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Best Belmont Stakes Winners of All Time

By Jeff Stinger

Also known as The Third Jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes is where countless Triple Crown contenders have cemented their legacies in the history books of the sport. Not all Triple Crown winners are created equal, though, and several winners of the Belmont Stakes have become legends in their own right as well after a memorable showing in The Run for the Carnations.

Nitrobetting is here to help get those racebook bets across the finish line. This time, let’s count down the five best racehorses that have won the Belmont Stakes and what makes these magnificent beasts timeless legends at Belmont Park.

Top 5 Greatest Belmont Stakes Winners

Secretariat (1973)

As with our lists of the greatest winners of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, Secretariat is always the first name that comes to mind when it comes to Triple Crown dominance. Secretariat’s time of 2:24:00 is a record that still stands to date, and the image of jockey Ron Turcotte looking back only to see the rest of the competition so far behind him and his majestic stallion is a snapshot of horse-racing greatness that’s seared into everyone’s minds.

Affirmed (1978)

Often the 1B to Secretariat’s 1-A, Affirmed pulled off the Triple Crown trifecta just five years after the former’s mythical performance. Affirmed’s claim to being one of the greatest Triple Crown winners of all time is aided by its rival Alydar, which gave the decorated chestnut colt three intense battles on the tracks to make their races all the more memorable. Only five horses have had a better time on Belmont Park since Affirmed finished with a time of 2:26:80 set in 1978.

Colonial Affair (1993)

Colonial Affair’s victory in the early 90s isn’t largely remembered for how well the steed finished the race. Rather, it was a historic moment for the one who was mounted on Colonial Affair in Julie Krone. The Hall of Famer was the first female jockey to ever win a Triple Crown race at the time, which goes to show how far the sport of horse racing has come. Krone is also the all-time leader in wins amongst all female jockeys and her victory at the Belmont Stakes is just a sweet cherry on top of her already amazing accomplishments.

Rags to Riches (2007)

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, two well-known figures, trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez, will never forget how important Rags to Riches’ win at the 2007 Belmont Stakes was for their respective careers. The three-year-old filly came in just in time to compete for the Belmont that year and made her Belmont Stakes-winning sire (A.P. Indy) and grandsire (Seattle Slew; a Triple Crown winner) extremely proud. Rags to Riches had a neck-and-neck finish for first place against that year’s Preakness Stakes winner Curlin as the two fought for the win with no other horse behind their tracks for another memorable finish for the ages.

American Pharoah (2015)

As the modern-day model of how Triple Crown winners are bred, American Pharoah can consider itself one of the all-time greats after a captivating victory in 2015. American Pharoah’s time of 2:26:65 is still a marvel to behold, and it was thanks to this phenomenal bay stallion that ended legendary trainer Bob Baffert’s 18-year-long quest of finally winning the Triple Crown. Baffert’s a more polarizing figure in the scene nowadays, but that will never take away our memories of American Pharoah’s dazzling run at Belmont Park.

Where to Bet on the Horse Racing

2023 Belmont Stakes odds and lines are available on the Nitrobetting Racebook. Create a Nitrobetting account now to start placing stakes on the dozens of daily horse racing events happening all over the world!

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