Moving the Belmont Stakes to Saratoga Did Not Hurt Betting Revenue

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Dornoch with Luis Saez up wins the 156th running of the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on June 08, 2024 in Saratoga Springs, New York. The race was moved to Saratoga while Belmont Park undergoes renovations. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

The Belmont Stakes, the last of the three horse races that make up the coveted Triple Crown, ended the season with more money bet on it this year compared to last year.

The New York Racing Association reported that for the Belmont Stakes race on Saturday, people bet just under $61 million. Throughout the day, which had 14 races, the total bets added up to $125.7 million. This is more than a 6% increase from last year’s total bets of $118.3 million on the same day.

The amount of money bet over the three days was almost 24% higher than last year’s. Last year, the total was $159.6 million, and 62,800 people came to Belmont Park near New York City to watch the races.

Racing at Saratoga Considered a Huge Success

The race this year took place at Saratoga Race Course because Belmont Park, where it’s usually held, is being renovated. Of the 50,000 fans who came to watch the races, they put together nearly $15 million in bets.

 “It was an incredibly memorable and exciting weekend at Saratoga Race Course,” said Patrick McKenna, the vice president of communications for NYRA, in a statement emailed to The Daily Gazette. “NYRA would like to thank the fans who visited in record-breaking numbers throughout this historic edition of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival and the millions more who watched all the action on FOX Sports. Despite the sky-high anticipation for a first-ever Triple Crown event at Saratoga, the Festival exceeded all expectations and provided a global stage for the sport’s most revered venue.”

Belmont Stakes Day at Saratoga was a sell-out with 50,000 people in attendance, compared to just over 48,000 at Belmont Park in 2023 and 46,103 at Belmont Park in 2022.

All Three Triple Crown Races See Increases in Revenue

This year, wagering on the Triple Crown races surged, with the Kentucky Derby leading the charge. A staggering $210.7 million was wagered on the Derby, surpassing last year’s record of $188.7 million.

The Preakness Stakes also experienced a rebound in betting interest, with wagers totaling nearly $58 million, a significant increase following a three-year low in the previous year.

Completing the trio, the aforementioned Belmont Stakes attracted $60.9 million in bets, marking an increase from the prior year’s $56.5 million.

Belmont Will Also Be Run at Saratoga Next Year

Saratoga Race Course will host the Belmont Stakes for just one more year!  The renovations taking place at Belmont Park will not be completed until early 2026. 

As the third oldest racetrack in the United States, Saratoga Race Course has long been a preferred sanctuary for New York’s elite from the day it opened. Since its affiliation with NYRA, it has risen to become one of the most distinguished names in racing. And as we have seen this year, is a more than appropriate venue for the venerable Triple Crown’s oldest event.