Blurred image of fast racehorses

The final jewel of the Triple Crown series gets under way at Saratoga Race course on Saturday, after some really incredible competitions at Preakness and the Kentucky Derby. The “Test of the Champion”, as the Belmont Stakes is fondly known, begins June 8 in New York in the oldest and last part of an always-exhilarating six-week ride.


The Belmont Stakes was named after German-American financier, businessman and diplomat August Belmont, who was the founder and arguably the driving force behind organized racing in the New York area. The race was initially held at Jerome Park starting in 1867, later moving to Morris Park Racecourse in 1890, and then finally to the 430-acre Belmont Park in May 1905. In 1926, the first August Belmont Trophy was awarded to the winner, which the owner holds in possession for one year – until the next race commences. They’re also given a silver mini-version of the trophy they get to keep, plus the purse, which is valued this year at $2 Million.

Both this year’s Preakness and Kentucky Derby champions – Seize the Grey and Mystik Dan –  plan to be running in the 1 ¼ mile race, although perhaps surprisingly, neither one is the favored winner.  The odds-on steed is actually Derby runner-up Sierra Leone, who lost to Mystik Dan by a mere nosehair, and at this writing boasts the top odds at 9-5.

Mystik Dan

 Kentucky Derby 2024 Winner, received early training at Ken McPeeks Silverleaf Hills Training Center in Summerfield, Florida.

Sierra Leone

2nd Place, Kentucky Derby 2024, early training at David Scanlon’s Scanlon Training and Sales and is based at Reid’s Nagle Oak Ridge Training in Morriston, Florida.


4th Place, Kentucky Derby 2024, trains at Payson. His jockey Junior Alvarado got his start in South Florida at Calder.


10th Place, Kentucky Derby 2024, had early education with Raul Reyes and wife Martha Reyes at King’s Equine in Ocala, Florida.

The Wine Steward

Sold for $340,000 at OBS March sale. Consigned by and received early training at Becky Thomas’ Sequel Bloodstock, located in Ocala, Florida.

The Belmont Stakes will be televised at NBC Sports and the app as well as the Peacock network for full pre-and-post coverage beginning at 3 pm Saturday. If you want to have a more immersive experience, though – check out World Equestrian Center’s viewing event at Yellow Pony Pub & Garden with fellow enthusiasts for a live watch. The event features specialty drinks and craft bears, and you can cheer on your favorite on the large 16-foot jumbotron.

Enjoy the race!

Belmont Jewel Cocktail

The official drink of the Belmont Stakes, the Jewel is aptly named because of its ruby red glow from the pomegranate juice!

1 ½ oz. Bourbon Whiskey
2 oz. lemonade
1 oz. pomegranate juice
Lemon twist for garnish
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to mix. 

Step 2: Strain into a double old-fashioned glass over fresh crushed ice. 

Step 3: Garnish with a lemon twist. Serve and enjoy.

The Belmont Jewel Cocktail