June 9, 1973 ~ Belmont Stakes ~1 ½ mile ~ Belmont Park
Secretariat raced into the ever glow of immortality in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. His victory, by one of the widest margins in the history of the American turf – 31 lengths ahead of his nearest challenger and in a world record time for the 1 1/2 miles distance – 2 minutes 24, remains one of the most memorable in sports history.
-When anti-gambling legislation was passed in New York State, Belmont Racetrack was closed, and the race was cancelled in 1911 and 1912.
-Before 1921, the race was run in the clockwise tradition of English racing.
-Since 1931, the order of Triple Crown races has been the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes, and then the Belmont Stakes. Prior to 1931, eleven times the Preakness was run before the Derby. On May 12, 1917 and again on May 13, 1922, the Preakness and the Derby were run on the same day. On eleven occasions, the Belmont Stakes was run before the Preakness Stakes.
The Belmont Stakes was run at a mile and five furlongs from 1867 to 1873; a mile and a quarter in 1890, 1891, 1892, 1895, 1904 and 1905; a mile and a furlong in 1893 and 1894; a mile and three furlongs from 1896 to 1903 and from 1906 to 1925. The current distance of a mile and half was established in 1926.