The Belmont Stakes, unlike the Preakness the precedes it by three weeks, is a race where favorites have performed relatively poorly over the last eleven years. Since 2000, only three favorites have won the Belmont Stakes - Afleet Alex, Empire Maker and Point Given. (A 27% success rate for favorites isn't a horrible number; it's a bit less than average when you look at the success of favorites nationwide, but it's much less than the Preakness.) While that doesn't help us to find the winner in the race during a specific year, it does give us clues as to whether the betting public is able to figure this race out year-after-year.
Once you get by the three favorites to win the Belmont in the last eleven years, the race has featured a mix of bombs (Da'Tara and Bridstone), mid-shots (Summer Bird and Rags To Riches), and complete unknowns (Sarava). Because big priced horses can really sway the average payouts over a period of time, it's probably a bit more informative to look at median payouts over a period of time, rather than averages. Below is a chart summarizing the median payouts of each wager since 2000.
Belmont Stakes - Median Payouts
|$1 Pick 3||295.75|
|$1 Pick 4||3,195.25|
|$2 Pick 6||25,779.00|
|$2 Brklyn/Bel DD||348.50|
Bullet points regarding the above chart:
- The Brooklyn/Belmont Daily Double has been offered only seven times in the last eleven years (2001-2004, 2008-2010) and it has produced a huge median of $348.50. The Brooklyn is run on the Friday before the Belmont.
- The Pick 4 goes back and forth between huge payouts and pretty small payouts. The median isn't horrible ($3,195.25), but three times the payout has come back at less than $1,000 for a $1 play (2003, 2005, 2006).
- The Super has proven to be one of the more solid bets on Belmont day, producing a $9,986.50 median and a payout of over a $1,000 in all but three years since 2000. It's paid more than $10,000 five times, with a six payout of $9,315.00. Historically, if you can hit the Super, you get paid.
- While not producing Derby-type payouts in the exacta, the Belmont still produces a healthy median of $121.00 (compared to the $81.40 median at the Preakness).
So that's a look at the median payouts. Now let's take a look at the year-by-year numbers. Below is a summary of the pari-mutuel payouts at the Belmont since 2000. (I've split the data into two charts - one for horizontal wagers, and one for vertical.)
Belmont Stakes - Vertical Wagers
|Year - Winner||$2 Win||$2 Exacta||$2 Trifecta||$2 Superfecta|
|2010 - Drosselmeyer||28.00||144.50||766.00||10.658.00|
|2009 - Summer Bird||25.80||121.00||295.00||852.00|
|2008 - Da'Tara||79.00||659.00||3,954.00||48,637.00|
|2007 - Rags to Riches||10.60||25.20||131.50||242.50|
|2006 - Jazil||14.40||92.00||436.00||1.085.00|
|2005 - Afleet Alex||4.30||44.00||1,249.00||14,219.00|
|2004 - Bridstone||74.00||139.00||1,589.00||11,679.00|
|2003 - Empire Maker||6.00||44.00||67.50|
|2002 - Sarava||142.50||2,454.00||25,209.00||145,334.00|
|2001 - Point Given||4.70||20.60||76.00||183.50|
|2000 - Commendable||39.60||213.00||1,310.00
Belmont Stakes - Horizontal Wagers
|Year - Winner||$2 Pick 3||$1 Pick 4||$2 Pick 6||$2 DD||$2 Brklyn/Bel|
|2010 - Drosselmeyer||357.00||83,528.00||31,800.00||596.00||283.00|
|2009 - Summer Bird||1,288.00||8,542.50||969,345.00||152.50||337.50|
|2008 - Da'Tara||3,237,50||17,143.50||1,106.00||1,574.00||550.00|
|2007 - Rags to Riches||234.00||2,736.00||417,207.00||53.00|
|2006 - Jazil||195.25||934.50||17,541.00||67.50|
|2005 - Afleet Alex||157.25||245.00||19,758.00||88.00|
|2004 - Birdstone||1,455.00||3,654.50||47,421.00||526.00||466.00|
|2003 - Empire Maker||42.00||135.50||900.00||16.00||20.20|
|2002 - Sarava||348.50|
|2001 - Point Given||417.50|
|2000 - Commendable|
A few thoughts on the payouts over the last decade:
- In 2008 there was a dead-heat for the show spot keying off double payouts in the Tri and Super. I've included the highest of the payouts on the chart. Both payouts were similar in size (Tri: $3,703; Super: $47,309.)
- The two lowest paying years in all categories were 2005-Afleet Alex and 2001-Point Given, which isn't too surprising when you consider that those two colts were two of the more logical winners we've seen in the last eleven years and each won convincingly. However, check out the Superfecta in 2005; Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo finished out of the money, helping to key a fat $14k payouts for a $2 Super play. Contrast that with the Point Given year where the Super paid a microscopic $183.50.
- If you like to play the Pick Six, the Belmont card is a good one to get involved in. The sequence carried-over in 2010 and 2008, but produced some very nice returns in other years.
- The Trifecta has really been a mixed bag over the last eleven years; five payouts of over a grand and a four that come in under $500. Considering that these payouts are normalized for a $2 play, the Tri looks like a bet to be wary of, or at the minimum, demand value.