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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Ranking the Belmont Stakes winners since Affirmed's Triple Crown


While the racing world waits with bated breath for the 2014 Belmont Stakes, and to see if California Chrome can join racing immortality in 12 days, I decided to have a little fun with the classic race. There have been 35 winners of the Belmont Stakes since Affirmed outgamed Alydar to become the eleventh winner of the Triple Crown. Today I took on the unenviable task of ranking them 1 through 35. The basis for the ranking was on their overall racing career and a blending of excellence and accomplishments. Have fun and please let me know where you think I may have gone astray...

1. Easy Goer 20-14-5-1

2. Point Given 13-9-3-0

3. Risen Star 11-8-2-1

4. A.P. Indy 11-8-0-1

5. Afleet Alex 12-8-2-1

6. Conquistador Cielo 13-9-0-2

7. Swale 14-9-2-2

8. Coastal 14-8-1-3

9. Thunder Gulch 16-9-2-2

10. Rags to Riches 7-5-1-0

11. Bet Twice 26-10-6-4

12. Empire Maker 8-4-3-1

13. Hansel 14-7-2-3

14. Lemon Drop Kid 24-10-3-3

15. Victory Gallop 17-9-5-1

16. Palace Malice 15-6-4-1

17. Summer Bird 8-4-1-1

18. Tabasco Cat 18-8-3-2

19. Union Rags 8-5-1-1

20. Birdstone 9-5-0-0

21. Touch Gold 15-6-3-1

22. Crème Fraiche 64-17-12-13

23. Drosselmeyer 16-5-5-2

24. Danzig Connection 17-6-5-4

25. Temperance Hill 31-11-4-2

26. Colonial Affair 20-7-4-3

27. Caveat 21-6-4-3

28. Go and Go 15-6-0-2

29. Summing 23-7-5-1

30. Editor’s Note 31-6-4-3

31. Jazil 11-2-5-0

32. Ruler On Ice 22-4-5-3

33. Sarava 17-3-3-0

34. Commendable 12-2-1-1

35. Da’ Tara 17-2-5-2


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Older Comments about Ranking the Belmont Stakes winners since Affirmed's Triple Crown...

The so called great horses that we coronate all the time, don't come close to Easygoer.it makes me appreciate his greatness all the more.
Great job. Easygoer a deserving no 1
point given and risen star ahead of ap indy is a complete Joke
veeveestar, check out Chris McCarron's video interview that's part of a Triple Crown long-form on Bloodhorse.com; he speaks specifically about his Belmont ride on Touch Gold.
Easy Goer goes down as one of my favorites. The Belmont is a riders race, and no one rode it better then Chris Mccarron on Touch Gold. An absolutely masterful ride. Taking the lead, backing off and coming around and taking Silver Charm by surprise. Should have won the Preakness too. California Chrome's fate lies directly in Victor Espinoza's hands.
I remember The Sanford,how this horse was dismissed at 3-1 in the wagering ws one of the great overlays one could hope for . He garnered absolutely no respect because it was at Delaware Park and a not so known trainer . The surprising thing is that it was after Smarty Jones who also came from the Atlantic Coast circuit. What is the saying>>> Fool me once your fault,Fool me twice My fault.
Thanks for pointing me to it! Love how he tracked in fouth, 22:1 quarter, then pounced turning for home ... a handride. 2004 was a great year.
Viv he was awesome . Go take a look at the time he broke his Maiden at Delaware first time out. He did his immitation of Secreteriat in that race.
Tom, remember Alex's Sanford? Incredible runner.
Sword , other than Smarty . Alex was probably the 2nd best 3 yo to race in this Century.Tough luck in the Derby cost this guy a Triple Crown. This truly was a machine who relished the workout regiment. Was super fast also,not just a grinder.
I wan't a huge fan of Afleet Alex but when I saw his Preakness run, I became a believer.
Agree completely about Easy Goer. He was the favorite Thoroughbred of my childhood.
Afleet Alex was a very underrated colt.
Afleet Alex's Belmont was the most impressive. His turn of foot at that distance has not been matched. I loved the call when the guy said Afleet Alex blew by Giacomo like he was standing still. Alex definitely should have won the triple crown. Admitted terrible ride in the derby by an inexperienced jockey. Giacomo was half the horse Alex was. Too bad the injury prevented us from seeing how good he would have been against older horses.
#1 Swale. #2 Risen Star
Dross? A lumping slow horse that benfitted TWICE when a rapid pace fell apart. Luck got one home.
  • geldedridgling · 2010 Belmont pace: 1.14.94 for 6f and 1.40.25 for 8f; 2011 BC Classic: 1.12.82 for 6f and 1.38.27 for 8f. I don’t think I’d consider either race a pace meltdown. And he ran 2nd in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes in 2011. · 1238 days ago
I think it is interesting that Woody Stephens had 5 winners, two are in the top seven but the rest are in the bottom fourteen. Creme Fraiche was a pretty good horse, twice winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but Caveat and Danzig Connection were not all that great. It makes his string of 5 wins in a row even more impressive.
forgot the nag I thought, for awhile during his 2 year old season, was te 2nd coming Easy Goer
Afleet Alex, AP INdy, Palace Malice. Thunder Gulch, Drosselmeyer are my top 5
AP Indy, Swale, Afleet Alex

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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