The Belmont Stakes is the final leg of the Triple Crown and certainly the most challenging one. Most horse racing owners and trainers consider Belmont Stakes to be one of the most intense and toughest races in the world, especially since it is part of a major championship where all three races happen within a month.
Since the Belmont Stakes is the last leg of the Triple Crown, this is where champions are born. The last Triple Crown champion was American Pharoah in 2015 after 37 years when nobody managed to claim this prestigious achievement.
The race is weeks away and you can find the 2022 Belmont Stakes odds here. This is why we decided that in this article we will cover some of the most interesting facts about this incredible horse racing event.
The Belmont Stakes Race is also called “Test of the Champion”
All races from the Triple Crown championship have earned different nicknames. We have the Kentucky Derby which is known as the “Run for the Roses” since the winner is draped with a blanket of roses.
On the other hand, Belmont Stakes have earned the nickname “Test of the Champion” just because it is one of the most challenging races in the world, especially for a horse aiming to become a Triple Crown Champion.
The Belmont Stakes is a grueling 1.5 mile in distance and the surface is deeper making it harder for all horses. This makes the Belmont Stakes the largest dirt track in North America.
White Carnation Is the official flower of the race
Even though there isn’t a significant connection with New York or the actual race and white carnation, they’ve become the official flower of the race for years now. The flowers themselves, represent luck and love, which are two very important things when participating in the Belmont Stakes.
The winner of each race is draped with a blanket of white carnations. The blanket of flowers is made from 700 flowers. The interesting fact is that in most cases, the blanket of flowers is imported from Columbia and sometimes California.
The Belmont Stakes is the oldest Triple Crown event
Even though most people consider the Kentucky Derby to be the most popular race of the bunch, most people are surprised by the fact that the Belmont Stakes existed years before the Kentucky Derby.
The first Belmont Stakes race was organized in 1867 at Jerome Park, which makes it the fourth-oldest horse racing event in North America, and the oldest race in the Triple Crown championship.
Horses ran in the other direction until 1921
Since the beginning of the Belmont Stakes, horses ran the race in a clockwise direction, as they did in England. This is easily explainable since most races like the Belmont Stakes in the United States are inspired by horse racing events in the UK.
Later they decided to change the direction of the race which inspired other races to do the same thing.
The shining light of the Empire State Building
On Friday, before the event, the Empire State Building lights up in green and white. The Empire State Building has a tradition of recognizing important sporting events by the lighting of its spire. Since green and white are the proud colors of the Belmont Stakes, you can notice this incredible structure shining the colors a few days before the event.
The official drink of the Belmont Stakes
Every race of the Triple Crown has its own colors, flowers, food, and even drinks. Even though the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes had their official drinks for many years, the Belmont Stakes hasn’t had one longstanding official drink.
At first, White Carnation was considered to be iconic for the Belmont Stakes, after changing into a Belmont Breeze.
However, in 2012 the officials changed the drink into the Belmont Jewel, which is not the official drink of the race.
Not many horses managed to win the Triple Crown
Since the Belmont Stakes is the last leg of the Triple Crown, this is where the champion is born. However, throughout history, 29 horses got a chance to win the Triple Crown and only needed to win the Belmont Stakes.
However, out of 29 only 13 have managed to survive this tough race and claim the Triple Crown.
The Secretariat still holds the record
The Secretariat is one of the most popular horses that managed to set a record time of 2:24 in 1973 when the horse won by a staggering 31 lengths. Since then, no horse has managed to come close to the Secretariat.