The Fastest Runners at the “Test of the Champion”
As the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown races, winning the Belmont Stakes is sure to give the winner the well-deserved accolade and prestige. But racing down all the way to the finish line faster than anyone else in the history of the event is another level and undoubtedly one for the books.
The Belmont Stakes has the reputation of being the most challenging race among the Triple Crown events. Horses run the distance of 1 ½-mile – the longest in American thoroughbred racing – to the finish line.
Also known as the “Test of the Champion,” the finale of the Triple Crown series is a display of endurance, stamina, and speed. It’s essential that a horse maintains its speed throughout the duration of the competition. If you want to know the victors which finish the fastest in the history of Belmont Stakes, read on below.
Point Given (2001)
To get the much-coveted Triple Crown, a competitor needs to finish at the first place of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes races. Thus, jockey Gary Stevens, wasn’t in complete satisfaction when he won the Belmont Stakes event in 2001.
Although his horse, Point Given, got the top spots in Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, Point Given only finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby because of a foot infection. But at the finale of the Triple Crown series, Point Given made one of the fastest records in Belmont Stakes.
The victor came out of the gate with no hassle and raced down into third place in the early stages of the event. His rivals gassed out later, and Point Given charged ahead of them.
At the final stretch, the other horses slowed down, making it clear to the audience watching as the event unfolds that Point Given was the winner. Point Given completed the race with an official time of 2:26.56.
Risen Star (1988)
Risen Star is sired by Secretariat, the fastest horse in the history of Belmont Stakes. Risen Star placed third in the Kentucky Derby and grabbed the first spot in the Preakness Stakes.
Risen Star was not the top favorite to win the Belmont Stakes due to the uncertainty of his handling. Before the event, he got a minor ankle injury, which led him to miss two days of training and a key workout.
However, the colt gave a historical performance in Belmont Stakes. He won by 14 ¾ lengths over Kingpost and put on record the fourth fastest time in the third leg of the Triple Crown series.
A.P. Indy (1992)
Excellence is running through the blood of the 1992 Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy.
His shire, Seattle Slew, was the victor of the Belmont Stakes in 1977. Then A.P. Indy went on to sire the first filly to win the Belmont Stakes in over a century, Rags to Riches. In other words, A.P. Indy is part of the three-generation family of Belmont Stakes winners.
After getting the victory in the 1992 Belmont Stakes with an official time of 2:26.13, the colt next took the top spot in the Breeder’s Cup within the same year, which helped him to gain the prestige of being awarded the 1992 American Horse of the Year.
Easy Goer (1989)
In 1989, the audience at Belmont Park witnessed one of the greatest upsets in the sport of horse racing. Sunday Silence, who was one jewel away to complete the Triple Crown, was defeated by Easy Goer.
Easy Goer only finished second to Sunday Silence in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. However, in the finale of the Triple Crown series, Easy Goer gave his best performance and became the party pooper to Sunday Silence’s Triple Crown dreams.
In the early stages of the race, Sunday Silence took the lead over his competitors but was later outrun by Easy Goer. All the way to the finish line, Easy Goer was relentless, beating Sunday Silence by eight lengths and made the record as the second fastest winners of the Belmont Stakes with an official time of 2:26.00.
Secretariat was the fastest racehorse to ever complete the 1 ½-mile distance of the Belmont Stakes race. And it seems that his record is the hardest thing to break.
The phenomenal colt ended the 25-year Triple Crown drought in 1973, setting speed records in all three events. But the most awe-inspiring performance of Secretariat was in Belmont Stakes. He won by 31 lengths ahead of Twice a Prince with an official time of 2:24.00.
Many record-setting performances already happened in the Belmont Stakes. This coming June 8, will the fastest speed records mentioned above be broken? If you want to witness this electrifying event in the sport of horse racing, you can watch it live at the Belmont Park in Elmont, New York this year, or you can see it online at Watch TVG.