Horse Racing

Belmont Stakes Records: Fastest Horses, Greatest Winning Margins, and Triple Crown Legends

FanDuel Staff
FanDuel Staff
Belmont Stakes Records: Fastest Horses, Greatest Winning Margins, and Triple Crown Legends

The Belmont Stakes, traditionally the last of the Triple Crown races, is one of the most important events of the horse racing year. Its history is a long and storied one. The first Belmont Stakes happened in 1867 and the story of the race winds its way through five racecourses: Jerome Park, Morris Park Racecourse, Belmont Park, Aqueduct Racetrack, and as of 2024, it connects through Saratoga Race Course as well.

Naturally, you can bet on which horse will win the Belmont Stakes with FanDuel Racing. Discover the exciting 2024 Belmont Stakes odds to wager on FDR and FanDuel Sportsbook and get up to $20 back on your Bet!

New FanDuel Racing users are included in the excitement with a chance to get your first win wager on a single horse in any race at any track up to $500 back if you lose. Bet the Belmont Stakes!

Fastest Belmont Stakes Winners

The traditional answer to the fastest Belmont Stakes winner is, of course, Secretariat. He won the 1973 Belmont Stakes in 2:24.0, setting the speed record for the Belmont Stakes. The time is still a world record for 1 ½ miles on dirt.

However, the Belmont has not always been run at 1 ½ miles. The race has been run at distances as short as 1 ⅛ miles and as long as 1 ⅝ miles. These are the Belmont Stakes record times for each distance at which the race has been run.

With the Belmont Stakes distance shortened to 1 ¼ miles in 2024 and 2025, there is a good chance Delhi’s stakes record for the 1 ¼ mile distance will fall soon!

1 ⅛ miles1:46.53Tiz the Law2020Belmont Park
1 ¼ miles2:06.6Delhi1904Morris Park
1 ⅜ miles2:14.2Man o’ War1920Belmont Park
1 ½ miles2:24.0Secretariat1973Belmont Park
1 ⅝ miles2:56.0Harry Bassett1871Jerome Park

Most Wins by Connections in the Belmont Stakes

These are the trainers, jockeys, and owners who have won the most times in Belmont history.

Most Wins by a Trainer

James Rowe leads all trainers with eight Belmont winners: George Kinney (1883), Panique (1884), Commando (1901), Delhi (1904), Peter Pan (1907), the great Colin (1908), Sweep (1910), and Prince Eugene (1913).

Impressively, before winning those record eight Belmonts as a trainer, he won a pair as a jockey with Joe Daniels (1872) and Springbok (1873). Rowe is one of two people to win the Belmont as both a trainer and a jockey: George Martin Odom rode Delhi (1904) and trained Pasteurized (1938).

Among active trainers, Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas are tied with four wins each. Pletcher won with Rags to Riches (2007), Palace Malice (2013), Tapwrit (2017), and Mo Donegal (2022). Lukas has won with Tabasco Cat (1994), Thunder Gulch (1995), Editor’s Note (1996), and Commendable (2000).

Both of these trainers are in with a chance to take the record tally for a currently active trainer for himself. Pletcher is expected to run Peter Pan (G3) winner Antiquarian, Mindframe, and Protective in the 2024 Belmont Stakes, while Lukas is sending Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Seize the Grey.

Most Wins by a Jockey

Two jockeys are tied for the most Belmont victories with six wins each. James McLaughlin dominated early Belmont Stakes history with Forester (1882), George Kinney (1883), Panique (1884), Inspector B. (1886), Hanover (1887), and Sir Dixon (1888). Eddie Arcaro shined in the mid-20th century with Triple Crown winner Whirlaway (1941), Shut Out (1942), Pavot (1945), Triple Crown winner Citation (1948), One Count (1952), and Nashua (1955).

Among active riders, Mike Smith leads with three victories in the final race of the Triple Crown series. He won the Belmont Stakes with Drosselmeyer (2010), Palace Malice (2013), and Triple Crown winner Justify (2018).

Most Wins by an Owner

Two owners, neither of whom are still active, are tied for the most victories in the Belmont Stakes. James R. Keene won with Spendthrift (1879), Commando (1901), Delhi (1904), Peter Pan (1907), Colin (1908), and Sweep (1910). Belair Stud has also won six editions of the Belmont. They owned Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox (1930), Faireno (1932), Triple Crown winner Omaha (1935), Granville (1936), Johnstown (1939), and Nashua (1955).

Mike and Phil Dwyer owned the next most Belmont Stakes winners, with five. Impressively, they won their five editions of the Belmont in a span of six editions of the race. Their winners included George Kinney (1883), Panique (1884), Inspector B. (1886), Hanover (1887), and Sir Dixon (1888).

Female Jockeys and Trainers

As of 2023, only one woman has won a Triple Crown race as a jockey, and only one woman has done so as a trainer, and both of those victories happened in the Belmont Stakes.

In 1993, Julie Krone became the first woman to ride a Belmont Stakes winner when she guided Colonial Affair to a 2 ¼-length victory over Kissin Kris. It was her best finish in five rides in the Belmont Stakes, though she also finished second in 1995 with Star Standard. One other woman has ridden in the Belmont Stakes: Rosie Napravnik, whose best finish in two tries was a sixth with Unlimited Budget in 2013.

Forty years after Julie Krone’s victory, in 2023, Jena Antonucci became the first woman to train a Belmont Stakes winner when Arcangelo prevailed over Forte by 1 ½ lengths. She was the eleventh female trainer to start a horse in the Test of the Champion. Two other women have trained horses who hit the board in the Belmont: Dianne Carpenter trained 1988 second-place finisher Kingpost, and Linda Rice trained 2020 third-place finisher Max Player.

Largest Belmont Stakes Winning Margins

Not only did Secretariat run the fastest Belmont Stakes at its traditional 1 ½-mile distance, he also has the largest winning margin in the race’s history: he crossed the wire 31 lengths clear of second-place Twice a Prince. Belmont Park has a blue and white pole 31 lengths from the finish line, painted the blue and white of the Meadow Stable silks, to commemorate Secretariat’s feat.

Secretariat is one of nine horses who, between 1905 and 2023, have won the Belmont Stakes by ten or more lengths. These are the largest winning margins in Belmont Stakes history:

Secretariat31 lengths1973
Count Fleet25 lengths1943
Man o’ War20 lengths1920
Risen Star14 ¾ lengths1988
Conquistador Cielo14 lengths1982
Bet Twice14 lengths1987
Point Given12 ½ lengths2001
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Shortest Belmont Stakes Winning Margins

Just as there have been some massive margins of victory in the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes has also played host to Triple Crown bids that fell short by the slimmest of margins.

In the nearest miss, Real Quiet missed out on a Triple Crown in 1998 by just a nose behind Victory Gallop. On the other hand, Affirmed clinched his Triple Crown glory in 1978 by just a head over his classic rival Alydar, the same horse who had finished second behind him in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Fortunately for these horses, the glory and the purse money don’t depend on how far you finish ahead of the second-place horse, just on hitting the wire first. These are the shortest Belmont Stakes winning margins in history:

Victory Gallopnose1998
Lemon Drop Kidhead1999
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Triple Crown Winners

Dating back to the first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton in 1919, thirteen horses have swept the series of American three-year-old classics: the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. Though the order of the races we know now as the American Triple Crown sometimes varied early in the history of the races, all 13 Triple Crown winners won the Belmont as the final leg of the series.

These are the 13 horses who have won the Triple Crown:

1919Sir BartonH. Guy BedwellJohnny LoftusCommander J. K. L. Ross
1930Gallant Fox“Sunny” Jim FitzsimmonsEarl SandeBelair Stud
1935Omaha“Sunny” Jim FitzsimmonsWillie SaundersBelair Stud
1937War AdmiralGeorge ConwayCharles KurtsingerGlen Riddle Farms
1941WhirlawayBen JonesEddie ArcaroCalumet Farm
1943Count FleetDon CameronJohnny LongdenFannie Hertz
1946AssaultMax HirschWarren MehrtensKing Ranch
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Only one jockey, Eddie Arcaro, has won the Triple Crown twice. Three trainers have accomplished that feat: “Sunny” Jim Fitzsimmons, Ben Jones, and Bob Baffert. There are also two owners who have won a pair of Triple Crowns: Belair Stud and Calumet Farm.

Payout Records

The longest shot to win the Belmont was Sarava in 2022. Sent off at 70-1, the second longest shot in the field of 11, he won by ½ length over Medaglia d’Oro and paid $142.50, the largest winning mutuel in Belmont Stakes history.

Unsurprisingly, the shortest-priced winner in Belmont Stakes history won a Triple Crown. Count Fleet, in the 1943 Belmont Stakes, paid just $2.10 when he completed the feat. The next shortest-priced Belmont winner was Secretariat, who paid $2.20 when he won the third jewel of the Triple Crown.

Fillies in the Belmont Stakes

Twenty-four fillies have contested the Belmont Stakes, and only three fillies have ever won the Test of the Champion.

The first-ever Belmont Stakes at Jerome Park was won by the great Ruthless. The first-ever Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park was also won by a filly: Tanya won the race in 1905. It took over 100 years for another filly to win the Belmont Stakes: that happened in 2007, when Rags to Riches outslugged Curlin down the lane to achieve Belmont glory.

To see 2024 Belmont Stakes post positions and individual horse odds, read more at FanDuel Research.

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