A Guide to the Belmont Stakes
Since , Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher share training honors at the Belmont with three wins apiece. Baffert sees the comparisons between Justify and American Pharoah. In the same way, the millions of fans over the years who have witnessed this race, either in person or on television, are likely to remember the visual experience provided by this grueling, thrilling race. Smith has won each of the Triple Crown races twice, with his most recent win at the Belmont coming in atop Palace Malice. But as they approached the three-quarter mark, Sham began to tire as the heavy favorite took over. Only four other horses lined up against Secretariat as headed into the starting gate in front of a huge audience at the track and an even bigger one watching on television across the world.
Justify is Favored
It should come as no surprise that Justify has been tipped as the pre-race favorite to win the Triple Crown. Another horse, Gronkowski, was scratched from the Kentucky Derby field due to illness. Justify is now over the course of his brief career, and a potential sixth win at Belmont this weekend would certainly be his most noteworthy to date. Having a veteran riding the horse is certainly advantageous, and Smith knows what it takes to win these kinds of races.
Smith has over 5, career racing wins to his name. Smith has won each of the Triple Crown races twice, with his most recent win at the Belmont coming in atop Palace Malice. As mentioned previously, Justify will be going up against a number of familiar faces on Saturday.
Here is how the odds for the field shake out as of now:. He was chased down to the wire by Good Magic at the Kentucky Derby, while Bravazo closed strong to finish second at the Preakness a couple of weeks later. Bravazo has been particularly impressive at both previous Triple Crown events, so could the third time be the charm? Vino Rosso is another name that drew some interest ahead of the Derby before a disappointing ninth-place finish.
Experience could also come into play. The Belmont is the longest of the 3 Triple Crown events, so the horse with the best endurance typically winds up winning. The distance also makes the Belmont the toughest race to win, especially for a horse like Justify that is running his third major event in the span of a month. Most other horses in the field will be more well-rested.
The key for Justify through his last 2 victories has been his quick starts. He has started out of the gates well and been able to build a fairly sizable lead over the field. In the end, he has shown that he has just enough to fend off late challengers. At the Belmont, though, that strategy will be tested. More so than the other races, winning the Belmont is about stamina as much as it is about speed. In addition to Secretariat's romping Triple Crown victory, there was the famous rivalry between Affirmed and Alydar that played out in front of the Belmont crowd.
After Affirmed had barely beaten Alydar in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the two battled head to head in the long stretch of Belmont Park, with Affirmed coming up a winner by a small margin. After the victory by Affirmed in , there was a long dry spell for Triple Crown winners. Many horse racing enthusiasts even suggested that the sport should do something to encourage more Triple Crown winners, such as extending the time between races or making them all the same distance.
But those concerns were squelched when American Pharoah snapped the drought with a decisive win in the Belmont Stakes to become the twelfth Triple Crown winner. The Belmont Stakes has become known as much for heartbreak as for triumph. Positioned as it is as the last of the Triple Crown races on the calendar, the race is the last obstacle to immortality.
A combination of the difficulty of the race and some bad racing luck has felled many a Triple Crown contender as they made it to the Belmont. Here are some of the most memorable:.
It is interesting that two of the traditions most associated with the race are actually relatively new additions, created in to spur the interest of younger fans. The official drink of the race became the Belmont Breeze that year. The punch-like drink is made up primarily of whiskey. Much more popular was the decision to change the official song of the race to "New York, New York," particularly the version sung by the legendary Frank Sinatra.
When the song starts to play just before the post parade of the race, the entire crowd seems to join in and sing along. Other notable traditions at the venerable race include the garland of white carnations handed out to the winning horse after the race. In addition, there is a famed pine tree that is approximately years old and stands proudly in the paddock area of the track. You can find an image of that tree on the official logo for the track.
In terms of strategy for betting on the Belmont, you really have to take the longer distance into account. Many of the horses in the field each year come into the race never have gone a mile and a half in a single race. As a result, you have to look closely at how each horse closed out their most recent races. If a horse that you're looking at has shown consistently that it is passing tiring horses at the end of the race, it could mean that it has the stamina to go the extra distance.
On the other hand, those horses that come out of the gate firing but might be slowing up at the lesser distances will have a hard time getting through such a long race with anything in the tank. As far as how to actually place a bet on the race, you might be lucky enough to see the race in person one day, in which case you can walk up to the betting windows and place your wager.
More than likely, however, you will have to find other accommodations. Your nearest horse racing establishment will likely have a simulcast area that will allow you to wager remotely on the Belmont Stakes. Luckily, the internet provides many opportunities for you to place your bets on "The Test.
Make sure to do your due diligence to ensure that you don't end up visiting a site that either can't take your bet or won't pay off your winnings. History One of the unique things about the Belmont Stakes is how it has continued through the years despite having to move around a bit.
Secretariat and the Most Famous Belmont Stakes Of the 13 horses to win the Triple Crown by closing out the deal at Belmont Park, none have ever captured the public imagination like Secretariat, who managed the feat in Near-Misses The Belmont Stakes has become known as much for heartbreak as for triumph. Here are some of the most memorable: The Venezuelan horse brought a giant crowd to the Belmont to cheer him on after surprising wins in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but a foot infection led to a 4th-place Belmont finish Spectacular Bid Many thought "The Bid" was the equal of Secretariat.
But he wasn't himself on Belmont day, thanks to a freak accident with a safety pin in his hoof that led to an infection Charismatic In a heartbreaking finish, this colt pulled into the Belmont lead before fracturing his leg and ending up third.
Jockey Chris Antley famously jumped off the horse and cradled the injured leg, likely saving its life in the process Smarty Jones The horse from humble origins came into the Belmont undefeated and held the lead late. But he coughed it up in the final strides to the upset bid of Birdstone I'll Have Another Rags to Riches accomplished the feat in It was the third time in history that a distaff horse had won the race and was the first time it had occurred in more than a century.
Sarava went off at odds of in but upset the field, which included heavy favorite and Triple Crown contender War Emblem.
Eddie Arcaro and Jim McLaughlin each won six events.