The expansive 1 1/2 mile main track at Belmont Park hosted three other stakes events before the Belmont Stakes. The $250,000 Acorn Stakes (G1) kicks off NYRA's Triple Tiara series for 3-year-old fillies, which includes the Acorn, Mother Goose, and Coaching Club American Oaks. Only 4 of the originally drawn field of 5 went to post in this 1 mile event, with last year's juvenile champion Indian Blessing sent off as the 7-10 choice off her runner-up finish in the Fair Grounds Oaks to Proud Spell. Nassau County Stakes winner Zaftig was the 3-1 second choice over 4-1 Game Face, winner of the La Troienne at Churchill Downs. 5-1 Golden Doc A, fourth in the Kentucky Oaks last time out, completed the field.
Indian Blessing went to the lead immediately and set a pace of 22.85, 45.34, and 1:09.68 over the fast track while being stalked by Zaftig just to her outside and a length behind. Turning for home, Zaftig moved up on the favorite and the pair hooked up at the 1/8 pole. Jockey John Velazquez aboard Zoftig lost his whip but it didn't matter, as she pulled away to win by 4 1/2 lengths in a running time of 1:34.50. It was a long 17 1/4 lengths back to Game Face third, who in turn was 13 3/4 lengths ahead of Golden Doc A last.
Belmont Undercard Stakes Part 1 - the Manhattan Handicap (G1) and Just a Game Stakes (G1)