The Belmont Stakes is the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown and held every year five weeks after the Kentucky Derby at Belmont Park in New York, New York. Known as "The Test of Champions," it is a grueling 1 1/2 miles with a purse of $1 million guaranteed. It can be a total frenzy if a Triple Crown is on the line, as with Big Brown in 2008, otherwise it can be very laid back, especially if the Derby winner doesn't come. Like the Derby, only 3-year-old thoroughbreds can run in the Belmont, so each only has one chance at it in his lifetime. This year the Belmo Stakes will be on June 9.
Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Preakness winner Oxbow will meet for a rematch in the Belmont this year. A few from the Derby are back along with some fresh horses to go against him over the 1 1/2 mile distance for the $1 million purse this year.
Every spring the 3-year-old thoroughbreds start their campaigns hoping to make it to one of the Triple Crown races. Racing fans watch and wonder which prep race will yield the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont winner as the horses compete on the Triple Crown trail at race tracks from coast-to-coast. Just remember, the Belmont winner is often a horse who skipped both of the Derby and Preakness like Rags to Riches in 2007 and Da'Tara in 2008.
The Belmont can be put under a microscope if there is a Triple Crown on the line, or it can be ignored if there isn't even the Derby winner running in it. There really isn't much help for this race other than suggesting you handicap it like you would any other race. Just remember that the favorite wins the Belmont 44% of the time and stalkers or even front runners win it more often than deep closers. Even so, there are still some huge upsets like Da'Tara in 2008.
A crowd of 85,811 came out on a partly cloudy Saturday afternoon to watch the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Union Rags caught pacesetter Paynter in the stretch to win the 2012 Belmont Stakes on Saturday by a neck with Atigun third. Favorite Dullahan was was never a threat and finished 7th. Get the results, chart, and photos here.