List Of Greatest Horses To Win Belmont Stakes

| June 3, 2022

Belmont Stakes is the final leg for America’s Triple Crown series. The Stakes is considered the championship of all the winners as the event can be fiercer than the others. Up to this day, there are only 13 Triple Crown winners even after it was formally proclaimed in December of 1950. 

No doubt, the Belmont Stakes has the most iconic and significant event in all horse racing history. For a refresher and hype things up, here are four horses that have marked the history of Belmont Stakes just before they receive their Triple Crown trophies.

Belmont Stakes
Greatest horses to win the Belmont Stakes

Secretariat (1973)

If you are a horse racing fan, you must have already heard of Secretariat and his legacy. Aside from being the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 25 years since Citation in 1948. What makes him more significant is how he completed the 1.5-mile race in two minutes and 24 seconds only.

Two weeks before the Kentucky Derby, Secretariat appeared in the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct. He lost the favor of being the favorite for the derby after he lost at the Wood Memorial. Nonetheless, being as impressive as he is, Secretariat surprised many people as he turned the waves and won the 1 1/4-mile race in just one minute and 59 2/5th seconds. 

For the Belmont Stakes, Secretariat ended the quarter-century Triple Crown-ness of all horse racing fans. He not only was crowned as the next champion, but he has also presented the single most remarkable performance in horse racing history. 

He completed the race by 31 lengths, where he also holds the fastest 1/2-, 3/4-, 1-, and 1 1/4- mile fractions in the whole Belmont Stakes history even up to this day.

Citation (1948)

Citation marked history as being the first horse to win a million dollars. He was also the eighth horse to win the American Triple Crown.

At the Belmont Stakes, Citation was to run alongside other seven horses. He had a rough start as he stumbled at the beginning. However, being magnificent of a horse as he is, he could find his footing and steadied himself. 

Citation was at the front line and was the first to make his move at the far turn. He had a five lengths gap and bagged his Triple Crown right before Better Self’s eyes.

If you think it ended there, you are wrong because Citation did not stop there. Citation played 20 more races in the same year and won 19 of them. Citation had a busy year as he was also awarded the Horse of the Year.

Citation had 45 starts throughout his four seasons and won 32 of them. He only finished second ten times and two times in third.

Seattle Slew (1977)

Seattle Slew started with a humble beginning. The Taylors bought him for only $17,500 after being rejected by Kentucky’s most prestigious summer yearling sale in 1975. He had a very dark brown color, almost black, that may look peculiar to some.

His trainer, Billy Turner, had planned more for him. Seattle Slew was determined and highly competitive, but his trainer thought it could also be his weakness. The Belmont Stakes track ran at 1-1/2 miles, a race longer than the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. 

Turner was concerned that Slew’s competitive nature might turn on him and tire him out if he ran too fast too soon. It was not until the day of the Belmont Stakes that Seattle Slew unveiled all his training. 

The track was all muddy because of the rain that day. He was also 20 minutes from getting to the preparing area. When everything seemed pretty off before everything started, one of his opponents forced an earlier pace than Slew. 

Even so, this did not startle Slew. Seattle Slew led a win with a four lengths gap with a muddy track. After his decisive victory, Slew beat the next Triple Crown winner, Affirmed (1978), in the Grade 1 Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park.

Affirmed (1978)

After Seattle Slew, Affirmed has earned the American Triple Crown the following year. Affirmed’s race to the Belmont Stakes more significant than the mentioned races so far is his rivalry with another horse, Alydar. 

You should know that Affirmed has always been in a competitive rivalry with Alydar. They have been against each other since they were two years old. Although Affirmed has won most of the races, Alydar has never been far from him at the finish line. So when you talk about Affirmed, you can never miss Alydar.

During the Belmont Stakes, no one would have expected that they would be running more competitively against each other. All the fans were on edge as they witnessed one of the greatest showdowns in all of racing history. Both horses stride against each other. 

Affirmed had more advantages, but Alydar persisted, which was more remarkable because of the close distance. They ran together, and the distance was barely more than the tip of the new triple crown winner, Affirmed. The race marked history as the fiercest struggle of a champion.

How To Bet For Belmont Stakes?

Betting for one of the major championships in horse racing history will need some preparations. You must first need to ensure that your state finally legalizes sports betting. 

For belmont stakes betting, you need to find a sportsbook that can cater to your bets and offer you good odds. Load your bankroll, and you are good to go!

Final Thoughts

These horses and their impressive records have shown what it takes to be a winner. For sure, more horses will leave a mark in the horse racing history, and there will be more fans that are going to witness that. As the Belmont Stakes came closer, it was the best time to get to know their renowned runners!

Category: International

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