Belmont Stakes 2021: Highlights and event summaries
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Look back at the 2021 Belmont Stakes and see what you’ve missed. Here are the highlights of the race and summaries of other events of the day.

Essential Quality emerged victorious at the 2021 Belmont Stakes with an unofficial time of 2:27:11. This is the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes, a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old colts and geldings held in Belmont Park, New York. Hot Rod Charlie won 2nd place as he was neck and neck with the champion. Rombauer won 3rd and Known Agenda arrived in 4th. 


Finish order:

  1. Essential Quality
  2. Hot Rod Charlie
  3. Rombauer
  4. Known Agenda
  5. Bourbonic
  6. Rock Your World
  7. Overtook
  8. France Go de Ina

Participants arranged by post position


The Belmont Stakes is the third leg of the Triple Crown, one of the most popular horse racing G1 series. The first two legs had different winners so 2021 is already declared a non-Triple Crown year but the tension at the Belmont Stadium is still high. Belmont Stakes is a blockbuster on Saturday with Essential Quality’s victory.


The lineup for the race isn’t as exciting as some might hope because of the disparity between the contestants. Two contestants, for example, are predicted to have no chance at winning the title. Essential Quality, Rombauer, and Known Agenda were the top three favourites with Hot Rod Charlie being the dark horse of the race. Here are more details on each contestant: 


1. Bourbonic 


Bourbonic represents the Calumet Farm from Kentucky USA. He is trained by Todd A. Pletcher, the seven-time winner of the Eclipse Award as Top Trainer. He won fifth place with jockey Kendrick Carmouche. Bourbonic is sired by Bernardini from the Darley Stable with the dam Dancing Afleet of Calumet Farm. He is given 15:1 odds in the race which is somewhere in the middle of the roster.


2. Essential Quality


Essential Quality represents Godolphin LLC Kentucky USA and is the favourite in the race with 2/1 odds together with his jockey, Luis Saez. He is trained by Brad H. Cox, the winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer 2020. 


Essential Quality is the champion Thoroughbred who won the Belmont Stakes after placing fourth in the Kentucky Derby and winning the Blue Grass Stakes. He is sired by Tapit from Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC with dam Delightful Quality of Darley Stable. 


3. Rombauer 


Rombauer has the second-highest odds in the race with 3/1 along with his jockey, John R. Velazquez. Married couple John & Diane Fradkin are his owners and breeders so he competes as a homebred racehorse. 


Trainer Michael W. McCarthy is one of the most respected persons in the horse racing industry as he is best known for training City of Light. Rombauer won the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the triple crown series in the United States. Twirling Candy from the Craig Family Trust is his sire while his dam is Cashmere from the John & Diane Fradkin. 


4. Hot Rod Charlie 


Hot Rod Charlie and his jockey, Flavien Prat, are at the top of people’s choices in the roster with 7/2 odds. He represents several owners: Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd, Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing LLC, and Strauss Bros Racing. Trainer of the Year 2002, Doug O’Neill, stands as his trainer. 


Hot Rod Charlie won the Louisiana Derby and placed 3rd in the Kentucky Derby before placing 2nd in the Belmont Stakes. His sire is Oxbow from Calumet Farm and his dam is Indian Miss owned by Edward A. Cox Jr. 


5. France Go de Ina


France Go de Ina raced with jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. for Yuji Inaida. The Japanese racehorse is considered as the least likely to win the race with 30/1 odds, the lowest in the lineup. Yuji Inaida is new to the industry with only 2 unplaced races with France Go de Ina who was bought from the breeding farm of B. Canetti, K. Canetti, and Jim & Kidder Betz in 2019.


France Go de Ina only had four races and his highest finish was 4th place for Newcomers in July 2020. Will Take Charge, from Three Chimneys Farm LLC, is France Go de Ina’s sire and he is one of the most successful G1 stakes racers among Unbridled Song’s progenies. Dreamy Blues, the dam, is from Alliance Bloodstock.


6. Known Agenda


Known Agenda of St. Elias Stables LLC was given 6/1 odds with jockey Jose L. Ortiz which means that they are among the top contenders of the event. He shares the same trainer as Bourbonic, Todd A. Pletcher. 


Before the Belmont Stakes, he won the Florida Derby but didn't place in the Kentucky Derby. His sire is Curlin from Stonestreet Stables LLC while his dam is Byrama from St. Elias Stable LLC. Both his parents were high-rated racers in their prime. Curlin won 1st place 11 times, 7 of which are G1 traces. Byrama, on the other hand, placed between 1st to 8th throughout her career in G1 racing.


7. Rock Your World


Rock Your World and jockey Joel Rosario raced for Hronis Racing LLC with 9/2 odds. His trainer is John W. Sadler, winner of multiple training titles from Hollywood Park, Del Mar, Oak Tree, and Santa Anita from 2007 to 2014. 


Rock Your World’s biggest achievement was winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in April 2021. He placed 17th in the Kentucky Derby in May which was unfortunate but trainers have faith that he wouldn’t fall that far again. Candy Ride from Sidney & Jenny Craig sired him while Charm the Maker from Deborah McAnally is his dam. 


8. Overtook


Overtook and jockey Manny Franco was given 20/1 which is low given that he is trained by Todd A. Pletcher. The predictions were correct as he placed 7th out of 8 contestants. This is Overtook’s first G1 race since he came from Grade III. He placed 2nd in the Withers-G3 and 3rd in Peter Pan-G3. He is a progeny of Curlin just like Known Agenda but his dam is Got Lucky from Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. 


9. Removed from the event


Medina Spirit and Rebel’s Romance were supposed to be part of the Belmont Stakes 2021 for a total of 10 contestants. However, they were removed due to different reasons. Rebel’s romance had to be withdrawn due to an infection.


Medina Spirit was deprived of the opportunity because of failing the drug test which also means his victory in the Kentucky Derby is forfeited. His trainer, Bob Baffert, is suspended by the New York Racing Association (NYRA). 


Other events of the day 


The Belmont Stakes is the main event of the day but it is not the only race held at Belmont Park. Seven more races took place before Belmont Stakes 2021 and each one came with its unique surprises. Here’s a quick summary of each race on June 5, 2021.


Brooklyn Invitational Stakes 


The Brooklyn Invitational Stakes is a G2 event for four-year-olds or older on a 1 ½-mile left-handed dirt track with a $400,000 purse. 6-year-old Lone Rock won the race with Ramon Vazquez as his jockey. Second placer was 4-year-old Tizamagician while 5-year-old Moretti won third place. The Brooklyn Invitational Stakes began at 1:37 PM and ended at 1:40 PM.


Acorn Stakes 


The Acorn Stakes is a G1 event for three-year-old fillies on a 1-mile left-handed dirt track and is the first leg of the United States Triple Tiara (US Triple Tiara) with half a million dollar purse. It is followed by the Coaching Club American Oaks then the Alabama Stakes. The race began at 2:14 PM and ended at 2:16 PM.


Search Results won the race with her jockey, Javier Castellano. The second-place winner is Obligatory while the third place goes to Make Mischief. The race only has five contestants with the fourth placer being Dayoutoftheoffice and Travel Column finished in the last place.


Jaipur Stakes


The Jaipur Stakes is a G1 event for three-year-old horses and older on a 6-furlong left-handed dirt track with a $400,000 purse. It’s a short sprint so it seemed unlikely for Casa Creed to win after Junior Alvarado held him back for most of the race. They both nabbed first place in the last 10 seconds as they sprint from the back into the front with a huge upset. 


Following Casa Creed’s example is the underdog, Chewing Gum, who also came from the back into winning second place. Bound for Nowhere was contesting the lead with Gregorian Chant since they started at 2:52 PM until he was overtaken by the other two, leaving him in 3rd place. Gregorian Chant fell behind to seventh place at 2:54 PM.


Ogden Phipps


The Ogden Phipps is a G1 race for four-year-old or older fillies on a 1 ⅙-mile left-handed dirt track with a $300,000 purse. Unlike the previous race, Letruska maintained the first position from start to finish with a considerable lead from the second-place winner, Bonny South. 


Shedaresthedevil contested Bonny South for second place but lost by photo finish. Queen Nekia followed several steps behind in fourth place who also has a considerable lead from the last-place finisher, Water White. The race began at 3:29 PM and ended at 3:31 PM.


Just a Game Stakes


Just a Game Stakes is a G1 race for four-year-old or older mares and fillies on a 1-mile left-handed turf track with half a million dollar purse. The race had a thrilling finish as Althiqa sprinted from the back all the way to nab first place from Summer Romance.


Summer Romance had a considerable lead from the rest of the pack and tried to maintain that until Althiqa’s unexpected overtake at the end. On the other hand, Daddy Is a Legend maintained her third-place position from Pocket Square and Zofelle who were tailing her closely. The race began at 4:05 PM and ended at 4:07 PM.


Metropolitan Mile


The Metropolitan Mile (Met Mile) is a G1 race for three-year-old horses and older on a 1-mile left-handed turf track with a $1 million purse. Silver State won the title with jockey, Ricardo Santana Jr., but they struggled to take the lead from the others. They pushed from the middle to the front inside, brushing Mischievous Alex to the side. 


By My Standards also nabbed second place by coming in from the side which puts Mischievous Alex, who had the lead at the start, down to third place. Knicks Go has always followed Mischievous Alex closely from the beginning until the end when he arrived at fourth place. Dr Post can be seen lagging back in 5th place but even further behind is Lexitonian, the underdog, ending the race at 4:59 PM. The race officially started at 4:57 PM.


Manhattan Stakes 5:55 PM


The Manhattan Stakes is a G1 race for four-year-olds and older horses on a 1 ¼ mile left-handed dirt track with a $1 million purse. Domestic Spending won the race by sprinting from the back, quickly overtaking five contestants in the last 30 seconds. 


Tribhuvan had a huge lead from the rest in the majority of the race but he ultimately only won second place. Gufo only nabbed third place from Masteroffoxhounds who slowed down at the final stretch despite tailing Tribhuvan. Masteroffoxhounds performed well in placing fourth given that he has the second-lowest odds in the lineup.


Bottom line


Congratulations to the winners of the Belmont Park races for winning their respective events. The stadium welcomes spectators but there were some regulations imposed to mitigate or eliminate the possibility of spreading the virus. 2021 is still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but that doesn’t stop the celebration for horse racing. 


Belmont Stakes 2021 is one of the biggest horse racing G1 events in the United States. It is an honour to feature Japanese representative, France Go de Ina. Unfortunately, he did not fare well this year. Regardless, the Belmont Stakes was fun as well as the other races. Stay tuned for news on future events.