by Ray Wallin
After the controversary and history made in the Kentucky Derby with the highest win payout since 1913 and the first race-day disqualification of Maximum Security, plus an exciting Preakness Stakes, we are granted an extra week off before the Belmont Stakes.
How should you handle this extra time?
Take a break from trying to make your living by playing the races and check out some fun facts about the Belmont Stakes!
1 – Jockey to have won the Belmont Stakes over three different surfaces. Braulio Baeza won in 1961 with Sherluck at the old Belmont Park; in 1963, he won with Chateuagay at Aqueduct; and, in 1969, he won at the new Belmont Park with Arts and Letters.
1 – Horse bred in Montana to win the Belmont Stakes (Scottish Chieftain in 1897).
2 – Horsemen that have won the Belmont Stakes as both a jockey and trainer. James G. Rowe, Sr. (1872 and 1873 as a jockey and a record eight times as a trainer) and George M. Odom (1904 as a jockey and 1938 as a trainer).
2 – Number of years the Belmont Stakes was not run due to the Hart-Agnew law, which prohibited gambling.
2 – The number of geldings to win the Belmont Stakes (Ruler on Ice in 2011 and Crème Fraiche in 1985).
2 – The number of winners that have sired a future winner that ended up siring a future winner. Spendthrift won in 1879 and sired Hastings, who won in 1896; Hastings sired Masterman, who won in 1902. Seattle Slew won in 1977 and sired A.P. Indy, who won in 1992, and then sired Rags to Riches, who won in 2007.
3 – Number of fillies to win the Belmont Stakes. The most recent was Rags to Riches in 2007.
The first filly to do so since Tanya won in 1905.
5 – The number of different distances at which the Belmont Stakes has been contested. (1 1/8 miles, 1 ¼ miles, 1 3/8 miles, 1 ½ miles and 1 5/8 miles).
5 – The number of times the Belmont Stakes was run at Aqueduct (1963 – 1967)
5 – The number of consecutive years that Trainer Woody Stephens saddled the Belmont Stakes winner (1982 – 1986).
8 – Most wins by a trainer. James G. Rowe, Sr. saddled winners in 1893, 1894, 1901, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1910, and 1913.
9 – Number of foreign-born winners. The most recent was Victory Gallop in 1998. Victory Gallop was born in Canada. There have been three Irish-bred horses and five English-bred horses to win as well.
10 – The number of female trainers of Belmont Stakes runners. The most recent was Kathy Ritvo with Mucho Macho Man in 2011.
13 – The current streak of a Kentucky-bred horse winning the Belmont Stakes (Jazil in 2006 to present).
14 – The number of Belmont Stakes winners that have sired a future Belmont Stakes winner. Birdstone was the most recent, having won in 2004 and then siring Summer Bird, who won in 2009.
15 – The number of times the Belmont Stakes was run at Morris Park (1890 – 1904)
23 – The number of times the Belmont Stakes was run at Jerome Park (1867 – 1889)
24 – The numbers of Belmont Stakes winners from post position 1 (since 1905), the most of any post position in that time frame.
31 -The largest margin of victory in the Belmont Stakes (by Secretariat in 1973).
37 – The number of times the Belmont Stakes has been run over an off track, most recently in 2011, when Ruler on Ice won over a sloppy (sealed) track.
38 – The number of years when geldings were barred from running in the Belmont Stakes (1919 – 1956)
55 – The number of chestnut- colored winners.
57 – The number of bay-colored winners.
99 – The number of winners bred in Kentucky. The most recent being Justify in 2018. The next-closest state in terms of producing Belmont Stakes winners is Virginia with 11, the most recent being Colonial Affair in 1993.
2,036 – The total number of horses who have run in the Belmont Stakes.
Ray Wallin is a licensed civil engineer and part-time handicapper who has had a presence on the Web since 2000 for various sports and horse racing websites and through his personal blog. Introduced to the sport over the course of a misspent teenage summer at Monmouth Park by his Uncle Dutch, a professional gambler, he quickly fell in love with racing and has been handicapping for over 25 years.
Ray’s background in engineering, along with his meticulous nature and fascination with numbers, parlay into his ability to analyze data; keep records; notice emerging trends; and find new handicapping angles and figures. While specializing in thoroughbred racing, Ray also handicaps harness racing, Quarter Horse racing, baseball, football, hockey, and has been rumored to have calculated the speed and pace ratings on two squirrels running through his backyard.
Ray likes focusing on pace and angle plays while finding the middle ground between the art and science of handicapping. When he is not crunching numbers, Ray enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on his alma mater (Rutgers University), fishing, and playing golf.
Ray’s blog, which focuses on his quest to make it to the NHC Finals while trying to improve his handicapping abilities can be found at www.jerseycapper.blogspot.com Ray can also be found on Twitter (@rayw76) and can be reached via email at email@example.com.