The Best Kept Secrets of the 2023 Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world and is a part of the coveted Triple Crown. But did you know that there are many secrets and lesser-known facts about this event? For instance, did you know that the Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the three Triple Crown races, having been first run in 1867? Or that the race is named after August Belmont Sr., a prominent member of New York’s racing scene in the 19th century?

There are also interesting facts about the length of the race. The Belmont Stakes is known for its grueling 1.5-mile distance, making it the longest of the Triple Crown races. In fact, the distance of the race has remained unchanged throughout its history. Another little-known fact is that the blanket of carnations that is draped over the winning horse is made up of white carnations with a touch of blue and red sewn in, the official state flower colors of New York.

  • Created in 1867, the Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the Triple Crown races.
  • The race was named after August Belmont Sr., a prominent member of New York’s racing scene in the 19th century.
  • The race is famous for its grueling 1.5-mile distance, making it the longest of the Triple Crown races.
  • The blanket of carnations draped over the winning horse is made up of white carnations with a touch of blue and red sewn in, the official state flower colors of New York.

The Belmont Stakes: A Brief History

The Belmont Stakes is one of the oldest and most prestigious horse racing events in the world. It first took place in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack, but the race was moved to Belmont Park in 1905. The event is named after August Belmont Sr., a prominent banker and horse racing enthusiast who helped establish the race.

Over the years, the Belmont Stakes has undergone various changes in its format and distance. Initially, the race was only 1 5/8 miles long, but it was later changed to 1 1/2 miles, which is the current distance. The Belmont Stakes is also the final and longest leg of the Triple Crown, which consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.

  • The first Triple Crown winner was Sir Barton in 1919, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that the term “Triple Crown” began to be widely used.
  • The Belmont Stakes has also been witness to some of the most iconic moments in horse racing history, like Secretariat’s record-breaking victory in 1973.

Today, the Belmont Stakes attracts horse racing fans and enthusiasts from around the world to witness the thrilling spectacle of the final leg of the Triple Crown. The race has not only become a part of racing history but a part of Americana, representing tradition, excitement, and elegance.

Favorite Horses in Belmont Stakes History

If you’re a fan of horse racing, you know that the Belmont Stakes is one of the most prestigious events of the year. Over the years, many horses have made their mark at the Belmont Stakes, becoming fan favorites and champions in the process. From Secretariat to American Pharoah, there have been some truly legendary performances at this event.

One of the most famous horses in Belmont Stakes history is Secretariat. In 1973, Secretariat set a world record time of 2:24 for the 1 1/2-mile race that still stands today. He won by an incredible 31 lengths and is widely considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time. Another fan favorite is American Pharoah, who in 2015 became the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown. His Belmont Stakes victory was a dominant performance that cemented his place in racing history.

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Other notable horses include Seattle Slew, who won the Triple Crown in 1977 and went on to become a successful sire, and Affirmed, who won the Triple Crown in 1978 after a thrilling rivalry with fellow legendary horse Alydar. These champions and many more have made the Belmont Stakes a must-see event for racing fans.

The Triple Crown Winners

The Triple Crown is the ultimate achievement for any horse in the racing industry, requiring the horse to win three prestigious races – Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes – within five weeks. Only thirteen horses in history have been able to claim the Triple Crown. Among them, American Pharoah, Sir Barton, and Secretariat are widely regarded as some of the greatest horses of all time.

American Pharoah broke a 37-year-long drought by becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 2015, and also holds the record for the fastest Belmont Stakes victory. Sir Barton, on the other hand, completed the Triple Crown even before it had been officially named, winning all three races in 1919. Secretariat’s dominance in the Belmont Stakes, winning by an impressive 31 lengths and setting a new world record, secured his place as one of the most unforgettable winners in history.

Other Triple Crown winners include War Admiral, Whirlaway, Assault, Citation, Count Fleet, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and Justify, who won in 2018. These horses are not only remembered for their victories in the Triple Crown, but also for their impressive performances in many other races throughout their careers.

  • War Admiral: 21 wins in 26 races
  • Whirlaway: 32 wins in 60 races
  • Assault: 18 wins in 42 races
  • Citation: 32 wins in 45 races
  • Count Fleet: 16 wins in 21 races
  • Seattle Slew: 14 wins in 17 races
  • Affirmed: 22 wins in 29 races
  • Justify: 6 wins in 6 races

The exceptional ability demonstrated by these horses makes them an integral part of the Belmont Stakes’ history, and will be remembered for a long time to come.

The Underdogs

The Belmont Stakes is known for producing unforgettable moments of horse racing history. While many remember the legendary winners and the Triple Crown champions, there are numerous underdog stories that had a shock factor to the Belmont Stakes. Some of these unsung heroes not only surprised everyone with unexpected wins but also delivered impressive performances.

One of the most surprising victories in Belmont Stakes history belongs to Sarava, who won the race in 2002 with long odds of 70-1. Another underdog tale is Ruler On Ice, who pulled off a similarly stunning upset in 2011. Betters who had picked massive favorites like Animal Kingdom and Shackleford were left stunned by these unlikely wins.

While some underdogs win in surprising fashion, sometimes it’s a horse’s performance that steals the show. Birdstone came into the 2004 Belmont as the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby and was deemed as a long shot. However, the horse put up a terrific fight and ended up defeating the superstar Smarty Jones. Despite this, Birdstone never truly got the attention he deserved after his victory became overshadowed by Smarty Jones’s near Triple Crown win.

  • Unlikely winners with long odds
  • Horses that put up impressive performances despite being long shots

The People Behind the Scenes

The Belmont Stakes is not just about the majestic horses. It takes a village to make this racing event a success. Meet the people behind the scenes who put their heart and soul into making Belmont Stakes a memorable experience for everyone!

First, we have the trainers who work tirelessly to get their horses ready for the big day. From exercising the horses to monitoring their diets, these trainers leave no stone unturned to ensure their horses are in the best shape possible. Next, we have the jockeys who mount the horses and steer them towards victory. These skilled professionals use their experience and instincts to guide their horses safely to the finish line.

But that’s not all! The Belmont Stakes is also made possible by other industry professionals, such as the veterinarians who ensure that the horses are healthy and fit to race. The race organizers, security personnel, and other staff members also play an instrumental role in making this event a success.

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Behind the scenes, the groundskeepers work tirelessly to prepare the track and the facilities for the big event. These highly skilled professionals ensure that the grounds are in perfect condition for the horses and racegoers.

Lastly, the volunteers who give their time and effort to help with various tasks during the Belmont Stakes event deserve special recognition. From assisting visitors to organizing events, these volunteers are the unsung heroes who make this event a success year after year.

It takes a team effort to make Belmont Stakes one of the biggest events in horse racing. Without these behind-the-scenes professionals, this event would not be possible – so let’s give them the recognition they deserve!

The Groundskeepers

The Belmont Stakes is not just a thrilling horse race, it is also an intricate event that requires meticulous planning and execution. At the heart of it all are the groundskeepers who work tirelessly to maintain the track and facilities for this prestigious event. These skilled professionals take care of everything from mowing the grass to repairing fences and ensuring that the grounds are safe and attractive for both horses and spectators alike.

The job of a groundskeeper is never done, as they work around the clock in the days leading up to the big race. They must carefully monitor the weather conditions and adjust their work accordingly, taking measures to protect the track from rain or excessive heat. They also need to groom the track surface to ensure that it is level and free of any debris that could cause a horse to slip or fall.

In addition to their work on the track, groundskeepers also take care of the surrounding facilities, including the grandstands, concession stands, and parking areas. They must ensure that everything is clean, safe, and ready for the thousands of visitors who will attend the event. It is a demanding job, but one that is essential to the success of the Belmont Stakes.

The Volunteers

The Belmont Stakes is not only an exciting horse racing event, but it is also a massive undertaking that requires the help of many volunteers. These dedicated individuals work tirelessly to ensure that everything runs smoothly during the event. Volunteer roles range from helping to set up and take down equipment, to directing attendees, and assisting with parking.

Without the help of volunteers, events like the Belmont Stakes would not be possible. Their hard work and dedication often go unnoticed, but their contributions are invaluable. The Belmont Stakes has a long tradition of attracting passionate and dedicated volunteers who return year after year to help make the event a success.

  • Volunteer roles: set up, take down, directing attendees, and parking
  • Hard work and dedication are essential for the success of any event
  • Volunteers often return year after year

The Festivities and Traditions

The Belmont Stakes isn’t just about horse racing; it’s a full-fledged celebration of sport and culture. Fans from around the world come to witness the excitement and participate in the festivities. One of the biggest traditions is the “white carnation,” which is the official flower of the Belmont Stakes. Each year, the winning horse is draped with a white carnation blanket to symbolize victory.

Another exciting event leading up to the main race is “Belmont Stakes Festival.” During the festival, fans can enjoy a plethora of activities such as live music, food, and entertainment. The festival is designed to bring together fans from all walks of life and unite them with the common goal of celebrating horseracing.

The Belmont Stakes also features a fashion show, which is a sight to behold. Attendees dress up in their finest attire and don their most stylish hats for the occasion. It is an opportunity for fans to showcase their individuality and fashion sense while enjoying the excitement of the event. The food and drink at the Belmont Stakes are equally impressive, with offerings ranging from classic cocktails to gourmet cuisine.

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Finally, no celebration is complete without music. At the Belmont Stakes, fans are treated to live performances by some of the biggest names in the music industry. Each year, the organizers make sure to spice up the entertainment lineup, bringing in a variety of genres to cater to all music lovers.

The Fashion

When it comes to the Belmont Stakes, fashion is just as important as the horse racing itself. A day at the races is synonymous with stylish attire and elaborate hats, making it an event to remember. Attendees go all out with their outfits, donning colorful dresses, dapper suits, and extravagant hats. The dress code typically calls for formal attire, with men wearing blazers and women opting for dresses or skirts.

In the weeks leading up to the event, there are fashion-related events that take place, making it a week-long celebration of style. The Belmont Stakes Hat Contest is one of the most popular events, where attendees compete for the title of “Best Hat.” It’s a perfect opportunity for guests to show off their creativity and fashion sense. With such a high-profile event, it’s no surprise that the fashion industry has taken notice, with top designers creating custom hats and outfits specifically for the occasion.

  • Some of the popular fashion trends at the Belmont Stakes include:
  • Monochromatic outfits
  • Bold prints and patterns
  • Straw hats with silk ribbons
  • Feather fascinators

Overall, the Belmont Stakes is not just a day for horse racing, but also a day to show off your fashion sense and style. So, dress to impress and get ready for the extravagant display of style at this prestigious event!

The Food and Drink

The Belmont Stakes isn’t just about the horses and horse racing – it’s also a chance to indulge in some delicious food and drinks! At the Belmont Stakes, you can find a wide variety of culinary offerings that range from classic snacks to gourmet treats. One food item that is a staple at the Belmont Stakes is the lobster roll – a delicious sandwich filled with fresh lobster meat and served on a soft, buttery bun.

In addition to the food, the Belmont Stakes also has a selection of signature cocktails that are sure to delight your taste buds. One favorite drink is the Belmont Jewel – a refreshing blend of bourbon, lemonade, and pomegranate juice. Another popular drink is the Black-Eyed Susan, which is made with vodka, St. Germain, and pineapple and orange juices.

Overall, the Belmont Stakes is a great place to try new and unique foods while enjoying some tasty cocktails. Whether you’re a horse racing fan or not, there’s no denying that the food and drinks at the Belmont Stakes are one of the highlights of the event!

The Music and Entertainment

The Belmont Stakes is not just about horse racing; it’s a celebration of sports, entertainment, and traditions. The event offers a wide range of music and entertainment options that make the experience even more festive. Live musical performances from famous artists and bands take place throughout the day.

The Belmont Stakes also features a variety of other entertainment options to keep attendees engaged, including carnival games, food trucks, and photo booths. One of the most popular activities is the Belmont Stakes Hat Parade, where attendees compete to show off their stylish and creative hats.

Additionally, the Belmont Stakes has a longstanding tradition of playing the “The Sidewalks of New York” before the race as the horses make their way to the track. The song, which was originally performed in the late 1800s, has become an iconic part of the event’s history and adds to the nostalgic atmosphere.

Overall, the Belmont Stakes offers a unique blend of horse racing and entertainment that keeps attendees coming back year after year. Whether you’re a fan of live music, carnival games, or simply want to experience the excitement of one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, the Belmont Stakes has something for everyone.

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