5 Fast Facts about the Remsen Stakes, a Road to the Kentucky Derby prep-race
  1. The Remsen name is significant in the New York area thanks to the Remsen family, which formerly owned a large part of Long Island. Col. Joremus Rensen was the commander of the American revolutionary forces at the 1776 Battle of Long Island.
  2. Founded in 1904, the Remsen Stakes was initially the Remsen Handicap and was run at Jamaica Racetrack on Long Island over distances between five and six furlongs for all but two renewals until 1950. It was run between one mile and 1 1/16 miles until 1972, when it settled at its current trip of 1 1/8 miles.
  3. Once the Remsen moved to Aqueduct in 1959, it became an important Triple Crown prep race. Between then and 1994, Remsen winners Carry Back, Northern Dancer, Damascus, Pleasant Colony, Pine Bluff, Go For Gin, and Thunder Gulch all went on to win Classics.
  4. Since 1995, no Remsen winner has since won a classic, with the 2005 winner Bluegrass Cat coming closest when he was runner-up to Barbaro in the Derby. There have still been notable winners, however, including Travers Stakes winner Coronado’s Quest, Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Court Vision, Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze, and the Woodward Stakes winners To Honor and Serve and Honor Code.
  5. The Remsen Stakes was the only juvenile race in which Alydar was defeated that the winner wasn’t his great rival Affirmed, who didn’t start in the race. Alydar was runner-up by two lengths in race-record time to Believe It, who later finished third behind Alydar and Affirmed in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

    (Mo Town winning the Remsen Photos by Coglianese Photos/NYRA)