It would seem that without a Triple Crown at stake that Belmont Stakes odds would get less attention from fans but history has shown that is not always the case.
2010 Belmont Stakes betting won’t have Super Saver or Lookin at Lucky but there could still be a large field of horses trying to win the third race in horse racing’s Triple Crown. And there may still be a large crowd watching the Belmont Stakes. There is no doubt that when a Triple Crown is on the line the attendance for the Belmont Stakes goes up. The top six attendance figures at the Belmont have all come in the last 15 years and each time a Triple Crown was on the line. There were more than 120,000 fans in 2004 when Smarty Jones failed to win the Belmont Stakes.
You would think that the worst attended Belmont Stakes would be when neither the Derby winner nor Preakness winner was running. That is not the case though. In 2006, the Belmont didn’t have Barbaro or Bernardini but more than 61,000 showed up to watch the race. If you go back 25 years there have actually been 12 races with worse attendance figures and many of those had the Derby winner, the Preakness winner or both of them. Last year there were only 52,186 fans when Derby winner Mine That Bird was in the race. If you go back to the 2000 race you had the Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus and the Preakness winner Red Bullet missing the Belmont but more than 67,000 showed up. The 1995 race had Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch but it attracted just 37,171 fans. That is the lowest attendance figure in the last 25 years.
It makes sense that fewer people would want to watch the Belmont if no big name horses are in the race but history simply doesn’t back that assumption. People watch and bet on the Belmont Stakes and often times it doesn’t matter whether there is a Triple Crown at stake or not. It will be interesting to see how many people watch this year’s Belmont on June 5th with no Triple Crown on the line. It might be more than you expect.