The Belmont Stakes: The "Test of the Champion"
Big Brown was a prohibitive favorite to win the 2008 Belmont Stakes and become the first Triple Crown winner in a generation. Not only did he lose, but he never looked like a winner at any point in the race, and was eased on the far turn and finished last. Below, findingDulcinea provides the most comprehensive coverage on the Web of Big Brown's shocking defeat, and the question of why so many horses have failed to complete the Triple Crown since 1978.
- Click here for our article that offers a round-up of theories behind Big Brown's loss; click here for our internal blog post that explains that Big Brown's connections were so busy planning their victory parade that they forgot they needed to bring over a healthy, happy horse to win the race; click here for our overview of Affirmed, the last Triple Crown winner in 1978, and the reasons that 18 horses have won two legs of the Triple Crown since then, but couldn't win the third, including links to videos of the races and links to the best writing about them; click here why Big Brown never became "the people's horse" in the way the Smarty Jones and Funny Cide had; and if you're tired of reading about Triple Crown failures, click here for findingDulcinea's "On This Day" article that celebrates Secretariat's extraordinary triumph in the Belmont Stakes to capture the Triple Crown on June 9, 1973. And if you were enthralled by the drama of the 2008 Belmont Stakes, or Secretariat's win, and want to learn more about horse racing, click here for findingDulcinea's Web Guide to Horse Racing.
- findingDulcinea's Web research experts scour the Web each day to bring you a full context, "Beyond the Headlines" view on the most interesting stories of the day. To receive a listing of our daily articles in your in box, click here to sign up for our daily newsletter, which we guarantee to be spam-free, and from which you can unsubscribe at any time.
- The Belmont Stakes is a 1 1/2-mile race run by three-year old thoroughbred horses. It is held at Belmont Park, in Elmont, New York.
- The Belmont Stakes is held on the first Saturday that falls on or after June 5. This is because the Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday in May; the Preakness Stakes is held two weeks later, and the Belmont is held three weeks after the Preakness. Post time for the Belmont Stakes is usually at about 6:25 p.m. Eastern time.
- The Belmont is the third race of the Triple Crown, after the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Having won the Derby and Preakness, Big Brown heads into this year’s Belmont with a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years. In that time, ten horses have won the first two legs but fallen short in the “Test of a Champion.” FindingDulcinea reviewed the 30-Year Drought, linking to articles and race videos of all 17 horses who have won two legs of the Triple Crown since 1978.
- For any questions somehow not answered by this Web Guide, contact findingDulcinea's staff of research experts, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Whether you're an expert handicapper or just trying to find out which horses are running in the race, this section features the best news sources on the Internet about the Belmont Stakes.
- For more horse racing news and handicapping information sources, visit the findingDulcinea Horse Racing Web Guide.
While the Kentucky Derby and Preakness are known for their raucous, fraternity-style infield parties and over-the-top fashion, the Belmont Stakes is a more understated affair. Use this section to find the best advice on attending the Belmont Stakes.
- General Admission tickets, at $10 for the grandstand and $20 for the Clubhouse, are available at the gate on race day. Crowds as high as 120,000 attended the Belmont Stakes earlier this decade, but NYRA raised admission prices and no longer allows patrons to bring in their own alcohol on Belmont Stakes Day. This has dampened attendance somewhat in recent years, but it allows fans who come to see the races—rather than to party—to enjoy themselves in relative comfort.
- The 2008 Belmont's 35,000 reserved seats were sold out long ago. There is an active secondary market on eBay, where reserved seats are generally selling for between $125 and $500 each. Before you buy, review this Buying Guide to Belmont Stakes tickets. Tickets can also be purchased on one of the many online ticket brokers listed in the findingDulcinea Sports Web Guide.
- The Long Island Railroad, a commuter railroad, runs dedicated trains to Belmont Park from Manhattan's Penn Station, Brooklyn's Flatbush Avenue Terminal, and Jamaica Station. For information on fares, ticket-buying, handicap accessibility and travel tips, visit the LIRR’s Belmont Stakes page.