25 years of Belmont Stakes Winners

 
Photos don’t come much closer, or more valuable, than that of Victory Gallop (outside) over Real Quiet (rail). By the slimmest of margins, the former stymied the latter’s Triple Crown.
 
New York’s golden boy, Easy Goer, avenged Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes losses to California’s Sunday Silence, ending his Triple Crown bid.
 
Accomplished Irish trainer Dermot Weld took his show on the road, bringing Go And Go to New York for the Belmont Stakes. The colt, and Mick Kinane, delivered
 
Preakness Stakes winner Hansel gave Hall of Fame rider Jerry Bailey his first victory in the Belmont Stakes by defeating Kentucky Derby winner Strike the Gold.
 
Future supersire A.P. Indy found Classic glory in the Belmont Stakes after being forced to miss the Kentucky Derby.
 
Julie Krone became the first female jockey to take an American Classic when she rode Colonial Affair to victory.
 
Tabasco Cat followed up his Preakness Stakes win with a Belmont victory.
 
Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch, defeated by stablemate Timber Country in the Preakness, gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas his second straight Belmont.
 
Three in a row! It wasn’t quite Woody Stephens’s five, but Editor’s Note gave D. Wayne Lukas a Belmont Stakes three-peat.
 
A crafty, wide move by Chris McCarron on Touch Gold put an end to Silver Charm’s Triple Crown aspirations.
 
The pre-race focus was one-time claimer Charismatic (yellow cap) who timed his maturity just right, entering the race with a chance at the Triple Crown. With champion filly Silverbulletday (rail) also in the mix, Lemon Drop Kid (outside) got lost in the shuffle before pulling off the victory.
 
Pat Day settled Commendable just off the lead, pulled the trigger on the turn, and maintained his lead to the wire for yet another D. Wayne Lukas Classic score.
 
Point Given disappointed in the Kentucky Derby, made amends in the Preakness, and dominated the Belmont by 12 1/4 lengths.
 
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner War Emblem (number 9), a confirmed front-runner, stumbled badly at the start, virtually eliminating his Triple Crown chances. That paved the way for the biggest upset in Belmont Stakes history – 70-1 Sarava.
 
New York-bred Funny Cide returned home to Belmont Park having won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, looking to seal the Triple Crown. He was unable to deliver in front of his hometown fans as the highly regarded Empire Maker triumphed.
 
The biggest crowd in Belmont Park history, 120,139, turned out to see Smarty Jones attempt to sweep the Triple Crown. He fell short in the stretch as Birdstone rallied to upset.
 
Afleet Alex recovered from a near fall at the head of the stretch to take the Preakness Stakes. There were no such acrobatics in the Belmont, just a 7-length romp.
 
18-year-old Fernando Jara lost his iron at the start when Jazil hit the side of the gate. The young rider recovered to guide the colt to victory.
 
Rags to Riches, a half-sister to the prior year’s winner, Jazil, became the first filly in over 100 years to take the Belmont Stakes. Her thrilling stretch duel with future Hall of Famer Curlin stands as one of the most memorable editions of the race.
 
Big Brown, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, broke awkwardly from the rail at the start, and it was all downhill from there for the heavy favorite. 38-1 Da’ Tara took advantage, leading all the way.
 
Summer Bird, who prepped for the race earlier in the Belmont Park meet, flew home beneath Kent Desormeaux.
 
It’s hard to believe it took Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith until 2010 to win his first Belmont Stakes, but that’s exactly the case. Drosselmeyer was also the first Classic winner for his trainer, fellow Hall of Famer Bill Mott.
 
Jose Valdivia, Jr. was exuberant in his celebration of sloppy-track loving Ruler On Ice’s upset victory.
 
The memorable withdrawal of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I’ll Have Another due to injury on Belmont Stakes Eve made for a strange edition of the Classic race. Union Rags (3) caught Paynter for the win.
 
Palace Malice was as professional in the Belmont Stakes as he was unmanageable in the Kentucky Derby. He drew off from Preakness winner Oxbow and Derby champ Orb to take the final Classic of the season.
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