The Saturday, the 8th of June, will be the running of the 145th edition of the Belmont Stakes. It is the third and final race of the 2013 Triple Crown series. It features a rematch of Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow. The race is run over a mile and a half presenting the longest test these three year old horses have seen to date. After the Belmont most of these horses will not ever cover this distance again.
The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of all the Triple Crown races, eight years older than the Kentucky Derby and six years older than the Preakness Stakes, dating back to its inception in 1867 at Jerome Park.
Throughout history some of the greatest horses of all time have completed their Triple Crown bid at the Belmont Stakes to include Sir Barton (1919), War Admiral (1937), Count Fleet (1943), Citation (1948), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978 and the recording setting 31 length victory of Secretariat (1973). During the 1973 edition Secretariat set the stakes record of 2:24 when no other horse has approached with the closest being Easy Goer (2:26) and A.P. Indy (1992). Do you remember that race? Were you even alive when Secretariat smashed the record? Here is your chance to watch domination at its greatest.
YouTube Video Courtesy of wyocalboy
However 33 horses have entered Belmont Park looking to win the Triple Crown and all fell short. In this millennium alone War Emblem (2002), Funny Cide (2003), Smarty Jones (2004), Big Brown (2008), and I’ll Have Another (2012) all fell short. Some were close like Funny Cide (3rd) and Smarty Jones (2nd), others just did not perform such as Big Brown who did not finish and I’ll Have Another was scratched due to injury. Of all Smarty Jones was the closest as he was chased down in the final furlong by Birdstone. Just listen to the end of the call. You can hear the deflation in his voice.
YouTube Video Courtesy of The New York Racing Association
The morning line favorite for the 2013 Belmont Stakes is Orb at 3-1. Preakness Stakes winner, Oxbow, is the third choice at 5-1. Sandwiched between them is third place Kentucky Derby winner, Revolutionary. It is important to know that the betting favorite when they load into the gate has only won six times since 1980 with the last being Afleet Alex in 2005. Will Orb rebound from a poor Preakness Showing? Will Oxbow be able to get the distance? Will Revolutionary take charge with a smaller field? Or will one of the other entrants step up and win the Belmont? Let’s break down the entrants in the 2013 Belmont Stakes.
Up Next: The Contenders