2021 Belmont Stakes

The 2021 Belmont Stakes was the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes and the 110th time the event took place at Belmont Park. The 1+12-mile (2,400 m) race, known as the "test of the champion", is the final leg in the American Triple Crown, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. The race was won by Essential Quality.

153rd Belmont Stakes
Belmont Stakes
Grade I stakes race
2021 Belmont Stakes logo.jpg
"The Test of the Champion"
LocationBelmont Park
Elmont, New York, United States
DateJune 5, 2021 (2021-06-05)
Distance1+12 mi (12 furlongs; 2,414 m)
Winning horseEssential Quality
Winning time2:27.11
Final odds1.30 (to 1)
JockeyLuis Saez
TrainerBrad H. Cox
OwnerGodolphin Stables
← 2020

The race took place on June 5, 2021, in Elmont, New York, with an actual start time of 6:50 p.m. EDT;[1] television coverage was by NBC.[2] It was a Grade I stakes race with a purse of $1.5 million.[3] Entering the race, it was known that there would be no Triple Crown winner, as the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes had already been won by different horses.


Due to effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition was contested as the first leg of the Triple Crown, on June 20 without spectators.[4] The 2021 Triple Crown races returned to their traditional sequence and schedule, with Medina Spirit winning the 2021 Kentucky Derby on May 1,[5] and Rombauer winning the 2021 Preakness Stakes on May 15.[6] A week after the Derby, it was announced that Medina Spirit had tested positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid, and stands to be disqualified if the split sample confirms the positive; with that result still pending, Medina Spirit submitted to additional testing and was allowed to run in the Preakness.[7]

Attendance for the Belmont was set at a maximum of 11,000 spectators, with attendees required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.[8]


Several horses that ran in the Derby and then bypassed the Preakness were possible entrants in the Belmont: Mandaloun, Hot Rod Charlie, Essential Quality, and O Besos.[3]

On May 17, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) banned trainer Bob Baffert from entering any horses in races in the state of New York. The ban had not been lifted by June 5 and so prevented Medina Spirit or Concert Tour from running in the Belmont.[9] The same day, Preakness winner Rombauer and seventh-place finisher France Go de Ina arrived at Belmont Park.[10] On May 18, owners of Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat stated that the filly would not be entered in the Belmont.[11]

With a maximum field size of 16 horses,[12] the post-position draw was held on June 1.[13] Essential Quality, the fourth place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, was installed as the 2–1 morning line favorite.[14]


Finish Program
Horse Trainer Jockey[14] Morning
line odds[14]
Margin Winnings
1 2 Essential Quality Brad Cox Luis Saez 2–1 1.30 $800,000
2 4 Hot Rod Charlie Doug O'Neill Flavien Prat 7–2 4.80 1+14 $280,000
3 3 Rombauer Michael W. McCarthy John R. Velazquez 3–1 5.70 12+12 $150,000
4 6 Known Agenda Todd Pletcher Jose L. Ortiz  6–1 6.60 13+14 $100,000
5 1 Bourbonic Todd Pletcher Kendrick Carmouche 15–1 14.70 15+12 $60,000
6 7 Rock Your World John Sadler Joel Rosario 9–2 5.00 22 $45,000
7 8 Overtook Todd Pletcher Manuel Franco 20–1 19.00 25+14 $35,000
8 5 France Go de Ina Hideyuki Mori Ricardo Santana Jr. 30–1 27.25 eased $30,000

  Known Agenda was planned to be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., but the jockey suffered an injury two days before the race.[15]

Track: Fast

Times: 14 mile – 22.78; 12 mile – 46.49; 34 mile – 1:12.07; mile – 1:37.40; 1+14 miles – 2:02.38; final – 2:27.11
Splits for each quarter-mile: (22.78) (23.71) (25.58) (25.33) (24.98) (24.73)



Horse name Win Place Show
2 Essential Quality $4.60 $3.00 $2.60
4 Hot Rod Charlie $4.10 $2.90
3 Rombauer $3.50



  1. ^ a b c "Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets". equibase.com. June 5, 2021. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  2. ^ Buhler, John (May 15, 2021). "When is the Belmont Stakes 2021?". FanSided. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Bruton, Michelle (May 15, 2021). "2021 Belmont Stakes: Early Odds and Predictions Following Preakness". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  4. ^ Layden, Tim (June 21, 2020). "On a day with no fans at Belmont, Tiz the Law wins for Everyman". NBC Sports. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Hackbarth, Chelsea (May 1, 2021). "$1,000 Medina Spirit Gives Baffert A Record Seventh Set Of Roses; Velazquez Rides Oaks-Derby Double". Paulick Report. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  6. ^ Paulick, Ray (May 15, 2021). "Rombauer Upsets 146th Preakness With Powerful Stretch Run". Paulick Report. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  7. ^ Whyno, Stephen (May 15, 2021). "Medina Spirit passes drug tests, cleared to run in Preakness that's back to semi-normal". WLS-TV. AP. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  8. ^ "Belmont Stakes to have at least 11,000 fans". NBC Sports. AP. May 4, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  9. ^ "Trainer Bob Baffert banned from entering Medina Spirit, other horses at Belmont Park". ESPN.com. AP. May 17, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  10. ^ Martin, Ryan (May 17, 2021). "Grade 1 Preakness-winner Rombauer arrives at Belmont Park". belmontstakes.com. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  11. ^ Hughes, Alicia (May 18, 2021). "Kentucky Oaks Winner Malathaat to Bypass Belmont Stakes". TVG Network. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  12. ^ Frakes, Jason (May 20, 2021). "Check out possible field for Belmont, led by Rombauer, Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie". courier-journal.com. Louisville Courier Journal. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  13. ^ Frakes, Jason (June 1, 2021). "Here are the 2021 Belmont Stakes post position draw, lineup, odds and entries for full field". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c "Rock Your World Should Be Tough to Catch in Belmont Stakes". www.americasbestracing.net. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  15. ^ King, Byron (June 5, 2021). "Jose Ortiz Picks up Mount on Known Agenda in Belmont". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved June 5, 2021.

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