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Look back at Belmont Stakes records
Horse Racing

A Look Back at Belmont Stakes Records

For the 149 years the Belmont Stakes has been run, it has proven to be the most challenging, revealing, and often most surprising race on the Triple Crown trail. The Belmont takes a horse with true stamina and athletic ability, a trainer who knows how to properly prepare their horse for the 1 ½ distance, and a jockey who can expertly strategize how to navigate “Big Sandy” to best set their horse up for victory. 

Over the race’s prestigious history, some of racing’s most memorable horse, jockey, and trainer records have been set, broken, and immortalized over time as some of the greatest moments in racing. So, let’s take a look at the various records set over the long and storied history of the Belmont Stakes. 

Horses 

Speed Records 

  • Secretariat, who amazingly set a new record in each of his Triple Crown races, demolished the Belmont record winning the legendary 1973 Belmont Stakes in a time of 2:24 flat, which still remains untouched today. Secretariat broke the record for the fastest  1⁄2,  3⁄4, 1 and  1 1⁄4 mile fractions in Belmont history, and it is unlikely his record will be broken any time soon. “Big Red” also broke the margin of victory record, beating Count Fleet’s previous record of 25 lengths, by 6 lengths. Secretariat’s Belmont stakes is arguably the most legendary performance in horse racing history.

 

  • Easy Goer went on to run the 2nd fastest Belmont Stakes in 1989, denying his rival Sunday Silence the Triple Crown title by 8 lengths in a time of 2:26, which amazingly was still 2 seconds slower the Secretariats set in ’73. Easy Goer’s ’89 Belmont is still considered one of the most impressive performances in Belmont Stakes history.

  • The 3rd fastest Belmont Stakes time was run in 1992 when A.P. Indy, a grandson of Secretariat who missed the Kentucky Derby and Preakness due to injury, proved he was one of the best 3-year-olds in the nation winning the Belmont Stakes in a time of 2:26.13. Despite missing the first two legs of the Triple Crown, he was named 1992 Eclipse Champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year.

  • In 1988, Risen Star, a son of Secretariat, won the Belmont in a time of 2:26 ⅖ which remains to be the 4th fastest Belmont ever ran.

  • Most recently, in 2001 Preakness winner, Point Given won the Belmont in a time of 2:26/56 becoming the 5th fastest run Belmont in the race’s history. 

Secretariat’s record in the Belmont Stakes remains untouched, and though many have valiantly tried, it is doubtful it will ever be beaten. Secretariat is immortalized as a Belmont Stakes legend.



 Jockeys 

Most Belmont Stakes wins by Jockeys 

  • Jim McLaughlin (6) – Was a leading jockey in the late 1800’s and amazingly won the Belmont 3 consecutive times in 1882-84 and again 3 consecutive times in 1886-88.

  • Eddie Arcaro (6) – Eddie tied McLaughlin winning the Belmont Stakes 6 times, 2 of them with Triple Crown winners Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948). Eddie Arcaro remains known as one of the master riders of the Belmont Stakes.

  • Earle Sande (5) – Sande was the top jockey of the early tomid 1900’s. He went on to win the Belmont five times, 3 in consecutive years between 1921-24 and again in 1927 and 1930. He is also known for riding Gallant Fox to Triple Crown victory in 1930.

  • Bill Shoemaker (5) – The great “Shoe”, arguably the greatest jockey of all time, had 5 Belmont victories among his 8,833 career victories. Bill Shoemaker won in 1957, 1959, 1962, 1967, and 1975.

5 Jockeys remain tied with 3 wins in the Belmont Stakes

  • Braulio Baeza -1961, 1963, 1969

  • Pat Day – 1989, 1994, 2000

  • Laffit Pincay Jr. – 3 consecutive years between 1982-1984

  • James Stout – 1936, 1938, 1939

  • Gary Stevens – 1995, 1998, 2001  

Trainers

 Most Belmont Stakes wins by trainers 

  • James G. Rowe, Sr. was the master of the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, most notably recognized for his amazing 8 wins in the Belmont Stakes in 1893-1894, 1901, 1904, 1907-1908, 1910, and 1913. His most significant Belmont win came in 1908 with a horse named Colin, who went unbeaten during his 15-race career and is considered one of the great racehorses in the sports history.

  • Sam Hildreth – One of the great trainers the sport as seen, Sam Hildreth won the Belmont 7 times in 1899, 1909, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1923, and 1924.

  • Jim Fitzsimmons – The legendary “Sunny Jim” won the Belmont Stakes 6 times in 1930, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1939, and  1955. He is considered a Belmont Stakes legend, training two Triple Crown winners in Gallant Fox in 1930 and Omaha in 1935.

  • Woody Stephens – Perhaps known as the greatest master of the Belmont, Stephens won the Belmont five consecutive years between 1982-1986, arguably the the most memorable streak in Belmont Stakes history.

 3 Trainers remain tied at 4 wins

  •  Max Hirsch – won in 1928, 1946, 1950, and 1954, including 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault.
  • D. Wayne Lukas – won in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000 during his historic Triple Crown race hot streak.

  • R. Wyndham Walden  – won in 1878, 1880, 1881, and 1898. 

5 trainers remain tied with 3 winners 

  • J. Elliott Burch – won in 1959, 1964, and 1969.

  • John M. Gaver – won in 1942, 1949, and 1968.

  • Lucien Laurin – Secretariat’s trainer won in 1966, 1972, and 1973, two those with owner Penny Chenery.

  • Frank McCabe – won in 1886, 1887, and  1888.

  • David McDaniel in 3 consecutive years in 1971-73.



Owners 

Most Belmont Stakes wins by owners 

  • Belair Stud (6) – 1930, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1939, 1955 – 2 Triple Crown winners with Gallant Fox (1930) and Omaha (1935)

  • James R. Keene (6) – 1879, 1901, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1910 – Owned the great Colin, Commando, and Sysonby, among others. Known for winning the Belmont as he never entered his horses in the Kentucky Derby, and won the Preakness Stakes only once.

  • Dwyer Brothers Stable (5) – 1883, 1884, 1886, 1887, 1888 

4 owners remain tied with 4 wins

  • August Belmont, Jr./Blemton Stable (4) – 1896, 1902, 1916, 1917. Appropriately the founder of Belmont Park.

  • Harry P. Whitney (4) – 1905, 1906, 1913, 1918 – won with the filly Tanya in 1905

  • Glen Riddle Farm (4) – 1920, 1925, 1926, 1937 – Famously won the Belmont Stakes in 1920 with the great Man o’ War and later with his son, the Triple Crown winning War Admiral in 1937.

  • Greentree Stable (4) -1931, 1942, 1949, 1968

  

There are endless amounts of interesting facts and tidbits about the Belmont Stakes, but this is a compilation of the current record holders. Though many are from long ago, every year trainers and jockeys work tirelessly to put their names in the history books as winners and become immortalized as legends of the most grueling test of the Triple Crown – the Belmont Stakes.

Article written by Amy Nesse

Featured contributor

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