We’ve done this for all the Triple Crown races so far so why not the Belmont Stakes? So many memories…only this race can sometimes leave you with not so happy ones! Through it all it truly has provided us with moments the horse racing world will never forget. Here are our five favorite Belmont Stakes of the 2000’s.
1 American Pharoah (2015)
First Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Need we say more?
2. Rags to Riches (2007)
A filly in the Belmont!! Tom Durkin’s call was one for the ages at the filly Rags to Riches beat super horse Curlin in an absolute showdown that lasted the length of the stretch. The race completely gutted Rags to Riches as she was never the same after this gigantic effort, but her Belmont Stakes win will live on as one of the greatest in the history of the race.
3. Birdstone (2004)
This was perhaps one of the saddest moments in Belmont Stakes history as Birdstone upset the Triple Crown bid of the very popular Smarty Jones. After going very fast early Smarty Jones began to slow down in mid-stretch and the opportunistic Birdstone came swooping in to take the lead in shocking fashion. Another legendary call by Tom Durkin…perhaps his best one ever as you could feel the emtion of 100,000 people in his voice.
4. Afleet Alex (2005)
After nearly falling and still winning the Preakness Stakes Afleet Alex came to Belmont with plenty of fans. When he left Belmont…he had convinced everyone that he was the best three year old in the country. At the top of the stretch he ran by every “like they were standing still” as Tom Durkin described it, and absolutely crushed the field. This may have been the best race of his career…unfortuantley is was the last race of his career.
5. Point Given (2001)
Much like Afleet Alex; Point Given dominated his competition in the Belmont Stakes going wire to wire. His win left little doubt as to who the best three year old in the country was, and also showed to many that a poor ride in the Kentucky Derby cost him the Triple Crown. His final time was the fastest of any winning Belmont Stakes horse in the 2000’s.