The Belmont Stakes 2016

The last of the Horse Races and I can safely ignore them until next year (Wait? What do you mean there’s another one in November?).

The Belmont Stakes are perhaps the most democratic of the Triple Crown Races even though it is held Elmont right next to Queens. Indications of that are they can’t settle on a song or a drink. The song has ranged from Sidewalks of New York, a charming Tin Pan Alley tune better known as East Side, West Side, to the Theme from New York, New York (as performed by Frank Sinatra and appropriated as the Yankees anthem and not the original Liza Minelli rendition), to 2010’s Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z.

Likewise the drink has changed from the absolutely un-potable White Carnation to the refined trashcan punch that is the Belmont Breeze.

I suggest instead the classic Cosmopolitan.


  • Ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces lemon vodka
  • 1 fluid ounce Cointreau
  • fluid ounce cranberry juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Long thin piece orange zest


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, Cointreau, and cranberry and lime juices. Cover and shake vigorously to combine and chill. Strain the cosmopolitan into a chilled martini glass. Twist the orange zest over the drink and serve.

Note: The drink can also be stirred in a pitcher.

This year is the 148th running. Since there is absolutely no chance at a Triple Crown, or even a rubber match between Nyland (scratched right after the Preakness, which he lost, and rightly so because he was sick) and Exaggerator (Preakness winner) there is very little press interest outside of the contractually obligated NBC Universe. At 1 1/2 miles the Belmont is the longest of the Triple Crown races and comes hard on the heels of the sprint at Pimlico. The Belmont track surface is looser, sandier, and harder to run on than most tracks in the country. Also the NYRA is much stricter about “performance enhancement” than most racing associations.

So you want to know who will win? Your guess is as good as mine. Here is the line from The New York Times.

Joe Drape’s picks: Lani, Suddenbreakingnews, Exaggerator

Melissa Hoppert’s picks: Creator, Suddenbreakingnews, Exaggerator

Good Luck!

Post time is 6:30 pm ET on NBC. Hype starts around 4:30.


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  1. Vent Hole

  2. Horses making their way to the gate

  3. They’re off

  4. Creator

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