The Belmont Stakes is known as “The Test of the Champion” mostly due to its marathon distance and status as the final leg of the grueling Triple Crown. It will be contested for the 153rd time this year, and after a one-year Covid-19 pandemic-related shift from its spot as the third jewel to the first jewel a year ago it is back this year on the racing calendar five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three following the Preakness Stakes.
The term Triple Crown was first used when Gallant Fox won the three races in 1930, but the term did not enter widespread use until 1935 when his son Omaha repeated the feat. Since 1931, the order of Triple Crown races has been the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes, and then the Belmont Stakes. Prior to 1931, the Preakness was run before the Derby eleven times. On May 12, 1917 and again on May 13, 1922, the Preakness and the Derby were run on the same day. On eleven occasions, the Belmont Stakes was run before the Preakness Stakes.
The date of each event is now set by the Kentucky Derby, which is always held on the first Saturday in May. The Preakness Stakes is currently held two weeks later; and the Belmont Stakes is held three weeks after the Preakness (five weeks after the Derby). The earliest possible date for the Derby is May 1, and the latest is May 7; the earliest possible date for the Belmont is thus June 5, and the latest is June 11
Though this year no Triple Crown is on the line since none of the eight who will race in the Belmont Stakes won the Derby, the race is known as the final jewel of the Triple Crown for a reason. Just thirteen thoroughbreds in history have won the Triple Crown.
1919 Sir Barton
1930 Gallant Fox
1937 War Admiral
1943 Count Fleet
1977 Seattle Slew
2015 American Pharoah
When will the Belmont Stakes take place?
The 2021 Belmont Stakes takes place on Saturday, June 5
For the the 110th time the event takes place at Belmont Park.
Also The Belmont Stakes this year will return to its traditional 1 ½-mile distance – the traditional distance since 1926 – after a one-year cutback to nine furlongs a year ago.
The race is restricted to 3 year olds. Males carry 126 pounds and females, if they run, carry 121 pounds.
This year, eight will be in the starting gate for the Belmont Stakes and champion Essential Quality, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby before skipping the Preakness, is the early favorite with morning line odds of 2-1.|
|1||Bourbonic||15-1||Kendrick Carmouche||Todd Pletcher|
|2||Essential Quality||2-1||Luis Saez||Brad Cox|
|3||Rombauer||3-1||John Velazquez||Michael McCarthy|
|4||Hot Rod Charlie||7-2||Flavien Pratt||WDoug O’Neill|
|5||France Go de Ina||30-1||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Hideyuki Mori|
|6||Known Agenda||6-1||Jose Ortiz||Todd Pletcher|
|7||Rock Your World||9-2||Joel Rosario||John W. Sadler|
|8||Overtook||20-1||Manny Franco||Todd Pletcher|
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. Her all-time favorite racehorse is Man O War.