The excitement is palpable as the 2024 Belmont Stakes approaches, with fans and enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the performance of some of the finest trainers in the horse racing world. 

This prestigious event, known for its rich history and thrilling finishes, will once again showcase the expertise and strategic prowess of top trainers who have meticulously prepared their horses for this high-stakes race. 

Below, we’ll delve into the profiles of five much-anticipated trainers whose entries generate significant buzz. Discover who to watch and what makes these trainers stand out as they gear up for one of the most exhilarating races of the year.

Wayne Lukas

Wayne Lukas is a name widely recognized in horse racing. Known for his eye for talent and exceptional training methods, Lukas is one of the sport’s most successful trainers. He has led many horses to victory in prestigious races throughout his career, impacting the racing community. A key aspect of Lukas’s career is his success in the Triple Crown races. 

He has trained winners in all three legs of the Triple Crown. His record includes four Kentucky Derby wins, six Preakness Stakes victories, and four Belmont Stakes triumphs, testament to his expertise and commitment. 

Beyond the Triple Crown, Lukas’s numerous Breeders’ Cup wins cement his legacy, demonstrating his ability to prepare horses for tough challenges. Whether training a young horse or a seasoned competitor, Lukas maximizes each horse’s strengths and potential.

Understanding the impact of trainers like D. Wayne Lukas is crucial for those looking to make informed decisions on their Belmont Stakes bets. His strategic approach and proven track record make his entries highly regarded among bettors and racing enthusiasts.

In conclusion, D. Wayne Lukas’s career is a masterclass in dedication, strategy, and an unwavering passion for horse racing. His contributions inspire future generations of trainers and racing fans, ensuring his legacy will endure for years.

Chad Brown

Brown frequently took his family to the summer meet at the adjacent Saratoga Race Course in Mechanicville, New York, as a child. His initial exposure to horses occurred while working at Saratoga Raceway as a Standardbred trainer with Paul Kelley in high school.

While at Cornell University, Brown worked as a summer employee for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, but his original goal was to become a veterinarian. Brown chose to train horses instead of finishing his education at Cornell and kept working with McGaughey.

In 2002, following a veterinary internship, he seized the chance to work as an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. Brown quickly rose through the ranks in Frankel’s esteemed operation and was managing a division when he decided to start his venture in November 2007. 

Brown’s rise to national prominence has been swift, winning his first horse at Saratoga Race Course and his first Breeders’ Cup starter, Maram, in 2008. 

Kenny McPeek

Kenneth “Kenny” McPeek’s talent for discovering young horses at affordable prices, nurturing them, and attracting new owners to the sport has propelled him to the top horse racing ranks. A prime example of McPeek’s keen eye is Curlin, a colt he bought for $57,000 and later handed to his assistant during a training sabbatical. 

Curlin’s early promise led to his sale, and he eventually became a two-time Horse of the Year and the top-earning horse in North American racing with over $10 million in earnings. Another success story is Noble’s Promise, whom McPeek purchased for just $10,000 as a weanling and who earned over $1 million. 

In 2024, McPeek achieved a historic milestone at Churchill Downs by becoming only the third trainer in 150 years to win both the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby on the same weekend, a feat that was last accomplished by Ben Jones in 1952.

Todd A. Pletcher 

Todd A. Pletcher was born in Dallas, Texas, on June 26, 1967. At seven, he began working as a hot walker at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico for his father, Jake Pletcher. In the Southwest, Jake was a thoroughbred and quarter-horse trainer.

Between his junior and senior high school years, Todd worked as a hot walker for Henry Moreno in Southern California’s Hollywood Park and Del Mar. He also groomed at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, LA, and Ak-Sar-Ben Racetrack in Omaha, NE.

After graduating from high school in San Antonio, TX, in 1985, Todd enrolled in the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program that fall. While in college, he was employed by D as a groom. Charlie Whittingham was at Hollywood Park in the late summers, and Wayne Lukas was at Arlington Park in Chicago, IL.

He obtained his trainer’s license in December 1995, and his first winner, Majestic Number, followed in February 1996.

Whitworth Beckman

Horses surrounded trainer D. Whitworth Beckman throughout childhood, yet he didn’t share the same passion for them as his parents. 

His father, David, worked as a vet, while his mother, Diane, actively rode and showed horses. In 2023, which marked just his second full year training independently in the United States, he achieved 13 wins, 13 second-place finishes, and four third-place finishes out of 102 starts, amassing $1,468,695 in earnings—more than double his previous year’s total. 

During this period, he celebrated his first stakes win, followed by his first graded stakes triumph, and his stable expanded from a single horse to 26.


As the 2024 Belmont Stakes approaches, these five distinguished trainers are set to bring their best to the track. Their unique strengths and proven track records contribute to what promises to be a thrilling and memorable event.