The 2022 Belmont Stakes is the 154th edition of the horse racing tournament and is to be held on June 11 at Belmont Park. Now we know that no Triple Crown-winning horse will be participating this year as different horses already won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
With the D-day drawing to a close, Belmont Stakes horses and trainers are gearing up for the million dollar event, and fans all over the world are readying their wagers for the tournament. It’s going to be a big one and we can’t wait to see which horse comes out on top.
Rich Strike, winner of the 2022 Kentucky Derby was absent from Preakness but has the opportunity to become only the 12th horse to win both the Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby in the same calendar year. The three-year-old thoroughbred became the second biggest longshot to win the Kentucky Derby at 80-1 and is one of the favorite horses to win at Elmont.
Early Voting came out on top at the 2022 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore but was absent from the Kentucky Derby, and is also set to miss the Belmont Stakes. Early Voting had also won the Withers Stake earlier in the year and was the runner-up at the Wood Memorial, behind Mo Donegal. Trainer Brad Cox confirmed the three-year-old horse will opt for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes which is set to hold on August 27 at the Saratoga Race Course in New York.
The Belmont Stakes is the third and final leg of the American Triple Crown horse racing. The first Belmont Stakes was held in 1867 and is the fourth oldest horse racing event in North America (the oldest Triple Crown race). It is the second longest-running sports event in America, trailing only the Kentucky Derby.
It’s a Grade 1 race for three-year-old thoroughbreds and is traditionally held every year on the first or second week in June – three weeks after the Preakness and five weeks after the Derby.
The Belmont Stakes is the longest race in the Triple Crown (12 furlongs or 1½ miles) and is held on one of the fairest race tracks in the World – the dirt track at Belmont Park, Elmont, New York.
The Belmont Stakes is the most hyped up Triple Crown race because it’s the longest race and also the last shot for any horse seeking a Triple Crown Championship. Unlike Preakness, thoroughbreds have an extra week to rest between races because of the long distance.
Triple Crown Champion Secretariat, holds the record for the fastest 1 ½ mile race in Belmont Stakes history after winning the 1973 event in 2 minutes and 24 seconds. This is also a World record for the fastest time on dirt. In addition, Secretariat outdueled his competitors by a staggering 31 lengths.
Harry Bassett holds the record for the fastest time to finish a 1 ⅝ mile race with 2 minutes and 56 seconds.
The Belmont Stakes is widely known by horse racing fans as the Test of Champions because of the long distance. The horse that wins the race gets wrapped with a white blanket – a symbol of love and luck.
The post parade song for the tournament is “Theme from New York,” a classic song by Frank Sinatra and has not changed since 2011. The Belmont Stakes had initially used the Sidewalks of New York before switching to Theme from New York in 1997. It replaced the song with JAY-Z’s Empire State of Mind featuring Alicia Keys in 2010 but switched back to Theme from New York a year later.
The official drink for the Belmont Stakes has also changed a couple of times from “the White Carnation,” a vodka drink to the whiskey-esque “Belmont Breeze.” Since 2011, the official drink has been the Belmont Jewel.
You can watch pregame and postgame analysis of the Belmont Stakes from 3 PM to 5 PM Eastern Time on CNBC. NBC will rebroadcast the event on National Television from 5 PM to 7 PM Eastern Time. Fans can also catch the action live on the NBC website, sports app, or subscribe to Peacock.
New York City dwellers can hop on the Long Island Rail Road to catch the full event live since the Belmont Park is just a few distances away from the City.
Justify was the last horse to win a Triple Crown, a feat the thoroughbred achieved in 2018. This was only the thirteenth time a horse would win the Triple Crown. Justify became the first Triple Crown winner to retire undefeated and only the second horse since Seattle Slew to win the Triple Crown without losing any race. In addition, Justify remains the only Triple Crown Champion to not race as a two-year-old.
Fun fact: Justify is a fifth generation descendant of Seattle Slew.
As earlier, states there will be no Triple Crown Winner this year.
Essential Quality, a colt trained by Brad H. Cox, came out on top at the 2021 Belmont Stakes after outrunning Hot Rod Charlie in the final lap with a run time of 2:27:11. The horse was bred by Godolphin Stables which has also bred three previous Belmont Stakes winners.
In addition to winning the Belmont Stakes, Essential Quality won the Jim Dandy Stakes and Travelers Stakes but retired after finishing second runner-up at the Breeder’s Cup Classic tournament last year. He also finished third at the Kentucky Derby earlier in the year after encountering some troubles on its trip to Churchill Downs.
Essential Quality’s other honors include winning the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and being named the 2020 Champion Two-Year-Old and the 2021 Champion Three-Year-Old. He earned a total of $4,215,144 and finished with a 10: 8-0-2 career record.