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The Belmont Stakes is an American Grade I stakes race; it makes up the third leg of the Triple Crown. The 1.5-mile course is run by three-year-old thoroughbred horses. Established in 1867, the event takes place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

The race has been nicknamed the “Run for the Carnations” since a blanket of white carnations is hanged around the winner’s neck. It’s also sometimes referred to as the “Test of the Champion,” as it’s the final race of the Triple Crown and it’s an especially long race. Most three-year-old horses are unaccustomed to the length; the lack of experience and endurance plays a factor in the strategy.

Secretariat owns the speed record at 2:24:00, set in 1973. Not only is the time a world record, but Secretariat won by the largest margin in the history of American Grade 1 stakes races, a whopping 31 lengths. The Belmont also featured the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race when Julie Krone rode Colonial Affair to victory in 1993.

Summer Bird was crowned the 2009 Belmont Stakes champion. Listed below are the past 20 Belmont Stakes winners:

2015    American Pharoah
2014    Tonalist
2013    Palace Malice
2012    Union Rags
2011    Ruler On Ice
2010    Drosselmeyer
2009    Summer Bird
2008    Da’Tara
2007    Rags to Riches
2006    Jazil
2005    Afleet Alex
2004    Birdstone
2003    Empire Maker
2002    Sarava
2001    Point Given
2000    Commendable
1999    Lemon Drop Kid
1998    Victory Gallop
1997    Touch Gold
1996    Editor’s Note
1995    Thunder Gulch
1994    Tabasco Cat
1993    Colonial Affair
1992    A.P.Indy
1991    Hansel
1990    Go And Go


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