Belmont Stakes

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Belmont Stakes
Grade I race
Belmont8 1999-05.jpg
The final and longest leg of the
United States Triple Crown
LocationBelmont Park
Elmont, New York, U.S.
Inaugurated1867 (148 years ago) (1867)
Race typeThoroughbred
Race information
Distance1 12 miles (12 furlongs)
Record2:24, Secretariat (1973)
WeightColt/Gelding: 126 pounds (57 kg); Filly: 121 pounds (55 kg)
PurseUS$1.5 million
1st: $800,000
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For the 2015 race, see 2015 Belmont Stakes.
Belmont Stakes
Grade I race
Belmont8 1999-05.jpg
The final and longest leg of the
United States Triple Crown
LocationBelmont Park
Elmont, New York, U.S.
Inaugurated1867 (148 years ago) (1867)
Race typeThoroughbred
Race information
Distance1 12 miles (12 furlongs)
Record2:24, Secretariat (1973)
WeightColt/Gelding: 126 pounds (57 kg); Filly: 121 pounds (55 kg)
PurseUS$1.5 million
1st: $800,000

The Belmont Stakes is an American grade I stakes Thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It is a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) horse race, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg). The race, nicknamed The Test of the Champion, is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown and is held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, on a Saturday between June 5 and June 11. The 1973 Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown winner Secretariat holds the mile and a half stakes record (which is also a track and world record on dirt) of 2:24.

The attendance at the Belmont Stakes is among the American thoroughbred racing top attended events. The 2004 Belmont Stakes drew a television audience of 21.9 million viewers, and had the highest household viewing rate since 1977 when Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown.[1]

147th Belmont Stakes will be run on Saturday, June 6, 2015.


1868-1904: Move to Belmont Park[edit]

See also: Belmont Park
August Belmont Trophy, presented annually to the winning owner since 1926.

The first Belmont Stakes was held at Jerome Park Racetrack in The Bronx, built in 1866 by stock market speculator Leonard Jerome (1817–1891) and financed by August Belmont, Sr. (1816–1890), for whom the race was named. The first race in 1868 saw the horse General Duke win, while the following year was won by Ruthless. The race continued to be held at Jerome Park until 1890, when it was moved to the nearby facility, Morris Park Racecourse.[2] The winner of the Belmont Stakes is presented the August Belmont Trophy, one of the most prestigious trophies in the country. Near the end of the 1980s, winners of the Belmont Stakes were also entered into the Triple Crown series.

The race remained at Morris Park Racecourse until the May 1905 opening of the new Belmont Park, 430 acres (1.7 km2) racetrack in Elmont, New York on Long Island, just outside the New York City borough of Queens.[2] When anti-gambling legislation was passed in New York State, Belmont Racetrack was closed, and the race was cancelled in 1911 and 1912. The first winner of the Triple Crown was Sir Barton, in 1919.

1931-2000: Evolution of the Triple Crown series[edit]

Since 1931, the order of Triple Crown races has been the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes, and then the Belmont Stakes. Prior to 1931, eleven times the Preakness was run before the Derby. On May 12, 1917 and again on May 13, 1922, the Preakness and the Derby were run on the same day. On eleven occasions, the Belmont Stakes was run before the Preakness Stakes.[3] In modern times, the Belmont Stakes is held on the first Saturday that falls on or after June 5. The Kentucky Derby is always held on the first Saturday in May; the Preakness Stakes is held two weeks later; and the Belmont Stakes is held three weeks after the Preakness. The earliest possible date for the Derby is May 1, and the latest is May 7; the earliest possible date for the Belmont is June 5, and the latest is June 11.

The Belmont Stakes race was held at Aqueduct Racetrack from 1963 to 1967, while the track at Belmont was restored and renovated.

On June 9, 1973, Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by thirty-one lengths, in a record time of 2:24, becoming a U.S. Triple Crown champion that year. His record still stands as the fastest speed for the Belmont Stakes. Count Fleet won the race by the large margin of twenty-five lengths in 1943. 1989 winner Easy Goer ran the second fastest time of 2:26. Easy Goer also holds a Beyer Speed Figure of 122 for the race, the best of any Triple Crown race since these ratings were first published in 1987.[4]

Affirmed was the last winner of the Triple Crown, taking the Belmont Stakes in 2:26 4/5 on June 10, 1978. Ridden by eighteen-year-old Steve Cauthen, Affirmed defeated rival Alydar with Jorge Velasquez in the saddle. At the time the race was the third slowest start and the third fastest finish with the quarter in 25, the half in 50, 3/4 in 1:14, the mile in 1:37 2/5.

2001-present: Recent years[edit]

Belmont Park saw its largest crowd in its history when 120,139 people witnessed the Belmont Stakes in 2004 when Smarty Jones was seeking the Triple Crown but was upset by Birdstone. The largest crowd of the 20th century was in 1971 with over 80,000 people, supplemented by the city's Latino community, there to cheer on their new hero, Canonero II, the Venezuelan colt who had won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and was poised to win the U.S. Triple Crown. However, due to a foot infection that had bothered the horse for several days, Canonero II failed to win the Triple Crown when he struggled across the finish line in 4th place behind Pass Catcher, ridden by Walter Blum. Despite this loss, Canonero II was named the winner of the first Eclipse Award for Outstanding Three-Year-Old Male Horse.

Distance and race details[edit]

The Belmont Stakes was run at a mile and five furlongs from 1867 to 1873; a mile and a quarter in 1890, 1891, 1892, 1895, 1904 and 1905; a mile and a furlong in 1893 and 1894; a mile and three furlongs from 1896 to 1903 and from 1906 to 1925. The current distance of a mile and half was established in 1926.

The first post parade in the United States was at the 14th Belmont, in 1880. Before 1921, the race was run in the clockwise tradition of English racing. Since then, the race has been run in the American, or counter-clockwise, direction. Because of its length (one lap around the enormous Belmont main track), and because it is the final race of the Triple Crown, it is called the "Test of the Champion". Most three-year-olds are unaccustomed to the distance, and lack the experience, if not the stamina, to maintain a winning speed for so long. In a long race such as the Belmont, positioning of the horse and the timing of the move to chase for the lead can be critical.


The Belmont Stakes is traditionally called "The Test of The Champion" or "Run for the Carnations" because the winning horse is draped with a blanket of white carnations after the race, in similar fashion to the blanket of roses and black-eyed susans for the Derby and Preakness, respectively. The winning owner is ceremonially presented with the silver winner's trophy, designed by Paulding Farnham for Tiffany and Co. It was first presented to August Belmont, Jr. in 1896 and donated by the Belmont family for annual presentation in 1926. Despite the fact that the Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the Triple Crown races, its traditions have been more subject to change. Until 1996, the post parade song was "The Sidewalks of New York". From 1997 to 2009, the song was changed to broadcast a recording by Frank Sinatra of the "Theme from New York, New York" in an attempt to appeal to younger fans.[5] In 2010, the song was changed to Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind"[6] before reverting to "Theme from New York, New York" from 2011[7] through the present. This tradition is similar to the singing of the state song at the post parades of the first two Triple Crown races: "My Old Kentucky Home" at the Kentucky Derby and "Maryland, My Maryland" at the Preakness Stakes.[2] The change of song gave rise to "the myth of Mamie O'Rourke," a reference to a character in the lyrics of "The Sidewalks of New York." Some claim that changing the official Belmont song "cursed" the Triple Crown and was why no horse had won since Affirmed in 1978. Others note that there was no Triple Crown winner between 1979 and 1996, even though "Sidewalks" was still played.[8]

Along with the change of song in 1997, the official drink was also changed, from the "White Carnation" to the "Belmont Breeze."[9] The New York Times reviewed both cocktails unfavorably, calling the Belmont Breeze "a significant improvement over the nigh undrinkable White Carnation" despite the fact that it "tastes like a refined trashcan punch."[10]

Broadcasting history[edit]

From 1986 until 2005, the Triple Crown television rights comprised a single package. In late 2004, the New York Racing Association withdrew from that agreement to negotiate independently.[11] As a result of this NBC, who was the rights holder for all three events, was only able to keep its broadcast rights to the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. ABC regained the rights to the Belmont Stakes as part of a five-year contract that expired following the 2010 race; NBC has since regained the rights to the race.


Kenny McPeek - 2002 Belmont Stakes G1 win with Sarava, who at odds of 70–1, upset War Emblem's bid for the Triple Crown.[13]

Speed record:

Record Victory Margin:

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

Other records:

Filly Victories[edit]

Three fillies have won the Belmont: Ruthless in 1867, Tanya in 1905, and Rags to Riches in 2007. By comparison, three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby. On average, fillies have won between 2% and 3% of the Triple Crown races, with similar numbers for geldings; while about 95% of these races have been won by colts.

Foreign-born winners[edit]

Belmont Stakes winners[edit]

Belmont Stakes winners since 1867
2014TonalistJoel RosarioChristophe ClementRobert S. Evans2:28.52
2013Palace MaliceMike SmithTodd PletcherDogwood Stable2:30.70
2012Union RagsJohn VelazquezMichael MatzPhyllis M. Wyeth2:30.42
2011Ruler on IceJose Valdivia, Jr.Kelly BreenGeorge and Lori Hall2:30.88
2010DrosselmeyerMike SmithWilliam MottWinStar Farm LLC2:31.57
2009Summer BirdKent DesormeauxTim IceKalarikkal & Vilasini Jayaraman2:27.54
2008Da'TaraAlan GarciaNick ZitoRobert V. LaPenta2:29.65
2007Rags to RichesJohn VelazquezTodd PletcherM. Tabor & D. Smith2:28.74
2006JazilFernando JaraKiaran McLaughlinShadwell Farm2:27.81
2005Afleet AlexJeremy RoseTimothy RitcheyCash is King LLC2:28.75
2004BirdstoneEdgar PradoNick ZitoMarylou Whitney Stables2:27.50
2003Empire MakerJerry BaileyRobert FrankelJuddmonte Farms2:28.26
2002SaravaEdgar PradoKenneth McPeekNew Phoenix Stable2:29.71
2001Point GivenGary StevensBob BaffertThe Thoroughbred Corp.2:26.80
2000CommendablePat DayD. Wayne LukasBob & Beverly Lewis2:31.20
1999Lemon Drop KidJose SantosScotty SchulhoferJeanne G. Vance2:27.80
1998Victory GallopGary StevensW. Elliott WaldenPrestonwood Farm2:29.00
1997Touch GoldChris McCarronDavid HofmansFrank Stronach2:28.80
1996Editor's NoteRene R. DouglasD. Wayne LukasOverbrook Farm2:28.80
1995Thunder GulchGary StevensMichael Tabor2:32.00
1994Tabasco CatPat DayReynolds/Overbrook2:26.80
1993Colonial AffairJulie KroneScotty SchulhoferCentennial Farms2:29.80
1992A.P. IndyEd DelahoussayeNeil DrysdaleTomonori Tsurumaki2:26.13
1991HanselJerry BaileyFrank L. BrothersLazy Lane Farm2:28.00
1990Go And GoMichael KinaneDermot K. WeldMoyglare Stud Farm2:27.20
1989Easy GoerPat DayC. R. McGaughey IIIOgden Phipps2:26.00
1988Risen StarEd DelahoussayeLouie J. Roussel IIILouie J. Roussel III2:26.40
1987Bet TwiceCraig PerretJimmy CrollBlanche P. Levy2:28.20
1986Danzig ConnectionChris McCarronWoody StephensHenryk de Kwiatkowski2:29.80
1985Creme FraicheEddie MapleBrushwood Stables2:27.00
1984SwaleLaffit Pincay, Jr.Claiborne Farm2:27.20
1983CaveatAugust Belmont IV2:27.80
1982Conquistador CieloHenryk de Kwiatkowski2:28.20
1981SummingGeorge MartensLuis BarreraCharles T. Wilson, Jr.2:29.00
1980Temperence HillEddie MapleJoseph B. CanteyLoblolly Stable2:29.80
1979CoastalRuben HernandezDavid A. WhiteleyWilliam Haggin Perry2:28.60
1978AffirmedSteve CauthenLaz BarreraHarbor View Farm2:26.80
1977Seattle SlewJean CruguetWilliam H. Turner, Jr.Karen L. Taylor2:29.60
1976Bold ForbesAngel Cordero, Jr.Laz BarreraE. Rodriguez Tizol2:29.00
1975AvatarBill ShoemakerTommy DoyleArthur A. Seeligson, Jr.2:28.20
1974Little CurrentMiguel A. RiveraLou RondinelloDarby Dan Farm2:29.20
1973SecretariatRon TurcotteLucien LaurinMeadow Stable2:24.00
1972Riva RidgeMeadow Stud2:28.00
1971Pass CatcherWalter BlumEddie YowellOctober House Farm2:30.40
1970High EchelonJohn L. RotzJohn W. JacobsEthel D. Jacobs2:34.00
1969Arts and LettersBraulio BaezaJ. Elliott BurchRokeby Stables2:28.80
1968Stage Door JohnnyHeliodoro GustinesJohn M. Gaver, Sr.Greentree Stable2:27.20
1967DamascusBill ShoemakerFrank Y. Whiteley, Jr.Edith W. Bancroft2:28.80
1966AmberoidWilliam BolandLucien LaurinReginald N. Webster2:29.60
1965Hail To AllJohnny SellersEddie YowellZelda Cohen2:28.40
1964QuadrangleManuel YcazaJ. Elliott BurchRokeby Stables2:28.40
1963ChateaugayBraulio BaezaJames P. ConwayDarby Dan Farm2:30.20
1962JaipurBill ShoemakerBert MulhollandGeorge D. Widener, Jr.2:28.80
1961SherluckBraulio BaezaHarold YoungJacob Sher2:29.20
1960Celtic AshBill HartackThomas J. BarryJoseph E. O'Connell2:29.20
1959Sword DancerBill ShoemakerJ. Elliott BurchBrookmeade Stable2:28.40
1958CavanPete AndersonThomas J. BarryJoseph E. O'Connell2:30.20
1957Gallant ManBill ShoemakerJohn A. NerudRalph Lowe2:26.60
1956NeedlesDavid ErbHugh L. FontaineD & H Stable2:29.80
1955NashuaEddie ArcaroJim FitzsimmonsBelair Stud2:29.00
1954High GunEric GuerinMax HirschKing Ranch2:30.80
1953Native DancerBill WinfreyAlfred G. Vanderbilt II2:28.60
1952One CountEddie ArcaroOscar WhiteSarah F. Jeffords2:30.20
1951CounterpointDavid GormanSylvester VeitchC. V. Whitney2:29.00
1950MiddlegroundWilliam BolandMax HirschKing Ranch2:28.60
1949CapotTed AtkinsonJohn M. Gaver, Sr.Greentree Stable2:30.20
1948CitationEddie ArcaroHorace A. JonesCalumet Farm2:28.20
1947PhalanxRuperto DonosoSylvester VeitchC. V. Whitney2:29.40
1946AssaultWarren MehrtensMax HirschKing Ranch2:30.80
1945PavotEddie ArcaroOscar WhiteWalter M. Jeffords, Sr.2:30.20
1944Bounding HomeGayle SmithMatt BradyWilliam Ziegler, Jr.2:32.20
1943Count FleetJohnny LongdenDon CameronFannie Hertz2:28.20
1942Shut OutEddie ArcaroJohn M. Gaver, Sr.Greentree Stable2:29.20
1941WhirlawayBen A. JonesCalumet Farm2:31.00
1940BimelechFred A. SmithWilliam A. HurleyEdward R. Bradley2:29.60
1939JohnstownJames StoutJim FitzsimmonsBelair Stud2:29.60
1938PasteurizedGeorge M. OdomCarol Harriman Plunkett2:29.40
1937War AdmiralCharley KurtsingerGeorge ConwayGlen Riddle Farm2:28.60
1936GranvilleJames StoutJim FitzsimmonsBelair Stud2:30.00
1935OmahaWillie Saunders2:30.60
1934Peace ChanceWayne D. WrightPete CoyneJoseph E. Widener2:29.20
1933HurryoffMack GarnerHenry McDaniel2:32.60
1932FairenoTommy MalleyJim FitzsimmonsBelair Stud2:32.80
1931Twenty GrandCharley KurtsingerJames G. Rowe, Jr.Greentree Stable2:29.60
1930Gallant FoxEarl SandeJim FitzsimmonsBelair Stud2:31.60
1929Blue LarkspurMack GarnerHerbert J. ThompsonEdward R. Bradley2:32.80
1928VitoClarence KummerMax HirschAlfred H. Cosden2:33.20
1927Chance ShotEarl SandePete CoyneJoseph E. Widener2:32.40
1926CrusaderAlbert JohnsonGeorge ConwayGlen Riddle Farm2:32.20
1925American FlagAlbert JohnsonGwyn R. Tompkins2:16.80
1924Mad PlayEarl SandeSam HildrethRancocas Stable2:18.80
1922PilloryC. H. MillerThomas J. HealeyRichard T. Wilson, Jr.2:18.80
1921Grey LagEarl SandeSam HildrethRancocas Stable2:16.80
1920Man o' WarClarence KummerLouis FeustelGlen Riddle Farm2:14.20
1919Sir BartonJohnny LoftusH. Guy BedwellJ. K. L. Ross2:17.40
1918JohrenFrank RobinsonAlbert SimonsHarry P. Whitney2:20.40
1917HourlessJames H. ButwellSam HildrethAugust Belmont, Jr.2:17.80
1916Friar RockEverett Haynes2:22.00
1915The FinnGeorge ByrneEdward W. HeffnerHenry C. Hallenbeck2:18.40
1914Luke McLukeMerritt BuxtonJohn F. SchorrJohn W. Schorr2:20.00
1913Prince EugeneRoscoe TroxlerJames G. Rowe, Sr.Harry P. Whitney2:18.00
1912No race was held
1910SweepJames H. ButwellJames G. Rowe, Sr.James R. Keene2:22.00
1909Joe MaddenEddie DuganSam HildrethSam Hildreth2:21.60
1908ColinJoe NotterJames G. Rowe, Sr.James R. KeeneN/A
1907Peter PanGeorge MountainN/A
1906BurgomasterLucien LyneJohn W. RogersHarry P. Whitney2:20.00
1905TanyaGene Hildebrand2:08.00
1904DelhiGeorge M. OdomJames G. Rowe, Sr.James R. Keene2:06.60
1903AfricanderJohn BullmanRichard O. MillerHampton Stable2:21.75
1902MastermanJohn J. HylandAugust Belmont, Jr.2:22.60
1901CommandoHenry SpencerJames G. Rowe, Sr.James R. Keene2:21.00
1900IldrimNash TurnerH. Eugene LeighH. Eugene Leigh2:21.25
1899Jean BereaudRichard ClawsonSam HildrethSydney Paget2:23.00
1898Bowling BrookFred LittlefieldR. Wyndham WaldenA. H. & D. H. Morris2:32.00
1897Scottish ChieftainJoe ScherrerMatt ByrnesMarcus Daly2:23.25
1896HastingsHenry GriffinJohn J. HylandBlemton Stable2:24.50
1895BelmarFred TaralEdward FeakesPreakness Stables2:11.50
1894Henry of NavarreWillie SimmsByron McClellandByron McClelland1:56.50
1893ComancheGus HannonEmpire Stable1:53.25
1892PatronWilliam HaywardLewis StuartLewis Stuart2:17.00
1891FoxfordEdward R. GarrisonM. DonavanC. E. Rand2:08.75
1890BurlingtonPike BarnesAlbert CooperHough Bros.2:07.75
1889EricWilliam HaywardJohn HugginsA. J. Cassatt2:47.25
1888Sir DixonJim McLaughlinFrank McCabeDwyer Bros. Stable2:40.25
1886Inspector B2:41.00
1885TyrantPaul DuffyC. ClaypoolJames B. A. Haggin2:43.00
1884PaniqueJim McLaughlinJames G. Rowe, Sr.Dwyer Bros. Stable2:42.00
1883George Kinney2:42.50
1882ForesterLewis StuartAppleby & Johnson2:43.00
1881SauntererTom CostelloR. Wyndham WaldenGeorge L. Lorillard2:47.00
1880GrenadaW. Hughes2:47.00
1879SpendthriftGeorge EvansThomas PuryearJames R. Keene2:42.75
1878Duke of MagentaW. HughesR. Wyndham WaldenGeorge L. Lorillard2:43.50
1877CloverbrookC. HollowayJeter WaldenE. A. Clabaugh2:46.00
1876AlgerineBilly DonohueThomas W. DoswellDoswell & Co.2:40.50
1875CalvinBobby SwimAnsel WilliamsonHal P. McGrath2:42.25
1874SaxonGeorge BarbeeW. PriorPierre Lorillard IV2:39.50
1873SpringbokJames G. Rowe, Sr.David McDanielDavid McDaniel3:01.75
1872Joe Daniels2:58.25
1871Harry BassettWalter Miller2:56.00
1870KingfisherEdward D. BrownRollie ColstonDaniel Swigert2:59.50
1869FenianC. MillerJacob PincusAugust Belmont3:04.25
1868General DukeBobby SwimA. ThompsonMcConnell & Co.3:02.00
1867RuthlessGilbert PatrickA. Jack MinorFrancis Morris3:05.00

A † designates a Triple Crown Winner.
A ‡ designates a filly.

Note: D. Wayne Lukas swept the 1995 Triple Crown with two different horses.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Viewership of 2008 Belmont Stakes". 
  2. ^ a b c "Belmont Stakes Records & Traditions". New York Racing Association. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  3. ^ "Preakness Stakes". Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  4. ^ Beyer, Andrew (May 17, 2004). "On the Fast Track To History". The Washington Post. 
  5. ^ "Belmont Stakes Traditions". 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  6. ^ The Associated Press (June 4, 2010). "The Belmont Stakes singing a new tune". Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  7. ^ The Associated Press (June 4, 2011). "Sinatra's voice returns to Belmont Stakes". Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ Scheinman, John (2014-05-30). "Five Myths About the Triple Crown". Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  9. ^ "Belmont Stakes Traditions". 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  10. ^ Powell, Julie (June 8, 2005). "The Summer Cook; The Appetites Are Nearing the Gate". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  11. ^ a b Scheinman, John (October 5, 2004). "ABC Will Broadcast Belmont Stakes Starting in 2006". The Washington Post. 
  12. ^ Novy, Eben (February 22, 2011). "NBC Gets Belmont TV Rights to Complete Horse Racing's Triple Crown Package". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-05-08. 
  13. ^ a b "Belmont Stakes Attendance, Wagering Set Records". Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  14. ^ Dandrea, Phil. Sham: Great Was Second Best. Acanthus Publishing. 

External links[edit]