The Belmont Stakes & You

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Did you know that you can bet the last jewel of the Triple Crown with us? As you sit down to handicap for the big festival of racing, do you know the full history behind the Belmont Stakes?

Imagine the year’s biggest horse racing events as a fancy, royal crown you can wear on your head. The Triple Crown has three spots for brilliant jewels: the first jewel is the Kentucky Derby. The second jewel is the Preakness. The third and final jewel is the Belmont Stakes. These elite horse racing days truly bring the best of the best–horse racing royalty. This year’s Belmont Stakes is no exception as the racing field is full of well-known contenders. The morning line favorite is Exaggerator (Jockey: Kent Desormeaux / Owner: Big Chief Racing, LLC / Trainer: J. Keith Desormeaux) at 9/5 odds.

Even though the Belmont is the third jewel in the Triple Crown and happens last in the horse racing extravaganza, it’s actually one of the oldest stakes races in North America. It’s also the oldest of the Triple Crown events: the Belmont Stakes first ran in 1867, the  Preakness in 1873, and the Kentucky Derby in 1875.

The tradition of betting the Belmont first started in 1867 thanks to the son of a 19th century banker and racing enthusiast. The banker, named August Belmont Sr, passed along his money and love for the sport to his son, August Jr. Among other things, August Jr. went on to be the chairman of the Jockey Club for 30 years, founded Belmont Park, and was the head of New York’s first Racing Commission.

The winner of the Belmont Stakes is the recipient of not just prestige, fame, and airtime on NBC, but also some fabulous gifts from Belmont Park. The winner is draped in the iconic Belmont Stakes white carnation blanket, which is made up of over 700 single carnations. The white carnations represent love and luck, and as such, are the traditional flower of the Belmont Stakes. The winner also gets to take home the awe-inspiring Belmont Trophy.

Known as the August Belmont Memorial Cup, it was first presented by the Belmont Family in 1926 to that year’s winner, Crusader. Each year that trophy is handed down to the next winner. The winning owner, trainer, and jockey receive a silver miniature Belmont Trophy.

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Jockey Mike Smith receiving the Belmont Cup after his win with Palace Malice, 2013. Photo courtesy of Belmont Stakes.

Specially crafted by Tiffany & Co, the trophy is a gorgeous silver bowl and cover with some distinctive features which set it apart from every other trophy out there. On the top of the trophy’s cover is a figure of the 1869 Belmont Stakes winner, Fenian, who was rode to glory by August Belmont himself. The cover sits on top of the bowl. Underneath it, the bowl is supported by three silver horses. These silver figures represent Herod, Eclipse, and Matchem; the three grandsons of the historic forefathers of thoroughbred racing.

These three horses pay homage to the three thoroughbred stallion grandfathers: Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian, and Godolphin Arabian. It’s said all thoroughbreds descend from these three bloodlines. From the three horses represented on the Cup, the lineage of Eclipse is predominant in the modern thoroughbred.

This weekend will be one to remember! Join in the excitement of the Belmont Stakes festival of races by taking advantage of our 10% Belmont Deposit promotion! Make a minimum deposit of $50.00 on Saturday, June 11th and you’ll receive a special 10% bonus (up to $50.00). After you’ve made your deposit, enter promotional code BELMONT into your account to receive your bonus same day. Remember, this promotion is good for ONE transaction only and you’ll need to wager the entire bonus and deposit before you may withdraw funds.

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Staying in the Belmont spirit, we published a very special Belmont Stakes podcast episode in this week’s installment of Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel! After checking in with greyhound current events and promotions, Alicia and Katie sat down with The Professor to glean tips and other insights on the Belmont Stakes. They learned quite a bit!

The Professor discussed his favorite Belmont Throwback experiences which included watching Secretariat, and also the memories of Affirmed boxing out Alydar in all three 1978 Triple Crown races. Before American Pharoah earned his Triple Crown bragging rights last year, Affirmed was the previous champion who most recently won the Triple Crown.

Do you have any favorite experiences or memories of the Belmont Stakes? We’d love to hear them! Share your experiences with us by replying to our Twitter and Facebook posts regarding the Belmont Throwback and you’ll be entered to win one of our two American Pharoah t-shirts!

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And don’t forget: the main event this weekend is to have a good time! We have all of the Belmont Stakes action; this is your chance to be included in this year’s Belmont Stakes legacy! Place your wagers online or with one of our friendly wagering representatives.

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