Nicknamed the The Run for the Carnations, the Belmont is a true test of a champion over a mile-and-a-half trip and has been won by Triple Crown champions such as Seattle Slew, Secretariat and Affirmed over the years. The world record for this distance on dirt is held by Secretariat after winning the 1973 running of this race, a performance which remains one of the best ever witnessed in racing.
By the time the Belmont Stakess is run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, we know whether or not we have a potential Triple Crown contender as the anticipation builds towards New York in June.
Unlike the winter and early Spring times when we have dozens of horses all being touted as classic contenders by their owners and trainers, by the time the Belmont rolls around we know who the best middle-distance three-year-olds in the country are and this race is a chance to prove truly who is best.
Unlike the first two legs which have similar trips (9½ furlongs at the Belmont Stakess and 10 furlongs at the Kentucky Derby), this race is a true stamina test for these types as they fight their way to the line after a gruelling mile-and-a-half and it means only the best and most versatile have won all three.
As we mentioned, an important attribute any horse looking to win the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes) must have is versatility. The Belmont really tests stamina with its mile-and-a-half trip but the best middle distances horses are usually judged over the Derby distance and so this race is a bit of an anomaly in that sense.
In terms of the entry conditions page, this race is only open to the three-year-olds, the colts and geldings carrying 126lbs and the fillies 121, and is often the last time these classic hopefuls race solely against their own age group before being aimed at races such as the Breeders’ Cup Classic at the end of the year.
Right on the outskirts of New York City, Belmont Park has been open for business since 1905 and has hosted the Belmont Stakes from that point on, the race having previously been held at both Jerome Park and Morris Park.
Belmont’s dirt track has not only bigger dimensions than most, including that at the Pegasus World Cup, giving it the name “Big Sandy”, it also tends to be quite deep meaning the mile-and-a-half trip for the big race truly tests these thoroughbreds out.
Once more, huge crowds can be hosted just as at Pimlico and Churchill Downs with over 120,000 in attendance for the 2004 Belmont Stakes when Birdstone played the pantomime villain in upsetting Triple Crown hope Smarty Jones.
Belmont holds a proper place on the racing circuit, hosting races such as the Suburban Handicap, the Mother Goose Stakes and the Man O’War Stakes among many others meaning it is not reliant on the Triple Crown to draw crowds.
Reading race form, history, and workout times are all good ways to make sure you don’t go attempting to bet the Belmont Stakes without the right info. Being armed with this information and checking the latest odds are paramount in attempting to bet the winner of this race and that can all be done by visiting right here.
As a bettor, you should never go into any big race under informed so be certain to check back here at race time for all the latest information regarding one of America’s biggest races.
Be sure to check back here on TVG near race time for a more in-depth analysis from our experts but for now, take a look at the history of Belmont Park’s biggest race to whet your appetite.