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:
|2011||Ruler on Ice||100|
|2007||Rags to Riches||107|
|1999||Lemon Drop Kid||109|
More Belmont Stakes coverage:
Andrew Beyer’s analysis chart: The 147th Belmont Stakes