Twelve Take On Last Triple Crown Jewel in Belmont Stakes
By Margaret Ransom
This year marks the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes, the final jewel of the Triple Crown and the oldest of the three races. This race is known for a lot of things — from being the crowning glory of a grueling five-week race series to being a crushing spoiler for runners and their connections attempting to earn racing immortality. But of all the things the Belmont Stakes is known for, it is probably the sheer number of amazing horses who’ve won the 1 ½-mile race since it was first contested in 1867.
In addition to the 12 Triple Crown winners, the most recent member of the club being American Pharoah two years ago, a host of historic names have graced the Belmont Park winner’s circle draped in a blanket of carnations. Sometimes the term “legends of the turf” is used too loosely, but not when it comes to the Belmont Stakes. It has been the stop for all of the great racing legends, from Belair Stud, Sam Riddle and Greentree Stable to “Sunny” Jim Fitzsimmons and Woody Stephens. Back in the day, winning the Belmont was as important — if not more so — than any other race on the calendar.
Some names even the casual racing fan will recognize as third-jewel winners. In addition to the 12 Triple Crown winners, the roster of Belmont Stakes champions includes… (more)