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Why is the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga in 2024 and 2025?

Andy Newton
saratoga races(1)

Horse racing fans will see the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in 2024 and 2025 due to the ongoing renovation of Belmont Park, which led the NYRA to switch the last leg of the US Triple Crown upstate to Saratoga Springs from New York City. 

This means anyone looking for Belmont Stakes tickets must head out from The Big Apple to the spa town north of the metropolis. Upstate New York has a rich horse racing tradition of its own, but more on that later.

Key Changes to Races Normally from Belmont at Saratoga

The move has seen the entire 2024 and 2025 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival program switched to Saratoga Race Course, but this temporary swap has also led to some race distance alterations with the other NYRA track being a different size to Belmont Park.

These trip changes include the 156th Belmont Stakes on Saturday June 8 in 2024. This will also be the first time the Test of the Champion has been held outside Belmont Park since 1967. Back then, the race took place at Aqueduct between 1963 and 1967.

Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Run over 10 Furlongs Not 12

Due to the switch of tracks this has also meant the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga race distance will change in 2024 and 2024 because the New York track has a different configuration to its regular home.

The Belmont Stakes, normally run over a mile-and-a-half (2,400m or 12 furlongs), will be shorter and run over 2,000m (10 furlongs). It’s a quarter of a mile (400m) less distance. Bettors should consider this before wagering on the best Belmont Stakes betting sites available online and offshore.

This means the third leg of the US Triple Crown will now be run over the same trip as the first race in the series, the Kentucky Derby. We shall see the winner from Churchill Downs, Mystik Dan, take on Preakness Stakes hero Seize The Grey again in 2024.

Other Alterations for Belmont at Saratoga

Some races – including the Belmont Gold Cup (2m), Woody Stephens Stakes (7f), Just A Game Stakes (1m) and the Metropolitan Handicap (1m) – will remain at their normal distances.

However, in addition to the Belmont Stakes in 2024 and 2025 having a shorter trip, there are also some other significant race distance amendments to look out for.

Other Notable Belmont Stakes Racing Festival Race Distance Changes

Friday, June 7

  • Acorn Stakes is 1m 1f (1,800m) instead of extended mile (1,700m)
  • Intercontinental Stakes is 5.5f (1,300m) instead of 6f (1,400m)
  • New York Stakes is 1m 1.5f (1,900m) instead of 1m 2f (2,000m)

Saturday, June 8

  • Manhattan Stakes is 1m 1.5f (1,900m) instead of 1m 2f (2,000m)
  • Ogden Phipps Stakes is 1m 1f (1,800m) instead of extended mile (1,700m)
  • Jaipur Stakes is 5.5f (1,300m) instead of 6f (1,400m)

When is the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga?

The 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival is a four-day meet between Thursday, June 6 and Sunday, June 9. During this time, the Belmont Stakes itself is on Saturday, June 8.

  • 📅Time/Date: 6:41pm (ET), Saturday June 8, 2024
  • 🏇Racecourse: Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, New York
  • 💰 Purse: $2m
  • 📺 TV: FOX Sports and Peacock (live streaming)
  • 🎲 Belmont Stakes Odds: Sierra Leone +125 | Mindframe +250 | Mystic Dan +500 | Seize The Grey +600

Where is Saratoga Race Course in Relation to Belmont Park?

Saratoga Race Course in the upstate spa town of Saratoga Springs is another horse racing hub in New York. Although some way north of Belmont Park, this other track now has a Triple Crown race until 2026. Long Island in The Big Apple contrasts sharply with the upstate locale.

You can see from Google Maps below that Saratoga is directly north of Belmont Park. There is approximately 261.37km (162.41 miles) between these venues as the crow flies.

Belmont Saratoga(1)

Why has the Belmont Stakes Moved to Saratoga?

Saratoga Race Course is more famed for staging big races each summer that include the Travers Stakes, Whitney Stakes and the Saratoga Derby.

However, for the next two years (2024 & 2025) these top Grade I races will be upstaged by the Belmont Stakes.

This is because Saratoga was selected by the NYRA for hosting duties of the Test of the Champion due to Belmont Park’s ongoing redevelopment work.

Aqueduct, who held the Belmont Stakes for five years in the 1960s when the track had its last redevelopment, was also in the running to step in for two years. However, race organizers chose Saratoga instead as a better fit.

The work at Belmont Park is expected be ongoing for two years. This means we’ll be seeing the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga till at least 2025.

With the race set to return to its normal home in 2026, which will be the 158th running of the oldest US Triple Crown race.

Saratoga also has a smaller capacity of 50,000, compared to 90,000 racegoers that Belmont Park can handle. So almost half the racing fans will be able to watch the big US Triple Crown race in person.

The current Belmont Stakes odds see the Kentucky Derby runner-up Sierra Leone heading the market for the Chad C. Brown team. He’ll be looking to give the barn their first win in the race.

Andy Newton
Andy Newton

Andy Newton is a horse racing handicapper who specializes in big race trends and stats for the top events in sport around the world - including horse racing. His statistical approach to hunting out winners is one that has paid off time and time again - putting history on his side by showcasing the best profiles based on past winners. Check out the latest trends and Belmont Stakes stats, plus much more from Andy on the site.