Where to Bet on the Belmont Stakes in 2019
The 2019 Belmont Stakes is not likely to go down as the finest edition of the race ever, and it certainly doesn't present as the most compelling ever. Twice in the last four years we have had Triple Crowns on offer - and claimed - so we have been spoiled, and a letdown is inevitable. But it is still a race that will have a big crowd, a big handle, and plenty of opportunities to make some money. And there will be some real long shots that could pump up the exotics, too. It won't be the race of a lifetime, but it should be a decent one to bet on - and sometimes that is the most important thing. But where to bet on the Belmont? Here are the best options:
Online sportsbooks: People typically think of sportsbooks as a place to bet on, well, sports. But most online sportsbooks, including our preferred books - BetOnline , GT Bets , Bovada , 5Dimes,Bookmaker and MyBookie - all offer futures and prop bets on major races, including the Belmont. There are a few ways that this can be particularly attractive. First, they offer futures bets on the Belmont pretty much as soon as the Preakness is official. That means that you can bet on a horse as early as you want - perhaps before the price drops to a more accurate level in your eyes. And no matter when you bet on a horse, you lock in the odds you bet at, which can be much more attractive than a pari mutuel bet where you can only guess what the final odds will be. That's no help if you are looking to bet exotics, or if you make place or show bets, but if you are a win bettor then this can be a great way to find extra value. Another big opportunity is prop betting, which has become more popular each year in thoroughbred racing - as it has in most sports. In any sport prop bets can offer opportunities for effective handicappers to find inaccuracies that can offer real value. And because the action is generally lighter on racing props than other sports, the opportunities to find soft lines are even more significant. Value can be really tough to find in pari mutuel lines, so this is worth a look.
Online racebooks: Several sportsbooks also offer racebooks where you can make pari mutuel bets like any standard race betting. There are also several different stand-alone racebooks, with organizations like the Daily Racing Form and Churchill Downs being among the more prominent. At these books you can bet into the same pari mutuel pools that they are betting at the tracks, so you will have no issues with limits or wonky odds. Both types of racebooks will often offer incentives or bonuses that you can use to make your investment in the race even more potentially lucrative.
OTBs: OTB stand for off-track betting, and these are simply places you can bet without going to a racetrack. Depending upon where you live, these could be in casinos, in some sports bars, in tracks that aren't currently racing, or in stand-alone stores or other venues. It's just like going to the track, but there are no horses and you watch the races on TV. Other than that, your options are the same, and you are almost certainly betting into the track betting pools. It can be a pretty fun place to watch a big race - plenty of regulars, and some truly fascinating characters to watch. Your mileage will vary depending upon where you live, but chances are decent there is one near you if you look for it.
Your local track: This would always be my first choice - well, except for the last option on this list. If your local track is running, then you can head there, watch some live racing, catch the big races on TV, and bet on the whole lot of it. There are very few things better in this world than spending a day at the track, sitting in the sun with a beer and watching races. Most tracks will probably have some sort of a special event planned for a Triple Crown race, too - perhaps as simple as drink specials or special food, or maybe something more elaborate. This can be a family affair, too - my son loves going to the races as much as I do, though he's only eight so I drink his beer for him.
Belmont Park: There is obviously no better place to watch the Belmont than the place where it happens. It's a much different experience than the other two legs of the Derby - far less insane and almost a little subdued. But it's a great time - especially when the crowd is big. I made my only trip to the race in 2002 when War Emblem went for his Triple Crown. No one there really thought it was going to happen, but it was a heck of a day. And when it's over, you are in New York - which is never a bad thing. It's well worth a trip.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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