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History of the Belmont Stakes
 

Belmont Stakes Horse Betting

Belmont Stakes Horse Betting

Belmont Stakes

The first Belmont in the United States was not the famous stakes race or even the man for whom it is named. Rather, the first Belmont was a race horse that arrived in California in 1853 from his breeding grounds of Franklin, Ohio. The Belmont Stakes, however, are named after August Belmont, a financier who made quite a name and fortune for himself in New York politics and society. Obviously, Mr. Belmont was also quite involved in horse racing

The Belmont's Age

One thing the Belmont does have over the Derby is that it is the oldest of the three Triple Crown events. The Belmont predates the Preakness by six years, the Kentucky Derby by eight. The first running of the Belmont Stakes was in 1867 at Jerome Park, on, believe it or not, a Thursday. At a mile and five furlongs, the conditions included an entry fee of $200, half forfeit with $1,500 added. Furthermore, not only is the Belmont the oldest Triple Crown race, but it is the fourth oldest race overall in North America. The Phoenix Stakes, now run in the fall at Keeneland as the Phoenix Breeders' Cup, was first run in 1831. The Queen's Plate in Canada made its debut in 1860, while the Travers in Saratoga opened in 1864. However, since there were gaps in sequence for the Travers, the Belmont is third only to the Phoenix and Queen's Plate in total runnings.

Money at the Belmont

Oh, have times changed. The purse for the first running of the Belmont was $1,500 added with a total purse of $2,500, with the winner's share taken by the filly Ruthless. The lowest winner's share in Belmont history was the $1,825 earned by The Finn in 1915. The Belmont set an opposite record in 1992, in which the richest Belmont purse ever totaled 1,764,800. Five times in Belmont history only two horses entered the race: 1887, 1888, 1892, 1910 and sadly, 1920, the year Man O'War triumphed. The largest field, on the other hand, was 15 in 1983, when Caveat defeated Slew O' Gold. In 1875 14 horses ran, when Calvin outdueled stablemate Aristides, that year's winner of the inaugural Kentucky Derby. The Belmont's lowest paid winner: Count Fleet in 1943, who paid a paltry $2.10. The Belmont's highest winner: Sherluck in 1961, who dished out $132.10. A favorite's race: Of the 129 Belmont runnings through 1997, the favorite had won 58 times, including 9 out of the last 25. There have been some strange twists of betting in Belmont history. Since the advent of mutuels in New York in 1940 there have been six times when no place or show betting was taken on the Belmont Stakes. The last time there was no show wagering was in 1978 when Affirmed and Alydar held their famous confrontation. There was also no show betting when Secretariat won his Triple Crown in 1973; no wonder--Secretariat won by a record 31 lengths. Show betting was also eliminated in 1957 when Gallant Man defeated Bold Ruler, and also in 1953 when Native Dancer won. In 1943, believe it or not, there was no place or show wagering when Triple Crown winner Count Fleet went off $.05 to the dollar and won by 25 lengths. To wrap it up, Whirlaway completed his Triple Crown victory in 1941 without show betting. In other words, by the time horses dominate the Derby and Preakness, there just might not be that many challengers when the horse goes to complete the sweep. Since 1940 there have also been 30 horses listed as odds-on favorites in the Belmont Stakes. In 1957, there were two: Gallant Man, who won at 19-20, and Bold Ruler, who finished third at 17-20. Of these 30, only 12 went on to win. The highest on-track mutuel handle on the Belmont: 1993. A total of $2,793,320 was bet on the Belmont that year, with $1,409,970 wagered on win, place and show betting, and $1,293,954 on the daily double, exacta and triple.

The Fastest Belmont

Who else? Secretariat set a world-record that still stands for the mile and a half distance on a dirt track at 2:24. (He had finished a mile and a quarter at 1:59, faster than his own Derby record of 1:59 2/5.)


Belmont Trophies

"The Belmont Stakes trophy is a Tiffany-made silver bowl, with cover, 18 inches high, 15 inches across and 14 inches at the base. Atop the cover is a silver figure of Fenian, winner of the third running of the Belmont Stakes in 1869. The bowl is supported by three horses representing the three foundation thoroughbreds--Eclipse, Herod and Matchem. The trophy, a solid silver bowl originally crafted by Tiffany's, was presented by the Belmont family as a perpetual award for the Belmont Stakes in 1926. It was the trophy August Belmont's Fenian won in 1869 and had remained with the Belmont family since that time. The winning owner is given the option of keeping the trophy for the year their horse reigns as Belmont champion."

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Barmes fractures left collarbone - Dumbass of the Day
 
If Colorado Rockies rookie shortstop Clint Barmes had it to do all over again, he'd have waited for the elevator on Sunday night.

Barmes slipped and fell while carrying groceries about four steps into a flight of stairs and suffered a fractured left collarbone that will require surgery. The Rockies said they expect Barmes to miss at least 12 weeks.

Barmes

Barmes, 26, was arguably the leading candidate for National League Rookie of the Year honors, with left-handed pitching teammate Jeff Francis quite possibly the closest competition. Barmes' .329 batting average, 40 runs, 74 hits, 16 doubles, eight home runs, 34 RBIs, 116 total bases and 22 multi-hit games top NL rookies. How do you feel now Barmes?? LOL -- MLB.com

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NHL CBA talks continue in New York
 

NHL

Small group labour talks between the National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association ended late Tuesday night and resume Wednesday in New York with a larger group meeting.

Both sides have carried over the momentum from last week when 34 hours of talks were described as 'progressive' from both sides.

There are several issues to iron out, but sources in both camps believe there's a chance a deal could be done before July. Still, both sides also concede there are potential pitfalls that could prevent an agreement from being reached.

Tuesday's session was the 20th meeting between the two sides since the season was cancelled Feb. 16.

Posted by Q Wednesday

Onterrio Smith Suspended For 2005/06 NFL Season
 
Smith Troubled Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith has been suspended by the NFL for the entire 2005 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The announcement had been expected for several weeks, ever since Vikings head coach Mike Tice suspended Smith indefinitely following an embarrassing run-in at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on April 21, when Smith was stopped after his bag set off a screening device. A search found several vials of dried urine and The Original Whizzinator, which is marketed as a way to beat drug tests.

Smith told police the gear was for his cousin. He wasn't charged, and the NFL has said possession of the device alone isn't enough to violate league drug policies. The NFL's statement did not give a specific reason for Smith's suspension. USA Today

Posted by Q Wednesday

WSOP Is Underway in Las Vegas
World Series Of Poker Poker's biggest annual get-together is back in Las Vegas, but there's a lot new at the 36th annual World Series of Poker.

There's a new spot for most of the competition, just off-Strip at the Rio, instead of its traditional venue at Binion's.

Instead of beginning in April and ending in May, new owner Harrah's Entertainment moved the World Series to June and July, hotter months less popular with tourists.

All but the last two days of this year's World Series will take place in the Rio convention area. The final two days will be at Binion's, formerly Binion's Horseshoe.

"We said we would take it back to the place it all began for the final two days of the event," World Series of Poker Director Gary Thompson said.

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