Everything to know about the 2024 Belmont Stakes post positions

June 4th, 2024

How much of an impact will post positions have on the outcome of the 2024 Belmont S. (G1)? That’s a tough question that’s hard to answer based on existing data.

There have been 117 editions of the Belmont since the race moved to its primary home of Belmont Park in 1905. Digging through the data on winning post positions, bettors might assume post 1 is a distinct advantage since it’s produced 24 winners, generating a lofty 20.5% win rate. At the same time, bettors would be tempted to steer clear of post 10, which has gone 1-for-39 (2.6%) during the same timeframe.

Post PositionStartsWinsWin %Wins since 2000Last winner2024 Belmont entrant
11172420.5%2Justify (2018)Seize the Grey
21171311.1%2Essential Quality (2021)Resilience
31151613.9%4Arcangelo (2023)Mystik Dan
4109109.2%2Summer Bird (2009)The Wine Steward
51011514.9%2American Pharoah (2015)Antiquarian
69688.3%1Mo Donegal (2022)Dornoch
7831416.9%3Sir Winston (2019)Protective
87379.6%2Tiz the Law (2020)Honor Marie
95647.1%2Afleet Alex (2005)Sierra Leone
103912.6%0Thunder Gulch (1995)Mindframe
1128310.7%2Tonalist (2014)None
121119.1%1Palace Malice (2013)None
137114.3%1Creator (2016)None

But there are a couple of important caveats to consider. For starters, many Belmonts have featured small fields with three, four, or five horses. When there are only four horses in a race, any given post position has a 25% at producing the winner, so inside posts tend to yield higher win percentages than outside posts. In a 10-horse field, each post has only a 10% shot at producing the winner. Viewed through this lens, the win percentages for post 11 (10.7%), post 12 (9.1%), and post 13 (14.3%) are quite respectable.

The other caveat is a big one. Normally, the Belmont is held over 1 1/2 miles at Belmont Park, the configuration used in 97 of the 117 Belmonts in our sample. But since Belmont Park is currently being renovated, the 2024 edition has been moved to Saratoga and shortened to 1 1/4 miles.

This change in distance and location could have a significant impact on the importance of post positions. Belmont Park is a 1 1/2-mile oval, and the Belmont is one lap around the giant track. Saratoga is only 1 1/8 miles around. Trying to apply post positions stats from 1 1/2 miles at Belmont Park to 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga is difficult; it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Perhaps, then, post positions stats from the historic Travers (G1) for three-year-olds racing 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga might be more relevant. Below are the post position stats since 1991 for the “Midsummer Derby.” 

Post PositionStartsWinsWin %

These stats suggest posts 4 through 7 can be ideal when three-year-olds race 1 1/4 miles over the Saratoga dirt. Based on this data, we would conclude #4 The Wine Steward, #5 Antiquarian, #6 Dornoch, and #7 Protective have drawn well in the 2024 Belmont.