When horse racing fans think about the Triple Crown in the United States, the mind immediately points to the Kentucky Derby. However, it could be argued that there haven’t been more memorable Triple Crown races in history than those that take place at Belmont Park.
The Belmont Stakes is traditionally the final leg of the Triple Crown series and is by far the most gruelling of the events throughout the season.
The race takes place over one and a half miles and has long been one of the season’s most viewed races. Its popularity can easily be seen by the fact that over 21 million people tuned into the 1977 instalment, which saw Seattle Slew wrap up success in all three Triple Crown events.
However, which factors should be taken into account before making bets on the big race?
There hasn’t been a trainer that has dominated this race for many years. Unlike the Kentucky Derby, where Bob Baffert has an excellent record, he has trained just two winners of the Belmont Stakes since 2000.
However, both of those winners were very significant as they came in the form of American Pharoah and Justify, who both won the Belmont Stakes to wrap up the Triple Crown. The most successful trainer in this race’s history was James G. Rowe Sr, who won the Belmont Stakes on eight occasions during his career.
He is also one of two people in the history of the race that have won as a trainer and jockey. His final success as a trainer came with Prince Eugene in 1913. Meanwhile, only one trainer has ever trained the winner in five successive years, and that was Woody Stephens. His trained the winners between 1982 and 1986.
Two jockeys have won the Belmont Stakes on six occasions throughout their careers. Jim McLaughlin was the first man to reach that record, as he won six times in the space of seven years between 1882 and 1888. Meanwhile, that defeat was matched by Eddie Arcaro, who won his six between 1941 and 1955. His final success in the Belmont Stakes came in 1955 with Nashua.
Over the last ten years, only one jockey has won the Belmont Stakes on more than one occasion. Mike Smith has won three Belmont Stakes since 2010, with his first winner coming in 2010 with Drosselmeyer. His most recent success came in 2018 onboard Triple Crown winner Justify.
Horses To Fall At Final Hurdle
The favourites in the Belmont Stakes betting are typically the horses that have succeeded in the previous two Triple Crown events. However, there have been multiple examples throughout history that the horses gunning for history have fallen just short of winning all three events.
In total, 23 horses have fallen short of winning the Belmont Stakes to win the Triple Crown, with eight of those runners having to settle for a place in second. The most recent horse to have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before finishing second in this race was Smarty Jones in 2004.
Meanwhile, horses looking for the third and final success of the Triple Crown have also needed to settle for third and fourth. There have been five horses in the past to finish in third, and four that have needed to settle for a spot in fourth.
Big Brown in 2008 remains the only horse that failed to finish the Belmont Stakes after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. A further three horses that won the other two Triple Crown events didn’t go on to compete in the Belmont Stakes.
If you enjoy horse racing, take a look at the current odds for the upcoming Kentucky Derby too: TwinSpires.com/kentuckyderby/odds