The 151st running of the Belmont Stakes is just a little over a week away. The race is scheduled for this Saturday, June 8 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
In 2015 American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. Prior to that the previous 13 horses that had won both the Derby and Preakness had failed to complete the Triple Crown at the Belmont. Justify equalled the feat of American Pharoah with a Triple Crown win in 2018.
I’ve put together 10 facts about the Belmont that might surprise you. Feel free to use them to impress your buddies come race day.
Top 10 Interesting Facts for the Belmont Stakes
#1 – It’s no secret that the Kentucky Derby is known as the “Run for the Roses.” However, most don’t know the nickname of this event. It’s referred to as the “Run for the Carnations.” Why? The winner is draped with a blanket of white carnations. This race is also known as the “Test of the Champion.” Due to the grueling 1.5-mile distance.
#2 – An anti-betting law was passed in New York which put the race on the shelf for two years back in 1911 and 1912. When is the government going to learn to quit involving themselves in these matters?
#3 – Before 1921, the horses ran in a clockwise manner, as they did in English racing.
#4 – James G. Rowe Sr. is the trainer with the most Belmont wins (8). He was also considered the best jockey in the U.S. from 1871-1873. He won this race twice during that stretch. He is also the youngest trainer to ever win the Kentucky Derby.
#5 – Jim McLaughlin and Eddie Arcaro are knotted at 6 Belmont wins a piece in the history books for jockeys. McLaughlin road three consecutive Belmont winners during two different stretches. Eddie Arcaro is largely known as the most decorated jockey in horse racing history. He’s the only jockey to win the Triple Crown twice.
#6 – Secretariat is largely known as the best Belmont Stakes horse in history. His winning time of 2:24 in the 1973 race set a record for the race. It was also a world record for a 1.5-mile dirt track. Secretariat won by staggering 31 lengths. The largest margin of victory at this event, and all American Grade 1 Stakes races.
#7 – Sarava is the biggest underdog to win at 70/1 odds in 2002. This win ended War Emblem’s Triple Crown bid.
#8 – In 1993, Julie Krone became the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race at Belmont Park. Krone made history on top of Colonial Affair.
#9 – There have been 29 horses enter this race with a chance to win the Triple Crown. Only 13 have come away with horse racing’s biggest prize. American Pharoah became the first to do so in 2015 since Affirmed way back in 1978.
#10 –The record for the largest crowd came in 2004. That year 120,139 fans went to watch Smarty Jones attempt to win the Triple Crown. As some of you might recall, Smarty Jones was upset by Birdstone.