belmont stakes

The Belmont Stakes takes place every year at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The 2021 renewal will be the 153rd time this race has been run. This includes the times when it was held at Belmont Park on 108 other occasions. 

This race is a part of the American Triple Crown, a set of races that three-year-old thoroughbreds can enter. The other two races in the series are the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, with the Belmont Stakes being the longest and oldest of these races.

While normally the Belmont Stakes race is the last of the Triple Crown races in the season, it was the first race of the series in 2020. There was also a distance change in the race for the 2020 renewal. Since 1926 it has been run over 1 1⁄2 miles, with the 2020 race taking place over 1 1⁄8 miles. In 2021, the race is expected to be running as usual.

It is set to take place on June 4-6 on the dirt track at Belmont Park and this Grade I stakes race always captures the attention of racing fans all around the world. This Belmont Stakes 2021 guide walks you through the history of the race, some of the most notable horses over the years, and some fun facts about this event. 

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History of the Belmont Stakes

The first-ever Belmont Stakes was in 1867 and was held at the Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx. This was until 1890, at which point it was held at the close by Morris Park Racecourse. 

It was in 1905 that Belmont Park was opened in Long Island. It became the new host of this race up to the present day. There was no race in either 1911 or 1912 to anti-gambling legislation in the state. 

While the term ‘Triple Crown’ series of races was not widely used until about 1935, it was unofficially known in this way for a number of years beforehand. The order of Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes has been the case since 1931. The first winner of the Triple Crown was Gallant Fox in 1930. His son was the next winner in 1935.

Between 1963 and 1967 the race took place at the Aqueduct Racetrack. During the time, the renovations were being conducted at Belmont Park. It was in 1971 that a record 20th-century crowd attended the race. More than 80,000 people turned up on the day. The 2007 race saw the first filly winner since 1905 after Rags to Riches stormed to victory. 

After a long period of horses failing to win the Triple Crown, there were calls for the races to be spread out a bit more to give horses ample rest between the races. 

It was in 2015 that the Triple Crown was won by American Pharaoh. It was the 12th to ever do so and the first to do so in 37 years. Justify went on to claim the Triple Crown in 2018, becoming the horse of the year.

belmont park

The Belmont Stakes Venue

Belmont Park lies in Elmont, New York, just on the outskirts to the east of the city limits. It officially opened in May 1905 and is under the operation of the New York Racing Association, a non-profit group that also operates the Saratoga Racecourse and the Aqueduct. 

The racing season at Belmont Park usually takes place between late April and until the end of July. It restarts once more in the middle of September until the end of October for the Fall season. It has a reputation for being one of the best racetracks in the United States. 

Thanks to the wide, sweeping turns, a great surface and a long home stretch, it is known as being one of the fairest tracks around. Horses that possess tactical speed do well around this track, with a strong early position being vital as it is very hard to make up ground as the race goes on.

Some of the other notable races that take place here include the Suburban Handicap, Woodward Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup. A couple of leading fillies races held at the track are the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Mother Goose Stakes.

Fun Facts about Belmont Stakes

Have a look at some of the fun facts about this race. There are quite a few.

  • Each year’s winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1926 gets the August Belmont Trophy. They can hold onto it for the year and will also get a smaller replica that they can keep forever. 
  • For the 2019 Belmont Stakes, there was a prize purse of $1.5 million on offer, with the victor getting $800,000.
  • Nine foreign-born horses have won the Belmont Stakes over the years, with five winners from the United Kingdom, three from Ireland and one from Canada. Just 23 fillies have taken part in the Belmont Stakes over the years, with three of the winning. Rags to Riches was the last to do so in 2007. 
  • George M. Odon and James G. Rowe Sr. Have both won the Belmont Stakes as a trainer and as a jockey.
  • The largest attendance at the Belmont Stakes in Belmont Park came in 2004 when there were 120,139 people at the track. 
  • Over the years, there have been 23 horses that have failed at the final leg of the Triple Crown series by failing to capture the Belmont Stakes. 
  • Of the winners of the Belmont Stakes, 14 have gone on to sire a winner of the race Man o’ War sired the most winners – American Flag, War Admiral (a Triple Crown winner) and Crusader.
  • Jim McLaughlin and Eddie Arcaro jointly hold the record for most Belmont Stakes wins as a jockey with six wins each. James G. Rowe Sr. Has a record eight wins as a trainer, with the biggest margin of victory at the race being 31 lengths, achieved by Secretariat in 1973. To this day, Secretariat still holds the Belmont Stakes record finishing the race in 2:24.000 flat.

Belmont Stakes FAQ

If you are planning to enjoy some Belmont Stakes online betting, or you simply want to watch Belmont stakes, the FAQ section below might have the answers you are looking for.

When is the Belmont Stakes?

The Belmont Stakes is taking place on June 4-6, 2021 at Belmont Park.

What Time Does the Belmont Stakes Start?

The Belmont Stakes will start at 3 PM ET on June 5, 2021.

Where can I get Belmont Stakes Tickets and how Much are They?

You can get tickets for the 2021 Belmont Stakes directly from the Belmont Stakes website. There are a number of different ticket packages on offer. General admission usually starts from $25 per person, with potential upgrades including box seating and VIP packages.

Who won the Belmont Stakes Last Year?

Sir Winston was the winning horse at the 2019 Belmont Stakes, with Joel Rosario being the jockey, Mark E. Casse being the trainer and Tracy Farmer being the owner. It won in a time of 2:28:30.

How Long is the Belmont Stakes?

Since 1926, the race has been run over 1 1⁄2 miles, with an exception in 2020.

How Many Horses in the Belmont Stakes?

How Many Horses in the Belmont Stakes?