Tony Zhou wins the Belmont Stakes Challenge 2022

ELMONT, NY – Tournament veteran Tony Zhou beat a field of 68 riders to win the 2022 Belmont Stakes Challenge, which was contested online via NYRA Bets and on track at Belmont Park during the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.

Zhou, a 38-year-old New York resident, won $85,800 in prize money plus $52,945.50 in live bankroll for a total of $138,745.50. With the win, Zhou secured a seat in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge in November at Keeneland.

The Belmont Stakes Challenge was a live money contest with an entry fee of $5,000 [$3,500 in Live Money Wagers/$1,500 to Prize Pool]contributing to a prize pool that the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) endowed with $50,000 – including $40,000 for the winner and $10,000 for the runner-up.

Competitors were allowed to make Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Quinella, and Daily Double bets and had to wager a minimum of $200 per race on at least five separate Challenge races held on Friday; and an additional $500 per race over a minimum of five separate Challenge races held on Saturday.

Zhou was in third place heading into the final race of the contest – the $1.5 million Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets. A field of eight lined up in the 1 1/2 mile “Champion’s Test” and Zhou staked his chances on 5-2 favorite Mo Donegal, who would be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. for the Hall of Fame coach Todd Plecher.

Mo Donegal, who was also third out of 10 furlongs in the 12 furlong test, made a four-wide move at the top of the lane and cleared a three-length score on her Stablemate filly Nest.

Player Prize Money Live Bankroll
Tony Zhou $85,800 $52,945.50
Christian Hellmers $32,900 $70,900
Travis Pearson $13,740 $29,928

Zhou took to social media to express his satisfaction after securing his maiden Belmont Stakes Challenge title.

“After 3rd and 2nd place finishes in previous years, achieving this victory in a major brought pure joy,” Zhou said via Twitter. “My 1st day at the races was Belmont Stakes 2010 when I left with an empty wallet. I swore I understood the game and with hard work and deliberate practice things work out!

Horse players are invited to participate in NYRA’s Belmont Saturday Live Money Contests, available online through NYRA Bets; pre-registration is required. Upcoming contest dates include Saturday, June 18; Saturday June 25; Saturday July 2; and Saturday July 9. For more information, visit

NYRA Bets is Belmont Park’s official betting platform and the best way to bet on all races in the Spring/Summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at

NYRA Press Office

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