Belmont Stakes

Named after 19th century renowned banker and horse enthusiast August Belmont, the Belmont Stakes first ran in 1867.

The Belmont Stakes holds position as the third jewel in the Triple Crown series. A blanket of about 700 white carnation flowers is draped over the winning horse in the winner’s circle in addition to presenting the August Belmont Memorial Cup. The race trophy and was originally crafted by Tiffany & Co. 

31 lengths, this is the exceptional gap between first and second during the 1973 Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park which witnessed Secretariat’s legendary performance. The record time of running the 1 ½ mile race in 2:24 still stands.


The Fastest (And Slowest) Belmont Times

The Belmont Stakes is currently contested at 1 ½ miles, or 12 furlongs, making it the longest of the Triple Crown races and typically the longest race that Thoroughbreds who compete in the series will ever run.

The overall speed record for the Belmont Stakes is held by the one and only Secretariat (1973), who ran the race in an astonishing 2:24.00 flat, while also establishing the fraction records throughout his effort. Secretariat dusted his rivals on that fateful day by a staggering 31 lengths. His time over the 1 ½ mile track has not been seriously threatened since.

A total of ten horses have run the Belmont Stakes in a time of 2:27.00, or faster, with three Triple Crown champions amongst them. These include Secretariat (1973), Affirmed (1978) and American Pharoah (2015). American Pharoah broke the 37-year curse made by Affirmed in a similar time.

Fastest Belmont Stakes Times (1 ½ Miles)

Rank

Horse

Year

Time

1

Secretariat*

1973

2:24.00

2

Easy Goer

1989

2:26.00

3

A.P. Indy

1992

2:26.13

4

Risen Star

1988

2:26.50

5

Point Given

2001

2:26.56

6

Gallant Man

1957

2:26.60

7

American Pharoah*

2015

2:26.65

8

Affirmed*

1978

2:26.80

9

Tabasco Cat

1994

2:26.83

10

Crem Fraiche

1985

2:27.00

*Triple Crown winner

As one might expect, the slowest times in Belmont Stakes history all came in the late 1800’s. Eric (1889) won the Belmont in 2:47.25. Grenada (1880) and Saunterer (1881) both covered the distance in 2:47.00 flat. Cloverbrook (1877) established a time of 2:46.00 and one year later, Duke of Magenta (1878) was timed at 2:43.50. The slowest horse in the 20th century was High Echelon (1970), who completed the Belmont Stakes in 2:34.00.

The fastest, actual record in Belmont Stakes history is set by Comanche (1893), who was clocked at 1:53.25 when the race only covered a distance of 1 1/8th miles. Delhi (1904) is the speed record holder for 1 ¼ miles at 2:07.75 while Man o’ War (1920), arguably the greatest racehorse of all time, holds the mark for 1 3/8th miles in 2:14.20.

Several fillies have competed and won the Belmont Stakes, but the fastest of them all was Count Fleet (1943) who ran in 2:28.20. Rags to Riches is the fastest filly to win the Belmont this century, completing the 2007 edition in a time of 2:28.74.

The slowest time posted by a Triple Crown winner at the current distance of 1 ½ miles is Gallant Fox (1930), who conquered the race in a time of 2:31.60.

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