Millionaires, Shippers Highlight Belmont’s Suburban
2017 Belmont Stakes Winner, Baffert Duo Early Favorites
By Margaret Ransom
It used to be that the Suburban (GII) was a must-stop on the handicap campaigns of all of the best older East Coast stars — the last big race in New York for horses that carried weight before barns shipped north to Saratoga for the summer.
But in recent years, thanks in large part to the changing climate of the division, the Suburban has lost some of its luster. This year, however, with no clear handicap star, the Suburban is shaping up to be the East’s first real big test of older horses racing at a distance since the Pegasus World Cup in January. Eleven will go postward in the $700,000 event run under stakes conditions, including a classic winner and one of racing’s most beloved runners, who may be one of the richest and oldest horses still racing.
The Suburban is the last leg of the three-race series once known as the New York Handicap Triple, which also consisted of the Met Mile (GI) and Brooklyn Handicap. When the calendar allowed it, four horses swept the series, the most recent being Fit to Fight in 1984.
Despite its recent lack of flash, the Suburban is still synonymous with racing greatness. A quick perusal of the American Racing Manual shows a star-studded list of Hall of Famers, champions, standout sires and even mares who have won the event dating back to the beginning — names like… (more)