Belmont Stakes History

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I’ll have another came up shot last year to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years. With Orb losing the Preakness, we’ll now have to wait another year for a potential Triple Crown Winner. But the Belmont Stakes still promises to be thrilling in 2013.

The Belmont Stakes takes place at historic Belmont Park every year. Belmont Park is located in Elmont, New York. The date of the race is always 5 weeks after the Kentucky Derby. The race is truly grueling because of its 1 1/2 miles distance. This is as far as most of the horses in the race will ever go. The race has been dubbed the “Race for the Carnations” similar to how the Kentucky Derby is the “Run for the Roses”. Another similarity to the Kentucky Derby is the singing of”New York, New York&” before the call to post. & “My Old Kentucky Home” is played prior to the Kentucky Derby. The three year olds compete for a purse of $1,000,000.

James G. Rowe, Sr. has trained more Belmont Stakes winners than anyone else since the race began in 1866. Rowe has won the race 8 times, most notably with Colin in 1908. He would go on to say Colin was the best horse he ever trained, and would like “He trained Colin” to be engraved on his tombstone. Declaring Colin the best horse he ever trained is quite a statement coming from a man who trained 34 champions!

Woody Stephens won the Belmont Stakes 5 times in consecutive fashion from 1982-86. His most famous winner was Swale in 1984. Swale also won the Kentucky Derby, and was off the board only once in 14 starts. His career was tragically cut short when he died of a massive heart attack 8 days after the Belmont Stakes. since then Gulfstream Park has named a Grade II race for three year olds in his honor. The race is aptly named the “Swale Stakes”.

Jim McLaughlin and Eddie Arcaro share the record for most Belmont Stakes wins by a jockey at 6. McLaughlin won the race 6 of 7 years from 1882-87. Arcaro’s best wins in the Belmont came aboard Triple Crown winners Whirlaway in 1941, and Citation in 1948. Citation was greater of the two, going on to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Pimlico Special, Hollywood Gold Cup, and the American Derby. Whirlaway was no slouch though, having won the Dwyer, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup after his Triple Crown conquest.

My favorite Belmont Stakes was the 2007 edition. As you may recall, Rags to Riches defeated Preakness Stakes winner Curlin after a breath taking stretch duel. Another great edition of the Belmont Stakes was in 1973 when Secretariat won by 31 lengths and broke the world record for 1 1/2 miles by 3 full seconds. It is likely that the record will never be broken.

Well you’ve made it this far, so I would like to congratulate you! You are officially an expert on the Belmont Stakes! Make sure you tune in to the Belmont Stakes on June 9th!

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