Belmont Stakes is the only race where a horse can win the American Triple Crown. The Belmont Stakes is the longest of all the Triple Crown races and is also the oldest of them all. Sir Winston won the latest edition of this prestigious race.
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1- Secretariat’s heroics
It looks unlikely that there would ever be a racehorse like Secretariat. In 1973, he won the three Triple Crown races through record margins and immortalized his name in the horse racing history forever.
He won the Kentucky Derby in 1:59.40 times and the Preakness Stakes in 1:53.00, with both these records standing to this day. However, his greatest victory came at the 1973 Belmont Stakes that made him the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. He won that race by an incredible 31 lengths which is an amazing feat in any race let alone the Belmont Stakes.
Due to these great successes, Secretariat is rightly regarded by many as the greatest American racehorse of all time.
2- Rags to Riches’ victory at the 2007 Belmont Stakes
Both Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez had won almost every major race in the country, yet both were failing when it came to the Triple Crown races. That changed after they ran a talented filly named Rags to Riches at the 2007 Belmont Stakes.
After an initial stumble, she recovered to move within striking distance of the pacesetters. The Preakness Stakes winner Curlin was a little ahead towards the ending of the race, but Rags to Riches fought back to win the race by a head eventually. She was the first filly to win this prestigious race in over a century.
3- Victory Gallop’s revenge
The 1998 Belmont Stakes was a great opportunity for Real Quiet to win the American Triple Crown. And the victory looked certain as Real Quiet opened up a 4-length advantage at one point. Then, Victory Gallop slowly started closing the gap and came level with Real Quiet.
Both horses gave a fierce fight but ultimately Victory Gallop prevailed by a nose and shattered Real Quiet’s Triple Crown dreams. With this win, Victory Gallop also exacted his revenge for that year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes defeats.
4- Rivalry between Affirmed and Alydar
Great rivalries provide great sporting spectacles. The rivalry between Affirmed and Alydar throughout the 1978 Triple Crown became world-famous. Alydar became hugely popular without even winning any of the Triple Crown races.
He was a fierce competitor who nearly defeated Affirmed in all the Triple Crown races in 1978. He lost by 1.5 lengths to Affirmed in the Kentucky Derby, by a neck in the Preakness Stakes and only by a neck in the Belmont Stakes.
Alydar would have enjoyed great successes if he would not have been competing in the same year as Affirmed.