The third and final leg of the illustrious Triple Crown™, the Belmont Stakes is a true test of a champion. Ran over one-and-half-miles, the race is one of America’s most highly-anticipated of the racing calendar. Named after leading banker and racing man of the 19th century August Belmont, the Belmont Stakes is held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes.
First inaugurated in 1867, the Belmont Stakes initially took place at Jerome Park from 1867 to 1889, before moving to its current home in 1905 with the opening of Belmont Park in Elmont, NY.
The longest of all three Triple Crown™ races, the Belmont Stakes is unpredictable. It is a test of guts and stamina. While many have gone in search of immortality here and the coveted Triple Crown (34 horses were eligible), just 12 horses have completed the rarest of American sporting successes.
At Belmont Park, horses must be bred to run the extra distance. At 1.5 miles-in-length, it is one of the longest first-class races in the United States.
Down through the years, the hallowed turf has seen it all. From Secretariat’s record-breaking act of sheer brilliance in 1973 when “moving like a tremendous machine”, Rags To Riches bridging a 102-year gap by becoming just the third filly to stride to victory in 2007, to 2015’s coronation of American Pharoah when becoming the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown™ following 37 years of a drought, few races compare when it comes to history, prestige or excitement.
Ahead of the 2017 Belmont Stakes, which takes place from June 8 -10 at Belmont Park, NY. Belmont Experiences will recount the story of our ten favorite successes at the “Run for the Carnations” for the next ten Wednesday’s leading up to race week.
Danzig Connection, 1986
In 1986 the 118th Belmont Stakes, a story of a true under-dog came to light as Jockey Chris McCarron guided Danzig Connection to victory as the crowd chanted “Woody! Woody!” coming down the final stretch.
The race got off to a slow start with Mogambo taking top, followed by Danzig Connection and Ferdinand, that year’s Kentucky Derby® winner. Both Ferdinand and Johns Treasure continued to advance on the outside of Danzig Connection, but McCarron pushed the horse through and Danzig Connection ended up having the energy to pull ahead for the win.
Both Trainer Woody Stephens and Jockey Chris McCarron agreed that they had little belief that Danzig Connection would take gold at the Belmont Stakes. Going into the race as an 8/1 outsider, many couldn’t believe as he claimed a 1 ¼ length victory over the favored Johns Treasure and Ferdinand, giving Stephens his fifth straight Belmont Stakes victory, much to the delight of the crowd.
Be at the Belmont Stakes in 2017!
The Belmont Stakes is a true test of a champion. In 2017, make sure you are there to witness history in the making. With Belmont Experiences, the Official Experience Provider for the Belmont Stakes, race fans will be able to enjoy all-encompassing views of the track.
Complete with access to our in-track, climate-controlled hospitality setting in The Diamond Room at North Shore Terrace, guests will enjoy gourmet food buffets, a premium open bar, live entertainment, legendary jockey appearances, and big-screen televisions with full race day coverage that ensure you’ll be in the most festive and exciting venue for the 2017 Belmont Stakes.