The Belmont Stakes closes out a dramatic 2022 Triple Crown season with everyone’s favorite long shot running in the field.
Related: When is the Belmont Stakes?
Rich Strike, who skipped the Preakness Stakes after winning the Kentucky Derby as an 80-1 longshot, is expected to be in the field for the Belmont. However, Preakness champion Early Voting will not be in Elmont, with trainer Brad Cox confirming the three-year-old colt will instead train for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York on Aug. 27.
What is the Belmont Stakes?
The Belmont Stakes is traditionally the last leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing. Like the Derby and the Preakness, it’s a Grade I Thoroughbred stakes races. The Belmont Stakes is 1 1/2 miles, or 12 furlongs, which makes it the longest race in the Triple Crown.
The Belmont is run on the dirt track (also known as “Big Sandy”) at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It was first raced in 1867, making it the oldest jewel in the Triple Crown (and the fourth oldest race in North America). However, the race wasn’t run in 1911 or 1912, which is why the Kentucky Derby is still the longest continuous sporting event in the country. The Belmont always been run in or around New York City, having raced at Jerome Park (now closed), Morris Park (also closed) and Aqueduct in addition to Belmont, which is just east of Queens.
Aside from being the last hurdle for Triple Crown contenders, the Belmont is known for Secretariat’s 31-length victory in 1973, which sealed his Triple Crown title and set the current world record at 2:24 for 1 1/2 miles on dirt.
When is the 2022 Belmont Stakes?
The 154th Belmont Stakes is on Saturday, June 11. NBC Sports will broadcast live from Belmont Park on June 11 from 3-5 p.m. ET on CNBC and from 5-7 p.m. on NBC.
How can I watch the 2022 Belmont Stakes?
NBC is home to the 154th Belmont Stakes, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live before, during and after the main event. Get started with CNBC coverage on Saturday, June 11 at 3 p.m. before moving to NBC at 5 p.m. All coverage is available on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock as well.
What is unique about the Belmont Stakes?
The Belmont is the final test for horses seeking a Triple Crown title. Horses have an additional week of rest between races as opposed to the Preakness, but the Belmont is also the longest race of the three.
Belmont Park is only a few miles away from New York City, and city dwellers can just hop on the Long Island Rail Road for a day at the races. The annual Belmont Festival is back and features several days packed with racing and other events.
Is there a horse that can win the Triple Crown?
While Rich Strike came away with a victory in the first Triple Crown race at the Kentucky Derby, his planned absence from the Preakness assured that there would not be a Triple Crown-winning horse in 2022. The three-year-old colt does have a chance to be the 12th horse to win the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in the same Triple Crown season. The last Triple Crown winner was Justify in 2018.
What are the biggest Belmont Stakes traditions?
The Belmont Stakes is traditionally referred to as “The Test of Champions” due to it being the longest Triple Crown race. After the race, the champion horse is draped with a blanket of white carnations, traditionally symbolizing love and luck.
The post parade song for the Belmont Stakes has changed over the years from “The Sidewalks of New York” to Frank Sinatra’s “Theme from New York” from 1997 to 2009, Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” in 2010 and then back to the “Theme from New York” in 2011 to the present.
When the post parade song changed in 1997, so did the official drink. The Belmont Stakes from the vodka-based “White Carnation” to the whiskey-based “Belmont Breeze.” The official drink was changed again in 2011 to the “Belmont Jewel,” which is made with bourbon.
Who won the 2021 Belmont Stakes?
Bad Cox’s Essential Quality outdueled a stubborn Hot Rod Charlie in the final stretch to win the Belmont Stakes. Ownership group Godolphin Stables bred him from leading sire Tapit, who sired three other Belmont Stakes winners. Essential Quality went on to win the Jim Dandy Stakes and Travers Stakes in Saratoga. After finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, he was retired to stud at Darley’s Jonabell Farm and was announced the 2021 American Champion Three-Year-Old Male at the Eclipse Awards.