Belmont Stakes Horses: Favorites, Contenders, & Long Shots

The Belmont Stakes is loaded with the top three-year-olds in racing. Essential Quality at Rombauer sit atop the odds board and as our No. 1 and 2 ranked horse.

Last Updated: Jun 1, 2021 12:20 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Jockey Flavien Prat and Rombauer in the Winners Circle after winning the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. - Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Photo By - Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 Belmont Stakes is the final Triple Crown event of the season, with some of the top three-year-old thoroughbreds tackling the “Test of Champions” on the 1 ½-mile track at Belmont Park on June 5.

With the controversy around Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and famed trainer Bob Baffert suspended by the NYRA, the field for the Belmont Stakes is a mix of standouts from the Derby and the Preakness and some lesser-known horses stepping up on the big stage. 

Here’s an in-depth look and rankings for the 2021 Belmont Stakes Horses and their odds to win the Belmont Stakes and be sure to download our printable list of horses.

Printable Belmont Stakes horses list

Our printable list of Belmont Stakes horses will be available in the days leading up to the race. Check back to download or print your copy.

Belmont Stakes Horses

  • Essential Quality
  • Rombauer
  • Hot Rod Charlie
  • Known Agenda
  • Rock Your World
  • France Go De Ina
  • Bourbonic
  • Overtook

How horses qualify for the Belmont Stakes

Qualifying for the Belmont Stakes is a little different from making the grade for the previous two Triple Crown races but still requires a thoroughbred horse to be three years old and come in at a weight of 126 pounds for colts and 121 pounds for fillies. 

Belmont Stakes prep races

Horses who finished Top 3 in either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes are given automatic spots in the Belmont, if they choose to run. Beyond that, every horse wishing to run must pay a series of entry fees (adding up to over $100,000) and be nominated into the field, which can range from 10 to 15 horses.

Triple Crown Horses

The Belmont Stakes is known as “The Test of Champions” because it is the final leg of horse racings Triple Crown and also the longest of the three events at 1 ½ miles (12 furlongs). However, the 2021 season does not have a Triple Crown contender entering the Belmont. 

The 2021 Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer is expected to compete while controversial Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is prohibited from racing in New York due to a failed drug test following his win at Churchill Downs.

Types of Belmont Stakes horses

The Belmont Stakes is selective in which type of horses compete in one of the most historic events in North American horse racing, limiting the field to three-year-old thoroughbreds.


Thoroughbred horses are known for their long athletic builds and speed, making them ideal for racing. They’re sleeker and lighter than other breeds, which is ideal for the length of the Belmont Stakes, which runs 1 ½ miles (12 furlongs) – the longest of the Triple Crown events.

Age of horses

The Belmont Stakes is limited to three-year-old horses. This age of horse is ideal for racing as they have yet to fully mature and have limited races on their resume, leaving an aura of mystery, but still post fast times and exciting finishes.

Instant Replay: Belmont Stakes horses

  • The Belmont Stakes is limited to three-year-old thoroughbreds.
  • The Top 3 finishers from the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes get automatic entry into the Belmont field
  • The field for the Belmont can range in size from 10 horses to 15, depending on the number of qualified entries.
  • The Belmont Stakes presents the longest Triple Crown race to horses at 1 ½ miles (12 furlongs), favoring horse with endurance and calculated strategies. 

Belmont Stakes horses FAQs

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