We’re closing in on the 144th Running of The Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on Long Island this coming Saturday, June 9th. Since the event is just days away, The Big Adventure wanted to share some noteworthy Belmont Stakes Trivia. Anything we can do to get you pumped up for the Triple Crown Bid day and to impress any friends who may be equine aficionados. Each day, we’ll count down the nine most interesting facts about the Belmont Stakes:
Fact #3 – The official flower of the Belmont Stakes? The carnation! It’s a logical choice to crown the winner of the 1½-mile race with these because pure white carnations traditionally stand for love and luck, but they are also hardy, long-lasting flowers. So, the winner gets not only a huge cash purse, a glowing trophy but also some flowers.
It takes approximately 700 carnations imported from Colombia to create the 40 pound blanket. The blanket is then draped over the winner of the Belmont Stakes in the winner's circle. The Big Adventure is looking into acquiring a carnation blanket for our own personal use because it sounds comfortable and warm.
For fans looking to catch a glimpse of the official blanket, the best place is to catch several NYRA staffers tour the building with the carnation mantle, stopping for about 20 minutes on all four floors of the Clubhouse to post for photos and answer questions like "Hey, can I have those flowers when you're done with ‘em?"
Fact #2 – So, who is arguably the greatest horse to ever be a part of horse racing? Black Beauty? Trigger? Mr. Ed? Amazingly enough, none of the above. Most people agree that Triple-Crown Winner Secretariat is top equine achiever. In 1973, Secretariat set a track and world record of 2:24 for the mile and a half with his 31-length victory, a record that still stands today.
Ultimately, Secretariat sired as many as 600 foals during his retirement. That's some good living right there. Though his blood flows through other notable racehorses---including 2004 Kentucky Derby and 2010 Preakness winner Smarty Jones.
That's why you can find this big ole statue of the horse at both Belmont and Churchill Downs. Sadly, a racehorse named City On The Line was euthanized in May 2009 after crashing into a bronze statue of Secretariat in the Belmont Park paddock. Wow, even we are amazed at amount of trivia we know...
If you’re looking to plan your own Belmont Stakes Adventure this Saturday, feel free to look to our Belmont Stakes and Delicious Steaks Big Adventure from 2010 for some inspiration on some great things to do that day!