Belmont Stakes 2017

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The 2017 Belmont Stakes

The final leg of the American Triple Crown for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, the Belmont Stakes will be offered for the 148th time in 2015. The 1 1/2-mile race represents an extreme test of stamina and is known as the “Test of the Champion” due to its high degree of difficulty.

Tradition-rich Triple Crown events are among the most coveted prizes in the sport and the Belmont Stakes was worth $1.5 million in 2015.

The 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby, which is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, kicks off the Triple Crown on the first Saturday in May and the 1 3/16-mile Preakness Stakes follows two weeks later at Pimilco Race Course in Baltimore. There is another three-week gap prior to the Belmont Stakes, which takes place at Belmont Park just outside of New York City in Elmont, New York.

Sweeping the Triple Crown ranks as one of the most difficult tasks in all of sports – three long-distance races over a five-week span can compromise even the most talented horses -- and the Belmont Stakes has served as the ultimate roadblock. The saying goes that there’s “No place to hide” on the massive 1 1/2-mile oval at Belmont Park, the largest circumference of any U.S. race track.

Elven horses have swept the Triple Crown, and in 2015 American Pharoah became the first since Affirmed in 1978 to join those esteemed ranks. In addition to American Pharoah, 13 horses have captured both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness since Affirmed. Those horses all brought positive publicity to Thoroughbred racing during the build-up to the Belmont Stakes.

The Belmont Stakes derailed the hopes and dreams of the racing public in 2014 as California Chrome came up short as the heavy favorite following convincing wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. In 2013, Palace Malice held Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow to second, with Kentucky Derby victor Orb another 1 3/4 lengths back in third.

Regardless of whether a Triple Crown is on the line, the Belmont Stakes is often a compelling race featuring a strong field. There was no Triple Crown on the line when Rags to Riches defeated eventual Horse of the Year Curlin by a head after a stirring stretch battle in 2007, and stars like Afleet Alex, Point Given and A.P. Indy won under the same conditions.

But the theatre is certainly cranked up when a Triple Crown is on the line. Even the casual fan will tune in due to the implications, the opportunity witness something extremely rare, and there is a buzz in the air at Belmont Park throughout the afternoon as a massive crowd turns out for the festivities.

The New York Racing Association, which operates Belmont Park, has developed the afternoon into a showcase of Thoroughbred racing, with lucrative events on the undercard for different age and sex divisions.

Belmont Stakes Home | 2017 | Betting | Odds | Handicapping | Prep Races | Winners | History | Results | Contenders | Tickets