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Sports Then and Now




Records and Statistics of the Belmont Stakes

Posted on March 31, 2011 by Rod Crowley

As is well known to racing fans all over the world, the Belmont Stakes is the third and final leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing and is held each year at the Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont, New York. The race takes place five weeks after the Kentucky Derby, which is the first leg of the Triple Crown and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, which of course is the second leg, it usually works out to be the first Saturday in June. It is run over 12 furlongs on a left-handed dirt track and is often referred to as “The Test of Champions” or the “Run for the Carnations”. Over its long history, it was first run in 1867, it has created its own unique set of records and statistics; here are some of them:

Jockeys

Eddie Arcaro and Jim McLaughlin lead the all time record of wins with six apiece, but the jockey with the biggest win percentage is Bill Shoemaker, who the race five times from just eleven attempts. The only current jockey with more than one win is Edgar Prado, who earned himself a somewhat unfair reputation as the man who spoils Triple Crown dreams. His first win came in 2002 aboard Sarava, whose win in the race ended the Triple Crown hopes of War Emblem, Prado won again in 2004 where he rode Birdstone to victory thus killing off the Triple Crown dream of the great Smarty Jones. Julie Krone is the only female jockey to have ridden the winner of the race, which came in 1993 aboard Colonial Affair.

Trainers

With eight wins in the race James G Rowe remains the trainer with the most wins, his last coming way back in 1913; Rowe also won the race twice as a jockey in 1872 and 1873, making him only one of two to achieve the feat, the other being George M Odom. Woody Stephens earned legendary status when he trained five consecutive winners between 1982-86. Nick Zito who has saddled two winners holds the record of 22 for sending out the most starters in the race, while D Wayne Lukas, with three winners is second after saddling 21 starters. Dermot Weld is the only current European trainer to have saddled the winner, that came in 1990 when Go And Go won the race with jockey, Mick Kinane on board.

Horses

There have been eleven Triple Crown winners, who completed the hat-trick by landing the Belmont Stakes, they are:

Sir Barton – 1919

Gallant Fox – 1930

Omaha – 1935

War Admiral – 1937

Whirlaway – 1941

Count Fleet – 1943

Assault – 1946

Citation – 1948

Secretariat – 1973

Seattle Slew – 1977

Affirmed – 1978

There have been a total of seven horses in the last 13 years who have come to the Belmont Stakes only to have their Triple Crown dream shattered; whilst there has been a total of 21 in all. The speed record for the race is held by Secretariat who won in 1973 with a time of 2:24secs, in winning he also created the record of 31 lengths of the widest ever margin of victory. The last non-American trained horse to win was Victory Gallop who was trained in Canada and is that country’s only ever success in the race.


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