Belmont Stakes tickets red-hot Belmont Stakes tickets red-hot
It is somehow appropriate that no American sporting event relies more on a singular long-shot possibility than the Belmont Stakes. When a horse is... Belmont Stakes tickets red-hot

It is somehow appropriate that no American sporting event relies more on a singular long-shot possibility than the Belmont Stakes. When a horse is two-thirds of the way to the Triple Crown and pursuing the elusive third leg at the Belmont, a ticket to the Stakes is amongst the hottest items in the land.

Fortunately for ticket brokers and horse racing aficionados alike, history has a chance of happening at the 144th Belmont Stakes Saturday, June 9, when I’ll Have Another tries to become the first horse in more than three decades to complete the Triple Crown.

I’ll Have Another will be the favorite at Belmont after exciting come-from-behind wins at the Kentucky Derby May 5 and the Preakness Stakes May 19. No horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978 — the longest drought since a 37-year drought before Sir Barton became the first Triple Crown winner in 1919 — but I’ll Have Another’s final kick, which he displayed in storming back to beat Bodemeister during the first two races, has people believing he could be the one to finally win the big one.

“A lot of hype,” TicketCity CEO Randy Cohen told TicketNews. “It’s been a long time since we had someone with that potential to win the Triple Crown, that’s the bottom line. It creates a lot of energy and a lot of excitement. Watching this horse have that burst at the end beating [Bodemeister] — that speed is just incredible.”

“It’s a big deal. This horse is the real deal.”

A search of StubHub.com this afternoon, June 6, revealed 2,430 tickets available to the Belmont Stakes. The prices range from a $15 general admission grandstand tickets to a $1,777 seat in the third floor preferred grandstand.

With temperatures expected to be in the 80s and little chance of rain in the forecast, the Belmont should have no trouble welcoming in excess of 90,000 fans — as it did in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2008, the last four times a horse had a chance to complete the Triple Crown — and could even approach its all-time attendance record of 120,139, set when Funny Cide was pursuing the Triple Crown in 2004.

Contrast that to the last three years, during which there was no chance of a horse winning the Triple Crown and the Belmont Stakes drew, beginning with 2009, crowds of 52,861; 45,243; and 55,779. The 2010 Stakes was the smallest crowd since 1996.

Cohen said interest in the Belmont Stakes ramps up dramatically when a horse gets two-thirds of the way there with a win at the Preakness and that the three-week span between the Preakness and Belmont keeps interest and demand high.

“It builds with the Derby winner and it really builds with the second leg,” Cohen said. “Now people are really interested [to see] history that doesn’t happen very often. It definitely helps us, gives us more time to sell and keeps the prices high.”