Beyer Speed Figures, which measure how fast a horse has run in each of his races, provide a graphic example of American racehorses’ unsuitability to the 1½-mile distance of the Belmont Stakes.

Since these ratings made their debut in Daily Racing Form past performances in 1992, the average winning figure in the Kentucky Derby has been 108; in the Preakness, 109. From 1992 to 2003, the Belmont Stakes was comparable to the other two Triple Crown events, with an average figure of 107.

But in recent years, the quality of the Belmont has sunk, with final times slower than 2 minutes 30 seconds in four of the past five years. The highest winning figure in the past seven years is 100.

Horses regularly run slower in the Belmont than in the other Triple Crown races — often dramatically so. Smarty Jones ran a 118 in the 2004 Preakness, then earned a 99 when he lost the Belmont by a length to Birdstone. Whether he wins or loses, American Pharoah is likely to earn a lower figure in the Belmont than his 105 in the Derby and his 102 in the Preakness.

The winning Beyer Speed Figures in the Belmont Stakes since 1992:

2014 Tonalist 100
2013 Palace Malice 98
2012 Union Rags 96
2011 Ruler on Ice 100
2010 Drosselmeyer 94
2009 Summer Bird 100
2008 Da’Tara 99
2007 Rags to Riches 107
2006 Jazil 102
2005 Afleet Alex 106
2004 Birdstone 101
2003 Empire Maker 110
2002 Sarava 105
2001 Point Given 114
2000 Commendable 101
1999 Lemon Drop Kid 109
1998 Victory Gallop 110
1997 Touch Gold 110
1996 Editor’s Note 106
1995 Thunder Gulch 101
1994 Tabasco Cat 106
1993 Colonial Affair 104
1992 A.P. Indy 111

More Belmont Stakes coverage:

Andrew Beyer’s analysis chart: The 147th Belmont Stakes