The Belmont Stakes 2021

We don’t write much about horse racing, also known as the Sport of Kings. Today is the last jewel in the race for the Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes which is the longest of the three races, 1.5 miles, the length of one full lap at Belmont Park. It is called the “The Test of the Champion” for that reason.

The 2021 Belmont Stakes will be the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes and the 110th time the event takes place at Belmont Park. The 1+12-mile (2,400 m) race, known as the “test of the champion”, is the final leg in the American Triple Crown, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. The race number is 11.

The race is scheduled for June 5, 2021, in Elmont, New York, with a 6:47 p.m. EDT post time and television coverage by NBC. It will be a Grade I stakes race with a purse of $1.5 million. There will be no Triple Crown winner, as the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes were won by different horses.

Due to effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition was contested as the first leg of the Triple Crown, on June 20 without spectators. The 2021 Triple Crown races returned to their traditional sequence and schedule, with Medina Spirit winning the 2021 Kentucky Derby on May 1, and Rombauer winning the 2021 Preakness Stakes on May 15. A week after the Derby, it was announced that Medina Spirit had tested positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid, and stands to be disqualified if the split sample confirms the positive; with that result still pending, Medina Spirit submitted to additional testing and was allowed to run in the Preakness.

Attendance for the Belmont was set at a maximum of 11,000 spectators, with attendees required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

In 2015, ek hornbeck wrote this:

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.

This year they are back to New York, New York because Sidewalks of New York didn’t produce a Triple Crown winner.

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.

Just for the record:

Speed record:

  • 2:24 flat – Secretariat (1973; 1+12 miles). Secretariat also holds the fastest ½-, ¾-, 1- and 1¼-mile fractions in Belmont history.
  • 2:14.20 – Man o’ War (1920; 1 3/8 miles)
  • 2:56 flat – Harry Bassett (1871; 1 5/8 miles)
  • 1:46.53 – Tiz the Law (2020; 1 1/8 miles)
  • 2:06.60 – Delhi (1904; 1+14 miles)

Biggest Margin of Victory:

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

The Field :
Several horses that ran in the Derby and then bypassed the Preakness were possible entrants in the Belmont: Mandaloun, Hot Rod Charlie, Essential Quality, and O Besos.

On May 17, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) banned trainer Bob Baffert from entering any horses in races in the state of New York, which (if not lifted before June 5) would prevent Medina Spirit or Concert Tour from running in the Belmont. The same day, Preakness winner Rombauer and seventh-place finisher France Go de Ina arrived at Belmont Park. On May 18, owners of Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat stated that the filly would not be entered in the Belmont.

With a maximum field size of 16 horses, the post-position draw was held on June 1.


Finish Program
Horse Trainer Jockey Morning
Line Odds
Margin Winnings
1 Bourbonic Todd Pletcher Kendrick Carmouche 15–1
2 Essential Quality Brad Cox Luis Saez 2–1
3 Rombauer Michael W. McCarthy John R. Velazquez 3–1
4 Hot Rod Charlie Doug O’Neill Flavien Prat 7–2
5 France Go de Ina Hideyuki Mori Ricardo Santana Jr. 30–1
6 Known Agenda Todd Pletcher Irad Ortiz Jr. 6–1
7 Rock Your World John Sadler Joel Rosario 9–2
8 Overtook Todd Pletcher Manuel Franco 20–1

I will post the winner and other stats as soon as they are available.


Finish Program
Horse Trainer Jockey Morning
line odds
Margin Winnings
1 2 Essential Quality Brad Cox Luis Saez 2–1 1.30 $800,000
2 4 Hot Rod Charlie Doug O’Neill Flavien Prat 7–2 4.80 1+14 $280,000
3 3 Rombauer Michael W. McCarthy John R. Velazquez 3–1 5.70 12+12 $150,000
4 6 Known Agenda Todd Pletcher Jose L. Ortizdouble-dagger 6–1 6.60 13+14 $100,000
5 1 Bourbonic Todd Pletcher Kendrick Carmouche 15–1 14.70 15+12 $60,000
6 7 Rock Your World John Sadler Joel Rosario 9–2 5.00 22 $45,000
7 8 Overtook Todd Pletcher Manuel Franco 20–1 19.00 25+14 $35,000
8 5 France Go de Ina Hideyuki Mori Ricardo Santana Jr. 30–1 27.25 eased $30,000

double-dagger Known Agenda was planned to be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., but the jockey suffered an injury two days before the race.

Track: Fast

Times: 14 mile – 22.78; 12 mile – 46.49; 34 mile – 1:12.07; mile – 1:37.40; 1+14 miles – 2:02.38; final – 2:27.11
Splits for each quarter-mile: (22.78) (23.71) (25.58) (25.33) (24.98) (24.73)