2024 Belmont Stakes Contenders: MINDFRAME

The 156th Belmont Stakes (G1) is Saturday, June 8, at Saratoga Race Course. The 1 ¼-mile race, shortened from 1 ½ miles due to the change of venue as the Belmont Park rebuild continues, is the final leg of the Triple Crown. usracing.com is publishing profiles of the contenders.


The idiom “there is strength in numbers” (or its little brother, “if two are better than one, then three are better than two, etc.”) isn’t stenciled in on trainer Todd Pletcher’s office wall.

But it might as well be.

The Hall of Fame trainer hasn’t made his way to the Belmont Stakes winner’s circle four times by being timid. Since 2000, when Impeachment finished fifth, Pletcher has sent out 37 (37!!) starters in the race, including at least one for 11 straight years.

Mindframe won a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs last out

This year, the trainer is looking to send out Belmont starters 38, 39 and 40 in Antiquarian, Protective, and Mindframe. While Antiquarian owns a graded stakes win, having taken the Peter Pan on May 11, Protective is still a maiden after four starts, and Mindframe has never run in a stakes race at all.

“The most important thing about the Belmont,” Pletcher said, “is bringing the right kind of horse.”

The right horse isn’t always the most obvious choice. In 2007, the filly Rags to Riches delivered Pletcher his first Belmont victory as she defeated Curlin in a thrilling stretch battle. Six years later, it was 13-1 shot Palace Malice who bested 13 others (including four of his stablemates) for Belmont No. 2.  In 2017, 5-1 Tapwrit upset favorite Irish War Cry, and in 2022 Mo Donegal became the first Belmont favorite to score for Pletcher.

(Along the way, there were seconds by Forte, Nest, Dr Post, Destin, Commissioner, Stay Thirsty, Dunkirk and Bluegrass Cat, along with thirds from Tapit Trice, Patch, Ready’s Echo and Sunriver, a couple of fourth-place finishes, and … a whole lot of purse money.)

The most intriguing of Todd’s 2024 trio is Mindframe, who lit up Gulfstream Park on March 30 with a scintillating 13 ¾-length maiden score that earned him a 108 Equibase speed figure and followed that up with a 7 ½-length win in an allowance on Derby Day at Churchill Downs.

Since then, the dark bay son of Constitution has been training forwardly, as they say, most recently covering a half-mile in 50.26 on June 1 on Saratoga’s training track, drawing clear of workmate Protective and galloping out in 1:02.96.

“We’re excited about [the Belmont],” said Pletcher. “It’s always great to come into these kinds of races with horses who are doing really well. Hopefully, we have enough talent to be competitive.”

2024 Preakness Stakes Contenders, Odds, and Post Positions: Mindframe

Belmont Stakes Betting advice: Everything everywhere all at once. We are intrigued by Mindframe’s talent and anxious to see how he stacks up against the best of his class. Ignore at your own risk.

Post Position: 10

Odds: 7-2

Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Owners: Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables

Career record: 2-2-0-0

Career earnings: $87,360

Most recent race: Churchill Downs allowance, May 4 (1st)

Top Equibase speed figure: 108

Pedigree: Constitution-Walk of Stars, by Street Sense

Color: Dark Bay

Running Style: Front-runner

Notes:  The $2 million question, says Pletcher is whether Mindframe has the mental seasoning to take on the likes of Derby winner Mystik Dan, runner-up Sierra Leone and Preakness winner Seize the Grey. “He obviously has enormous talent, but he’s run in a maiden race and a mile-and-a-sixteenth allowance race. He’s running against the best 3-year-olds in the crop. They’re all more seasoned and more experienced than him. It’s asking a lot, but you’re talking about a horse that’s not only winning by impressive margins but running pretty fast times as well. [Speed] figures suggest he certainly fits with the top of the group” … Fierceness, last year’s champion 2-year-old, will bypass the Belmont and point to the Haskell (G1) on July 20 at Monmouth Park. Pletcher said he feels the colt needs more time to recover from his 15th-place finish in the Derby … Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola (of St. Elias Stables) teamed up to acquire Mindframe for $600,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

2024 Belmont Stakes Contenders & Odds
PP Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Odds
1 SEIZE THE GREY Jaime Torres D. Wayne Lukas MyRacehorse 8-1
2 RESILIENCE Junior Alvarado Bill Mott Emily Bushnell & Ric Waldman 10-1
3 MYSTIK DAN Brian Hernandez, Jr. Kenneth McPeek Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing LLC & Daniel Hamby III 5-1
4 THE WINE STEWARD Manny Franco Mike Maker Paradise Farms Corp. and Staudacher, David 15-1
5 ANTIQUARIAN John Velazquez Todd Pletcher Centennial Farms 12-1
6 DORNOCH Luis Saez Danny Gargan West Paces Racing LLC, R. A. Hill Stable, Belmar Racing and Breeding LLC, Two Eight Racing LLC & Pine Racing Stable 15-1
7 PROTECTIVE Tyler Gaffalione Todd Pletcher Repole Stable 20-1
8 HONOR MARIE Florent Geroux Whit Beckman Ribble Farms LLC 12-1
9 SIERRA LEONE Flavien Prat Chad Brown Magnier, Mrs. John, Tabor, Michael B., Smith, Derrick, Westerberg, Rocket Ship Racing, LLC and Brant, Peter M. 9-5
10 MINDFRAME Irad Ortiz, Jr. Todd Pletcher Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables LLC 7-2



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