The Belmont Stakes is often referred to as the Test of the Champion, due to its status as the final race of the Triple Crown. Many races have been held on the world-famous Belmont track since its establishment in the mid-1800s.
This prestigious race is also called the Run for the Carnations. This is in keeping with the theme of flowers for the other races—the Kentucky Derby uses roses and the Preakness is known for Black-Eyed Susans. Like the other two races, the Belmont Stakes is steeped in its own esoteric traditions and history.
The race is notorious for being the most difficult of the three Triple Crown races, owing to its grueling length of a mile and a half. Whenever a horse is the first to cross the finish line, it is draped in bundles of white carnations to commemorate its achievement. This is not dissimilar to the roses and Black-Eyed Susans used in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, respectively.
Putting it simply, the Belmont Stakes is no pushover when it comes to sheer difficulty. The race is incredibly unforgiving to all of its participants, which is why the first horse to cross the finish line is given so much attention and adoration.
Make no mistake, this race separates the wheat from the chaff, which is exactly why the Belmont Stakes has some of the highest betting numbers when it comes to annual sporting events.
One thing is for sure, the Belmont Stakes is no snoozefest. It easily holds its own against the Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Derby, and its status as the “Test of the Champion” makes it especially prestigious in the horse racing world.
Its track is the smallest of the three, because it only offers enough room for the very best thoroughbreds to race.
Over the years, we’ve seen some truly legendary winners take the crown at Jerome Park Racetrack, Morris Park, and Belmont Park, the three locations of the Belmont Stakes.
The first race was won by the filly Ruthless, and since then many notable thoroughbreds have gone on to victory.
The full list of Belmont Stakes winners is shown below:
|2020||Tiz the Law||Manny Franco||1:46.53 (*1 1/8 mi)|
|2019||Sir Winston||Joel Rosario||2:28.30|
|2016||Creator||Irad Ortiz Jr.||2:28.51|
|2015||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||2:26.65|
|2013||Palace Malice||Mike Smith||2:30.70|
|2012||Union Rags||John Velazquez||2:30.42|
|2011||Ruler on Ice||Jose Valdivia Jr.||2:30.88|
|2009||Summer Bird||Kent Desormeaux||2:27.54|
|2007||Rags to Riches||John Velazquez||2:28.74|
|2005||Afleet Alex||Jeremy Rose||2:28.75|
|2003||Empire Maker||Jerry Bailey||2:28.26|
|2001||Point Given||Gary Stevens||2:26.56|
|1999||Lemon Drop Kid||Jose Santos||2:27.88|
|1998||Victory Gallop||Gary Stevens||2:29.16|
|1997||Touch Gold||Chris McCarron||2:28.82|
|1996||Editor's Note||Rene R. Douglas||2:28.96|
|1995||Thunder Gulch||Gary Stevens||2:32.02|
|1994||Tabasco Cat||Pat Day||2:26.82|
|1993||Colonial Affair||Julie Krone||2:29.97|
|1992||A.P. Indy||Ed Delahoussaye||2:26.13|
|1990||Go And Go||Michael Kinane||2:27.20|
|1989||Easy Goer||Pat Day||2:26.00|
|1988||Risen Star||Ed Delahoussaye||2:26.40|
|1987||Bet Twice||Craig Perret||2:28.20|
|1986||Danzig Connection||Chris McCarron||2:29.80|
|1985||Creme Fraiche||Eddie Maple||2:27.00|
|1984||Swale||Laffit Pincay Jr.||2:27.20|
|1980||Temperence Hill||Eddie Maple||2:29.80|
|1977||Seattle Slew||Jean Cruguet||2:29.60|
|1976||Bold Forbes||Angel Cordero Jr.||2:29.00|
|1974||Little Current||Miguel A. Rivera||2:29.20|
|1971||Pass Catcher||Walter Blum||2:30.40|
|1970||High Echelon||John L. Rotz||2:34.00|
|1969||Arts and Letters||Braulio Baeza||2:28.80|
|1968||Stage Door Johnny||Heliodoro Gustines||2:27.20|
|1965||Hail To All||Johnny Sellers||2:28.40|
|1960||Celtic Ash||Bill Hartack||2:29.20|
|1959||Sword Dancer||Bill Shoemaker||2:28.40|
|1957||Gallant Man||Bill Shoemaker||2:26.60|
|1954||High Gun||Eric Guerin||2:30.80|
|1952||One Count||Eddie Arcaro||2:30.20|
|1944||Bounding Home||Gayle Smith||2:32.20|
|1943||Count Fleet||Johnny Longden||2:28.20|
|1942||Shut Out||Eddie Arcaro||2:29.20|
|1940||Bimelech||Fred A. Smith||2:29.60|
|1937||War Admiral||Charley Kurtsinger||2:28.60|
|1934||Peace Chance||Wayne D. Wright||2:29.20|
|1931||Twenty Grand||Charley Kurtsinger||2:29.60|
|1930||Gallant Fox||Earl Sande||2:31.60|
|1929||Blue Larkspur||Mack Garner||2:32.80|
|1927||Chance Shot||Earl Sande||2:32.40|
|1925||American Flag||Albert Johnson||2:16.80|
|1924||Mad Play||Earl Sande||2:18.80|
|1922||Pillory||Charles H. Miller||2:18.80|
|1921||Grey Lag||Earl Sande||2:16.80|
|1920||Man o' War||Clarence Kummer||2:14.20|
|1919||Sir Barton||Johnny Loftus||2:17.40|
|1917||Hourless||James H. Butwell||2:17.80|
|1916||Friar Rock||Everett Haynes||2:22.00|
|1915||The Finn||George Byrne||2:18.40|
|1914||Luke McLuke||Merritt C. Buxton||2:20.00|
|1913||Prince Eugene||Roscoe Troxler||2:18.00|
|1910||Sweep||James H. Butwell||2:22.00|
|1909||Joe Madden||Eddie Dugan||2:21.60|
|1907||Peter Pan||George Mountain||N/A|
|1904||Delhi||George M. Odom||2:06.60|
|1899||Jean Bereaud||Richard Clawson||2:23.00|
|1898||Bowling Brook||Fred Littlefield||2:32.00|
|1897||Scottish Chieftain||Joe Scherrer||2:23.25|
|1894||Henry of Navarre||Willie Simms||1:56.50|
|1891||Foxford||Edward H. Garrison||2:08.75|
|1890||Burlington||Shelby "Pike" Barnes||2:07.75|
|1888||Sir Dixon||Jim McLaughlin||2:40.25|
|1878||Duke of Magenta||W. Hughes||2:43.50|
|1873||Springbok||James G. Rowe Sr.||3:01.75|
|1871||Harry Bassett||W. Miller||2:56.00|
|1870||Kingfisher||Edward D. Brown||2:59.50|
|1868||General Duke||Robert Swim||3:02.00|
Trainer Mark Casse had quite the season in 2019.
Fresh off a win in the Preakness, he managed to clinch victory at the Belmont Stakes despite the 10-1 odds. With his horse Sir Winston crossing the finish line first, Casse now trains two stellar three-year old thoroughbreds that he can be proud of. (War of Will was his victor in the Preakness, who finished with a 1.25 length lead over the second-place finisher.)
Sir Winston managed to fend off Tacitus over the course of the entire race thanks to the efforts of his rider, Joel Rosario. Tacitus managed to finish second by a mere 1.25 lengths. Following up behind him was Joevia, who was a long shot to win the race, but gave an impressive showing. Behind him was Tax.
While War of Will was hot off his win in the Preakness, he managed a much more middling 9th place finish. However, he will likely be remembered more for the events which preceded his performance in the Belmont.
The Preakness had a riderless horse finish the race, which was cause for disqualification.
For fans, this meant that there would be no new Triple Crown winner for the fifth year in a row, following American Pharaoh and Justify’s back-to-back victories.
All this should not distract from Sir Winston’s exciting race. Rosario managed to bring him up from 8th place all the way to the front over the course of the race.
Near the last turn, he managed to pull ahead of Tax and Joevia, who put up spirited challenges themselves. War of Will was pushed off the rail in the final strength, and it was here that Sir Winston—named for Winston Churchill—managed to take the lead from Tacitus and win it all.
The real loser at the Belmont Stakes was Bill Mott. Owing to Tacitus’s second-place finish, his owner, Bill Mott, was denied 2/3 of the Triple Crown pot.
One of his other horses, Country Horse, managed to finish first at the Kentucky Derby. Below is a list of all the horses who finished the 2019 Belmont Stakes:
|Finish Position||Horse||Jockey||Morning Line Odds||Final Odds||Winnings|
|1||Sir Winston||Joel Rosario||12–1||10.20||$800,000|
|4||Tax||Irad Ortiz Jr.||15–1||11.70||$100,000|
|5||Master Fencer||Julien Leparoux||8–1||13.30||$60,000|
|8||Intrepid Heart||John R. Velazquez||10–1||6.90||$30,000|
|9||War of Will||Tyler Gaffalione||2–1||3.65|
|10||Bourbon War||Mike E. Smith||12–1||10.00|
When you place your horse racing bets on the Belmont Stakes, you’ll want to get the most “bang for your buck,” so to speak. To help you make the most informed decision, check out the handy chart we’ve provided regarding past odds and payouts.
We know it can’t predict the future, and we wish we could go back and place more money on Joevia and his 21/1 odds, as his show-place finish would have returned a pretty penny.
But with this information, you’ll be well-positioned to make wise bets when the next race rolls around.
The table below contains a full breakdown of the odds on each horse in last year’s Belmont Stakes, as well as how much a bet on a particular horse would have paid. We think this will help you make a better choice when picking your bets in 2020’s race.
The Belmont Stakes has gone to great lengths to keep itself relevant over its long history.
The race has kept itself exciting and as action-packed as ever, and we don’t doubt for a second that the 2021 race will be the same.
You now know what all the past winners have looked like, but don’t hesitate to look to the future. Stay tuned as racing news coverage of the 2021 Belmont Stakes ramps up in the coming months!