The fastest Belmont Stakes in history at the classic 1 ½-mile distance was the 2:24 that the great Triple Crown winner Secretariat clocked when he won the 1973 renewal and became horse racing’s ninth Triple Crown winner. The son of Bold Ruler also holds the fastest splits for a half-mile, three-quarters of a mile, one mile and 1 ¼ miles in the history of the race, as well as the largest margin of victory.
The record of 1:53 1/5 for this year’s distance of 1 1/8 miles was clocked by Comanche in 1893, but Secretariat owns the track record for the distance for his win in the 1973 Marlboro Cup Invitational.
The largest margin of victory in the history of the Belmont also belongs to Secretariat, who crossed the finish line 31 lengths in front of Twice a Prince. Fellow Triple Crown winner Count Fleet (1943) was 25 length better than his next-closest rival in 1943 and the great Man o’War won by 20 lengths in 1920.
The most successful jockey in Belmont Stakes history is a tie between Hall of Famers Jim McLaughlin and Eddie Arcaro, who each rode six winners. Arcaro was also aboard Citation for his Triple Crown score in 1948. James G. Rowe, who saddled eight Belmont Stakes winners from 1893 to 1913 (1893, 1894, 1901, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1913). Rowe also rode two Belmont winners as a jockey (1872, 1873).
The modern day record of wins is four, set by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. In 1994, Tabasco Cat, ridden by Pat Day, earned Lukas the first of three consecutive victories in the Belmont Stakes. He also won in 2000 with Commendable.
Belair Stud and James R. Keene as owners each sent out six Belmont Stakes winners as owners.
Three fillies have won the Belmont Stakes (Ruthless, 1867; Tanya, 1905; Rags To Riches, 2007) though none will be in the gate this year. Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone is the lone female to have ridden a Belmont Stakes winner, having been aboard Colonial Affair in 1993. No female trainer has won a Belmont Stakes yet.
Sarava in 2002 remains the longest-priced winner when he paid $142.50. Triple Crown winner Count Fleet returned just $2.10 in 1943. Of the 151 previous runnings of the Belmont Stakes, 63 have been won by the betting favorite (42%).
This year, the Belmont Stakes is worth $1 million. The purse for the very first running of the Belmont was $1,500-added with a total purse of $2,500, the $1,850 winner’s share going to the connections of the filly Ruthless. In 1992, the great A.P. Indy won the richest edition of the Belmont when he earned $458,880 of the $1,764,800 purse. The lion’s share of the purse ($1,091,776) went to Pine Bluff, who claimed the Chrysler Corporation Bonus, which went to the owner of the horse with the Highest combined Triple Crown finish as part of the Triple Crown Bonus Program.
Miriam Lee has always been a horse racing fan thanks to trips to the tracks in her home state of Maryland with her father as kid. She owns an OTTB and is an advocate for promoting the sport among her peers. Miriam studies communication arts at Hood College and will receive her master’s degree in 2021, which she plans to use for a career in screenwriting.