NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sure, the Belmont Stakes is where Triple Crown dreams come true. It’s also where many have gone to die.
A look at the the biggest Belmont upsets of all time proves that horses that have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness not only have to fear the top contenders, but also the extreme long shots.
That, however, is not the setup to this year’s Belmont, where neither Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming nor Preakness champ Cloud Computing are running.
2004: BIRDSTONE (36-1)
Jockey Edgar Prado and Birdstone slipped by Smarty Jones with a furlong to go and won the race by one length, robbing Smarty Jones of the Triple Crown. Birdstone later sired future Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and Belmont champ Summer Bird.
2008: DA’TARA (38-1)
Da’Tara not only won the Belmont, he has the satisfaction of being the only horse ever to defeat Big Brown, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner. Da’Tara led the race from gate to wire. Oddly enough, he never won another race afterward.
1980: TEMPERENCE HILL (53-1)
Tempernce Hill entered the stretch run neck and neck with Rockhill Native and Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk before pulling away just before the finish line.
1961: SHERLUCK (65-1)
With former President Dwight Eisenhower in attendance, Sherluck blew by Globemaster down the stretch for the victory. The field also included Carry Back, who was chasing the Triple Crown.
2002: SARAVA (70-1)
War Emblem was also gunning for the Triple Crown, but stumbled out of the gate and almost threw his jockey. Sarava, making just his second stakes start, benefited, pulling into the lead on the turn for home and edging Medaglio d’Oro by a half-length.