Hat Tip to Secretariat

09 Jun 1973, Elmont, New York, USA — The field is so far behind, jockey Ron Turcotte has to turn in the saddle to look for it as he guides Secretariat to victory in the Belmont Stakes.

June 9, 1973 ~ Belmont Stakes ~1 ½ mile ~ Belmont Park

31 lengths!

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.

http://www.secretariat.com/past-performances/belmont/

Video of Secretariat’s 1973 Belmont:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cS4f6wiQJh4

Here is some Belmont trivia:  

-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.
Songs:  The Belmont Stakes is traditionally called “The Test of Champions” or “Run for the Carnations” because the winning horse is blanketed with white carnations. Through 1996, the post-parade song was “Sidewalks of New York.” From 1997 to 2009, the audience was invited to sing the Theme from New York, New York following the call to the “post”. In 2010, the song was Empire State of Mind. This tradition is similar to the singing of the state song at the post parades of the first two Triple Crown races: “My Old Kentucky Home” at the Kentucky Derby and “Maryland, My Maryland” at the Preakness Stakes.

Changes in distance

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.
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