

There have also been just 6 horses in the last 19 years that have won with less than 4 weeks of rest. Keep in mind there are just 3 weeks of rest between the Preakness and Belmont.

Early Vegas Odds to Win the 2019 Belmont Stakes

HorseOdds as of 5/28
War Of Will5/2
Master Fencer8/1
Intrepid Heart12/1
Sir Winston12/1

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