The third and final leg of the Triple Crown fast approaches as we head to the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York. The three-day festival runs from 8 through 10 June with the headline race taking place on Saturday, 10 June at 6:50 PM ET.

You can stream the 2017 Belmont Stakes online at any US-legal racing betting site or watch it on TV by tuning in to NBC from 5 PM to 7 PM ET on race day.

International betting sites are already taking outright wagers on the winner of the 2017 Belmont Stakes while US-legal racing sites will be opening their books closer to the day of the race.

In either case, the first thing to do is acquaint yourself with the race and consider your bets. The field is wide open once again, but today’s post should get you off to a solid start. Today we will be discussing the top Belmont Stakes betting sites, the favored horses, the early betting odds and best online betting offers.

Where to Bet on the Belmont Stakes Online

Your best options for betting on the Belmont Stakes online depend on where you live. If you are in the United States, you can visit any licensed betting site to bet online. Your money will be comingled with the racing pool and you will be paid at full track odds should your betting slips be winners. Unlike online poker and sports betting, horse racing is specifically exempt from federal anti-online gambling laws.

One thing to keep in mind is US-licensed betting sites do not accept outright bets on the winner until very close to race day. You can go ahead and set up an account, make a deposit and get ready to bet, but it will be a few more days before you can actually bet on the Belmont Stakes at any of the legal betting sites in the USA.

Our readers from other parts of the world have a few more options courtesy of major, international betting sites. These sites are also licensed in other parts of the world (namely the UK) and do accept early wagers. In fact, all odds for this post come from those bookmakers.

Here are our top recommendations:

Betting Site

Previewing the 2017 Belmont Stakes

This year’s Belmont Stakes will not be quite as hyped as it has in recent years since we don’t have a Triple Crown contender. All hopes of a repeat of American Pharoah’s 2015 run died when Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby and then Cloud Computing won the Preakness Stakes. As if that wasn’t enough, both winners have been ruled out of the 2017 Belmont Stakes.

This leaves us with Classic Empire as the betting favorite according to early odds published by international bookmakers. Given his solid showings through the first two legs of the Triple Crown (4th at the Kentucky Derby and 2nd at the Preakness Stakes) combined with the winners of those two races being ruled out, we expect to see Classic Empire open as the betting favorite here in the United States as well.

The fact that Classic Empire came up short in both races has not dampened expectations too much ahead of the 2017 Belmont Stakes. Classic Empire put on an admirable performance at the Kentucky Derby when you consider he opened from post 14, was roughed up early in the race and then had mud flung into his eye on the sloppy track. Despite all that, Classic Empire managed to recover from 13th at one point in the race and finish a respectable 4th.

Classic Empire came much closer at the Preakness Stakes as he battled early with Always Dreaming. Always Dreaming faded down the final stretch and for a moment it looked like Classic Empire would claim his first Triple Crown race win at Pimlico. But then, Cloud Computing came roaring up from out of nowhere to snatch victory at the last moment.

It’s clear Classic Empire has all sorts of potential to win at Belmont Park. The main concern now is if he can hold strong through this grueling schedule. By the time we get to the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, he will be looking at running four races in under eight weeks.

Epicharis is ranked as another strong contender with early odds in the range of 4/1. This puts him second only to Classic Empire. Epicharis enters the Belmont Stakes with plenty to like including a nearly perfect record aside from a 2nd place finish at the UAE Derby and owners who have been aiming for this race specifically.

Epicharis will also qualify for the $1 million bonus being offered by the New York Racing Association for any Japanese horse to win the Belmont Stakes. This racing bonus coincides with this year being the first time that the Belmont Stakes will be open for parimutuel betting in Japan.

Lookin At Lee will be making his third Triple Crown appearance after finishing second at the Kentucky Derby and 4th at the Preakness Stakes. It’s also worth noting that Lookin At Lee will be ridden by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., whose last appearance in a Triple Crown race was aboard Creator as they rode to victory at the 2016 Belmont Stakes.

The one mark against him is this will be three big races in a row run in short order. The way things are looking now, Classic Empire will be the only other runner in the Belmont Stakes to make a go at all three Triple Crown races.

On that note, it’s worth noting that rest appears to play more than a small role in determining success at Belmont Park. America’s Best Racing broke down all the numbers recently by looking at the last 10 editions of the Belmont Stakes and seeing how much rest the winners got before running.

Their most interesting finding of all is that just one time in the last 10 years has a horse went directly from the Preakness Stakes to the Belmont Stakes and won. That horse was 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharaoah. None of the other 26 horses over that period who went straight from the Preakness Stakes to the Belmont Stakes managed to win it all.

The overall trend is clear: more rest equals better results at Belmont.

Tapwrit won the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in March and placed sixth in the Kentucky Derby before sitting out the Preakness Stakes. Now, he’ll be returning with fresh legs to attack the Belmont Stakes. Tapwrit also has a nice pedigree going in his favor as the son of Tapit, who sired Tonalist (2014 Belmont Stakes winner) and Creator (2016 Belmont Stakes winner).

Senior Investment is another contender worth watching for the 2017 Belmont Stakes. His performance at the Kentucky Derby had him come up strong at the end of the race for a respectable third place finish. Had that race been longer (say, as long as the Belmont Stakes), he could very well have won it.

Are there any special Belmont Stakes betting promotions?

The best horse racing betting sites have not yet released any promotions specifically for the 2017 Belmont Stakes. However, there are still some nice ongoing promotions that are open to all new customers. I’ll break this part of our post up into sections – one for our American readers and one for our international readers.

BetAmerica has the single best promotion for anyone who does not already have an account there. When you sign up and make your first deposit, BetAmerica will give you an extra 200% for up to $400 in bonus funds. This means they are willing to basically triple your first deposit. For example, a $50 deposit at BetAmerica will get you an extra $100 on top of that for a total bankroll of $150.

Visit BetAmerica at:

If you already have an account at BetAmerica, you can head over to TwinSpires for a $100 welcome bonus. Although the maximum bonus amount is smaller, the TwinSpires offer is nice because it is not tied to the amount of your first deposit. All you have to do is sign up and place wagers like normal. For every $100 you place in bets, TwinSpires will give you $20 for up to $100 in total.

Visit TwinSpires at:

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