History of the Belmont Stakes

From the NYRA Website, belmontstakes.com

The Belmont Stakes, the final and most demanding leg of the Triple Crown, is named after August Belmont who had been a leading banker and racing man of the 19th century. He was also the first President of the Jockey Club in 1867. In 1869, August Belmont took first and second money with his own Fenian and Glenelg.

The Belmont Stakes was run at Jerome Park from 1867 to 1889; at Morris Park from 1890 to 1904; at Aqueduct from 1963 to 1967. Not run in 1911 and 1912. Run at a mile and five furlongs from 1867 to 1873; a mile and a quarter in 1890, 1891, 1892, 1895, 1904 and 1905; a mile and a furlong in 1893 and 1894; a mile and three furlongs from 1896 to 1903 and from 1906 to 1925. No time taken in 1907 and 1908. Run as a Handicap Stakes in 1895 and in 1913. The value for the 1987, 1988 and 1992 winners includes the $1,000,000 Triple Crown point system bonus.

Secretariat’s 31-length victory in the 1973 Belmont Stakes established the world record for a mile and a half on dirt at 2:24. With his win in the Belmont, he became the ninth horse to capture the Triple Crown.

Twenty-nine horses have been eligible to win the Triple Crown coming into the Belmont Stakes and eleven have succeeded. In six recent runnings, horses that won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, Charismatic in 1999, War Emblem in 2002, Funny Cide in 2003 and Smarty Jones in 2004) were denied racing immortality in the Belmont Stakes. Racing has not seen a Triple Crown champion since 1978, when Affirmed swept the three-race series.

A crowd of 120,139, the largest in New York Racing history, attended the 2004 running, hoping to see Smarty Jones become Racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner. Birdstone won as Smarty Jones finished second.

Baffert and American Pharoah shift focus to Belmont, Triple Crown

Triple Crown NBC Bob Baffert worried about his horse in the days after the Kentucky Derby. American Pharoah had won, yes, but he hadn’t seemed himself on race day. The madhouse scene at Churchill Downs had worn him out. So it was left to a record Preakness crowd to see the true majesty of Baffert’s champion as he rumbled…

Winning with Honor and Losing with Dignity

Wanted: Good Ambassadors for Thoroughbred Racing

 By Art Parker

It is always a great day for thoroughbred racing when a horse attempts to win the Triple Crown by capturing the Belmont Stakes. It is a great day regardless of the outcome because it brings positive attention to the sport. It is a time when racing fans, especially the new fan we all hope to keep as track patrons, become caught up in the story surrounding the prospective Triple Crown winner.

But that great day became a day of embarrassment last Saturday after the Belmont Stakes concluded. And it was an embarrassment not because California Chrome failed to win the Belmont Stakes. The day was an embarrassment because of one of his owners, Steve Coburn, left the impression that the Sport of Kings was a sport of bellyachers and cry babies. When Coburn finished showing his posterior it was abundantly clear to millions watching television that his Derby and Preakness winner has much more class than he does.

Steve Coburn post Belmont Stakes rant

The ultimate sore loser, Steve Coburn

Coburn angrily said this was “the coward’s way out,” a reference to those that did not run in both the Derby and the Preakness. He also suggested that if a horse can’t get points to run in the Derby then the horse should be disallowed from running in the Belmont. (If you search the Internet with minimum effort you will be able to see the interview, and make your own decision about the impression it leaves with the public).

Coburn also said, “I’m sixty one years old and I will never see another Triple Crown winner in my lifetime because of the way they do this.” Well Mr. Coburn, I’m fifty nine and I may never see another Triple Crown winner either, and I don’t want to see one unless a horse truly earns it.

If things were done Coburn’s way there may only be a couple of horses show up for the Belmont Stakes and then the Triple Crown wouldn’t be special, and Coburn would not be concerned about any of this. Maybe this year’s Belmont conditions should have been written to say that only “tired three year olds are eligible for entry.” Since Coburn doesn’t like the way the Churchill, Pimlico and Belmont do things then he should build his own track and hire a racing secretary that will write races the way he (Coburn) thinks they should be written.

I wonder why Coburn didn’t bring forth his complaints about the Triple Crown before the Belmont Stakes. I guess there is nothing to whine about when you’re winning.

It’s too bad that we didn’t hear Coburn congratulate the winner and state how fortunate he (Coburn) is to have the opportunity; the opportunity to have a really good horse that brought a great thrill to his life and fatten his wallet at the same time. It’s too bad Coburn couldn’t say something good about thoroughbred racing.

And, it’s too bad that he failed to win with honor, and lose with dignity. The owner who does that is the owner Thoroughbred racing deserves.

Belmont Stakes Day Radio Coverage on HRRN

HRRN ANNOUNCES 7 ½ HOURS OF BELMONT DAY COVERAGE

Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, KY, announced Tuesday they will broadcast live from Belmont Park for the eighth consecutive year with full day coverage of the Belmont day stakes races including the 146th Belmont Stakes and California Chrome’s bid to become the sport’s twelfth Triple Crown winner.

HRRN ‘s coverage begins Saturday morning with a Belmont Stakes edition of their popular weekly talk show, the Equine Forum, from 8-10 a.m. ET before returning Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. ET with full day coverage of the Belmont undercard stakes, a special Triple Crown Preview Show at 4:00 p.m. ET and coverage of the “Test of the Champion” beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET

All of HRRN’s broadcasts will be available on Sirius 93 and XM 208 with live streaming provided on the HRRN website,www.horseracingradio.net.

In addition, nearly 140 affiliates throughout the United States will join for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes broadcast from5:00-7:30 p.m. ET.  The broadcast will also be made available to U.S. Servicemen and Women around the globe on the American Forces Network.

Other HRRN programming throughout Belmont week includes “Trainer Talk” presented by Fasig-Tipton on Wednesdayafternoon, the “Brisnet.com Call In Show” on Thursday and the “Xpressbet Weekend Stakes Preview” on Friday.  All three shows can be heard live from 6-7 p.m. ET on Sirius 93 and XM 208.

A complete show schedule along with a listing of nationwide affiliates and SiriusXM channel information for each show can be found on the HRRN site.

Coverage will be anchored by HRRN’s Mike Penna along with analysts Kurt Becker and Jude Feld.  Sean Clancy, Chad Summers and Jeff Bloom will provide paddock commentary and interviews throughout the afternoon.  Lee Dellapina and Shawn Seay will produce.

 About HRRN

The Horse Racing Radio Network is the Eclipse Award winning broadcast organization, providing live radio coverage of many of the sport’s biggest races throughout the year.  In 2014, HRRN will broadcast more than 100 stakes races from racetracks across the country, and is the exclusive radio network of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and provides the national radio broadcast of the Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

In addition, HRRN produces HRRNLive! each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  A 4-hour show airing 3-7 p.m. ET on SiriusXM featuring racing coverage from across the country and the Final Furlong Show.

For more information visit horseracingradio.net, follow us on Twitter @HRRN and like “Horse Racing Radio Network” on facebook.

 

The Belmont Search

By Art Parker

If you play the races long enough you will come to realize that wagering on favorites is a losing proposition, not that other strategies are necessarily different. The truth is if you wager on the favorite to win in every race you will cash more tickets than most people but you will still lose about 17%-20% of the amount you wager. The payoffs on favorites do not compensate for the 67% of the races you lose.

2012 Belmont StakesWith that little tidbit in mind, it is important to use the strategy that many good players use, which is to find a way to beat the favorite and get a larger payoff on your money, that is if you feel you can. To make that strategy work one must be divorced from racing emotions. Days like Kentucky Derby Day and Belmont Day generate emotions that test your resolve. The Belmont Stakes of 2012, the big race this Saturday will provide such a test. They call the Belmont Stakes the “Test of the Champion.” I like that because it has a great ring to it. Let me suggest that because of horseplayer emotions the Belmont Stakes could also be called the “Test of the Player,” especially when a 3 year old attempts to run into immortality by winning the Triple Crown.

Many people are going to bet on I’ll Have Another just because of the emotions tied to having a Triple Crown winner. They will buy win tickets that they will never cash, either because he doesn’t win or because they want the souvenir if he does. Personally, I think this is insane.

So, what does the smart horseplayer do? The smart player sharpens the pencil, calls upon all of his power and resources and says, “I’m gonna find a way to beat him. And, if he beats me then we have a Triple Crown winner and I will tip my hat to him.”

Somewhere in all of the running lines and the information and the press reports is something, ever how small it is, that can be the clue for upsetting the big favorite. In looking for a Belmont winner, regardless of the Triple Crown factors, one needs to do several things to separate the pretenders from contenders. Analyzing breeding and a general, often brief, investigation into past performances will help you in this process. For at least one good reason or another that I have learned over many years I have thrown out all of the Belmont entries except the favorite, I’ll Have Another, and the following horses: Paynter, Street Life, Union Rags and Dullahan. The four I have mentioned other than the favorite, will probably be the next four favorites. That’s right. I feel that the rest of the field really doesn’t belong in the race at all.

Of the four remaining to challenge the favorite, I must tell you that I question the stamina of Union Rags and I have uneasy feelings about Dullahan. One of the things that bothers me about Dullahan is that I feel he is better being the “Closer from Hell” going a shorter distance. For the sake of brevity let me toss them while I got a chance. Now I’m left with Street Life and Paynter.

I believe both horses have the genes to win at 12 furlongs. And, if it is wet then Paynter becomes even more attractive. This is a good time to point out that the only time I’ll Have Another failed to run first or second was in the slop at Saratoga last year (just a little note for you to make). Paynter has the bloodlines of Breeders’ Cup Classic winners Awesome Again and Tiznow. Street Life’s sire and dam sire both won the Kentucky Derby, being Street Sense and Grindstone respectively. That’s good enough for Saturday’s Belmont.

Both have excellent trainers. Paynter has the old master named Bob Baffert and Street Life is trained by the very talented high percentage trainer Chad Brown.  I suspect both horses will be on the muscle and ready to go for the Belmont Stakes.

So what else tickles my fancy about these two characters in the Belmont cast? It’s their last races. First let’s look at Paynter’s last which was at Pimlico just a couple of hours before I’ll Have Another won the Preakness. Of course he faced lesser in a non-classified allowance race going only 1 1/16th miles. If you dig into the times of the race and figure it out, Paynter covered the last 5/16th of a mile going at 53.79 feet per second. The comment line on Paynter says “hand ride.” So what? I’ll Have Another just a couple of hours later ran the last 3/16th of the Preakness in 53.08 feet per second, and he was all out with a target to chase. That’s a slower rate going an 1/8 mile shorter on the same track the same day. Paynter has good tactical speed and may even grab the lead in the Belmont if he wants to.

Street Life last ran in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont and showed the possibility of being a classic winner. He lost that race to a good horse, Mark Valeski, who was one of the more heavily bet horses in the Derby future pools and then opted out of Louisville to go to New York. The Peter Pan is a 1 1/8th mile race. Street Life was five wide into the big Belmont turn when asked to go after the leaders. The critical time as far as Street Life is concerned is the final 3/8, which he covered in a very hot 53.82 feet per second. That 3/8 mile is 1/16 longer than the hot figure for Paynter and 3 /16 longer than the figure for I’ll Have Another.

Street Life has had a full month to rest and has turned in an impressive breeze in preparation for Saturday. To date he has 5 career starts and Paynter has 4 career starts. To the best of my knowledge I’ll Have Another has not worked since the Preakness and he carries the wear of 3 very tough recent races coming into the Belmont Stakes.

Will this strategy work? I don’t know. But if the price is right on either or both of these guys then I will buy the ticket and hope for the best and even if I’m wrong I had a good time doing it and made a good bet. And those are the most important things.

Good luck Saturday!

HRRN Launches 13 Hours of Live Belmont Stakes Coverage

Broadcasts will air nationwide on HRRN affiliates, SiriusXM and online at horseracingradio.net

Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, KY, announced Monday they will begin 13 hours of live Triple Crown coverage from Belmont Park beginning Wednesday, June 6th.

HRRN will host a series of two-hour morning shows from outside the Belmont Café on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning.  Each show will feature interviews with jockeys, trainers, owners and Belmont Stakes personalities, as well as up to the minute workout reports and top stories surrounding Belmont 144.

The three “Triple Crown Countdown” show’s will be broadcast live from 8-10 a.m. ET on select HRRN affiliates and can be heard via live streaming on the HRRN website, www.horseracingradio.net.  SiriusXM will air the Countdown shows nationwide on taped delay from Noon – 2:00 p.m. ET each day on Sirius 93 – XM 209.

HRRN will also provide live coverage of the Belmont Stakes post position draw on Wednesday morning beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.  Draw coverage can be heard exclusively on the HRRN website.

HRRN returns Saturday with six hours of Belmont day coverage beginning with their popular weekly Equine Forum show from 8-10 a.m. ET followed by live coverage of the Belmont Stakes undercard from 2-4 p.m. ET.  The network’s coverage culminates will a 2-hour broadcast of I’ll Have Another’s run at history in the 144th Belmont Stakes from 5-7 p.m. ET.

Fans can tune-in to all Belmont day broadcasts on Sirius 94 – XM 208 and on the HRRN website.  HRRN’s broadcast of the Belmont Stakes will also be carried on more than 50 affiliates across the country and broadcast to U.S. service men and women around the globe on the American Forces network.

HRRN’s Eclipse Award-winning broadcast team will be anchored by HRRN President, Mike Penna, along with analysts Jude Feld and Kurt Becker with paddock interviews and commentary provided by Sean Clancy.  Lee Dellapina and Michelle Penna will produce.

A complete Belmont week schedule with affiliates and SiriusXM information can be found at the following link:  HRRN Belmont Week Schedule and Affiliates

About HRRN

The Horse Racing Radio Network is the Eclipse Award winning broadcast organization, providing live radio coverage of many of the sport’s biggest races throughout the year.  In 2012, HRRN will broadcast more than 100 stakes races from racetracks across the country, and is the exclusive radio network of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and provides the national radio broadcast of the Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Win a Trip to See the 2012 Triple Crown Attempt

Belmont Park is giving away two tickets and a trip to the upcoming Belmont Stakes, June 9th.  The grand prize includes:

Two (2) tickets to the 2012 Belmont Stakes at BelmontPark on Saturday, June 9 (Value $200), two (2) airline tickets (Approximate Value $1,100), and accommodations at the Long Island Marriott (Approximate Value $800).  If the grand prize winner lives within 100 miles of BelmontPark, transportation to the track will not be provided. (Total Approximate Value $2,100).

Fill out the registration form at NYRA.