The 2018 Belmont Stakes took place Saturday, and history was made. Justify became the 13th Triple Crown winner after claiming victory at the 150th Belmont Stakes outside New York City.
In addition to glory and a spot in horse racing history, Justify’s ownerw will receive quite a lot of cash: Roughly $1.5 million in prize money will be handed out to the top finishers.
Here’s what we know about how much money the Belmont Stakes winners get — and how much Justify and his owners take home with the Triple Crown.
How Much Does the Belmont Stakes Winner Get?
The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the Triple Crown races, predating the Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby by six and eight years, respectively. There are only 13 Triple Crown winners in the century-plus that all three races have been run. Before Justify, the the last was American Pharoah in 2015.
As you’d imagine, the Belmont Stakes prize money, or purse, has increased exponentially over the years. At the inaugural Belmont Stakes, which took place in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack in New York City, the owner of the winning horse took home a prize of $1,850 and an English riding saddle.
Since 1950, the race has been held at Belmont Park, just outside of New York City. The Belmont Stakes purse, which is split among the top finishers, now comes to a total of $1.5 million. Justify’s owners get $800,000. The second-, third-, and fourth-place finishers get between $100,000 to $280,000, and smaller amounts are handed out to the rest of the top eight.
How Much Money Does the Triple Crown Winner Get?
There is no specific monetary bonus that comes along with winning the Triple Crown. In other words, the team behind a Triple Crown winner simply receives the sum total of the top prizes in each race. The Kentucky Derby prize money now totals roughly $2 million, with $1.24 million for the winner. At Preakness Stakes, the “Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown,” $2.5 million is given out in prize money over the course of a 14-race program, including a $1.5 million purse in the main race and roughly $900,000 for that race’s top finisher.
Add up the top prizes in all three Triple Crown races, and you find out that Justify’s team won just under $3 million total by capturing the Triple Crown in 2018.
As we reported in our Kentucky Derby story, though, the owner of the horse winning the Triple Crown can make far more money in stud fees than just from prize money.
How Much Money Does the Jockey Get for Winning the Belmont Stakes?
As a general rule, jockeys get 10% of the prize money for races in which their horses win or place. So, Justify’s jockey, Mike Smith, would gross $80,000.
That’s not what the jockey would actually deposit into the bank, however. Jockeys typically pay 30% of their winnings to their agent and valet, and everyone must pay taxes on this income. So the jockey winning the Belmont Stakes probably makes around $50,000.