The Belmont Stakes closes out the Triple Crown of racing and is run on the first Saturday of June each year at Belmont Park in New York.
The Belmont Stakes was first run in 1867 at Jerome Park. The race moved to Morris Park in 1890 and found its final home at Belmont Park when the track opened in 1905.
James Rowe leads all trainers in Belmont Stakes winners with eight. Rowe was also in the saddle for a pair of Belmont winners in 1872 and 1873. The only other to both ride and train a Belmont Stakes winner was George Martin Odom, who rode Delhi (1904) to victory and in 1938 saddled winner Pasteurized.
Wayne Lukas with four and Bob Baffert with three are the active trainers with the most Belmont Stakes wins.
Only three fillies have won the Belmont Stakes. Rags to Riches was the most recent, beating the boys in 2007. Only 23 fillies have run in the final jewel of the Triple Crown.
Secretariat ran the fastest Belmont in 1973 (2:24), winning the race by 31 lengths, capturing the Triple Crown in the most memorable Belmont Stakes in history.
American Pharoah won the Triple Crown winner in 2015, the first since Affirmed swept the three races in 1979. During that span we saw 13 horses show up in New York seeking the Triple Crown but all came up short. One of those was I’ll Have Another, who was scratched a couple of days before the race with a minor injury.
We have seen some chalky results in the past few years. Essential Quality got home as the favorite in 2021, paying just $4.60. Tiz the Law won the 2020 Belmont which was shortened to 1 1/8 miles and ran as the first jewel of the Triple Crown during the pandemic. The colt paid $3.60. Justify paid just $3.60 in 2018.
While the favorites have fared well recently, overall that is not the case. There have been nine favorites win in the last 36 editions of the Belmont Stakes. That is the least among the Triple Crown races over the last three decades.
We have seen some large exactas, topped by Sarava winning the 2002 edition at 70-1 and topping a $2 exacta that paid $2,454. Lemon Drop Kid (29-1) and Vision and Verse (54-1) combined for a $2 windfall of $1,537. The $2 exacta in 2021 paid just $15 and in 2020 it was $19.60.
While it is pretty essential to have run in the Kentucky Derby to win the Preakness, for the Belmont that is not the case. Rags to Riches (2007), Drosselmeyer (2010), Ruler On Ice (2011), Tonalist (2014) and Sir Winston (2019) are recent Belmont Stakes winners that did not run in either the Derby or the Preakness.
Belmont Stakes Day is one of the most exciting betting cards of the year when there is a Triple Crown hanging in the balance. However, even when there is not, The New York Racing Association puts on a great card that features eight Grade 1 races with purses of over $6 million.