The Belmont Stakes has been run since 1867 and since the inaugural race, there have been some iconic finishes. Some races have left fans at the edge of their seats with photo finishes for the ages.
The Belmont Stakes is one of the more challenging races and is often unpredictable.
Typically, the race concludes the Triple Crown series and is a 1 1/2-mile distance. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s race will kick off the Triple Crown and will be shortened to 1 1/8 miles.
The jockeys, trainers and horses prepare for their entire careers in hopes of crossing that finish line first. For some, a nose or a head separates them from the history books and second place.
Here are some of the nail-biting finishes:
The first running of the Belmont Stakes saw an exciting finish where filly Ruthless won by a head over DeCourcey. Ruthless was the only filly entered and won with a time of 3:05.
This race took place at Jerome Park Racetrack in Fordham, Westchester County in New York.
Jaipur won by only a nose over Admiral’s Voyage. Jaipur finished in 2:28 4/5 with W. Shoemaker as the jockey. The first place finisher took home $109,550.
With a time of 2:28 2/5, Hail to All beat Tom Rolfe by a neck to take home first place and $104,150. The victory from Hail to All was secured in the last strides of the race.
The 1975 race was won by a neck after Avatar bested Foolish Pleasure. William Shoemaker was the winning jockey and won $116,160.
Bold Forbes lasted to win by a neck over McKenzie Bridge.
Affirmed beat Alydar by a head to not only win Belmont Stakes but take the Triple Crown with Steve Cauthen as the jockey. At that point, Affirmed was only the seventh horse to win the Triple Crown.
Summing beat Highland Blade by a neck. Pleasant Colony came in a close third. Summing finished with a time of 2:29.
The 1991 race came down to a head, with Hansel holding on to beat Strike the Gold. The purse for 1991 was $417,480.
Touch Gold circled to wear down Silver Charm and Free House came in a close third.
The 1998 race was a photo finish, as Victory Gallop won by just a nose over second-place Real Quiet. Victory Gallop had Gary Stevens as the jockey. The purse that year was $600,000.
Check out the too close to call footage from the race:
Lemon Drop Kid, jockey Jose Santos and Flint S. Schulhofer beat Vision and Verse by a head. Charismatic came in a close third.
The 2007 race saw a close finish as Rags to Riches fought out Curlin to win by a head. Rags to Riches is one of the few fillies to win the Belmont Stakes.
Creator beat Destin by just a nose. Steve M. Asmussen was the trainer, Irad Ortiz Jr. was the jockey and WinStar Farm LL and Bobby Flay were the owners. The value that year was $800,000.