2013 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 8

The 2013 Belmont Stakes will be run on Saturday, June 8. While we will not know the starters until the post position draw, it looks like it will be a field of 14 going to the post. The horses now set to go in the Belmont are:

Horse, Trainer, Jockey and probable odds

Orb, Shug McGaughey III, Joel Rosario, 5-2
Revolutionary, Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano, 5-1
Oxbow, D. Wayne Lukas, Gary Stevens, 6-1
Freedom Child, T. Albertrani, L. Saez, 8-1
Golden Soul, Dallas Stewart, Robby Albarado, 12-1
Unlimited Budget (filly), Todd Pletcher, Rosie Napravnik, 12-1
Overanalyze, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 15-1
Palace Malice, Todd Pletcher, Mike Smith, 15-1
Vyjack, Rudy Rodriguez, Julien Leparoux, 15-1
Incognito, Kiernan McLaughlin, I. Ortiz Jr., 20-1
Will Take Charge, D. Wayne Lukas, Jon Court, 20-1
Giant Finish, Anthony Dutrow, Edgar Prado, 30-1
Midnight Taboo, Todd Pletcher, Garrett Gomez, 30-1
Frac Daddy, Kenny McPeek, A. Garcia, 30-1

Some stories that we know about the Belmont Stakes don’t come up often but are worth repeating. The Kentucky Derby and the Preakness history cannot claim this history. When Grey Lag won the Belmont in 1921, it marked the first running of the Belmont Stakes in the counter-clockwise manner of American horse racing fashion. This 53rd running was a mile and three-eighths over the main course; previous editions at Belmont Park had been run clockwise, in accordance with English custom, over a fish-hook course which included part of the training track and the main dirt oval. So the Belmont Stakes have been run counter-clockwise for less than a century.

The first post parade in this country came in the 14th running of the Belmont in 1880. Until then the horses went directly from paddock to post. Can you imagine a Kentucky Derby or a Breeders’ Cup without the post parade?

The Belmont has been run at various distances. From 1867 to 1873 it was 1 5/8 miles; from 1874 to 1889 it was 1 1/2 miles; from 1890 through 1892, and in 1895, it was held at 1 1/4 miles; from 1896 through 1925 it was 1 5/8 miles; since 1925 the Belmont Stakes has been a race of 1 1/2 miles.

So as you watch the post parade at the Belmont Stakes this year, just think how boring it would be to just see the horses go to the gate?