The 2003 Belmont Stakes was the 135th running of the Belmont Stakes. The 1+12-mile (2,400 m) race, known as the "test of the champion" and sometimes called the "final jewel" in thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown series, was held on June 7, 2003, three weeks after the Preakness Stakes and five weeks after the Kentucky Derby.

135th Belmont Stakes
Belmont Stakes
LocationBelmont Park
Elmont, New York, U.S.
DateJune 7, 2003
Distance1+12 mi (12 furlongs; 2,414 m)
Winning horseEmpire Maker
Winning time2:28.26
Final odds2.00 (to 1)
JockeyJerry Bailey
TrainerRobert Frankel
OwnerJuddmonte Farms
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New York-bred Funny Cide won the Derby and Preakness and attracted an enthusiastic following. Before a near-record crowd, Funny Cide's attempt to win the Triple Crown was derailed by Empire Maker, who had finished second as the favorite in the Derby and had skipped the Preakness to train up to the Belmont.

Pre-race edit

Funny Cide won the 2003 Kentucky Derby in an upset, then turned in a dominating performance to win the Preakness. For the Belmont he faced only five other horses, but all of them were more rested. In particular, Empire Maker had skipped the Preakness after finishing second in the Derby as the favorite. He was considered to have an excellent chance in the Belmont, having beaten Funny Cide earlier in the year in the Wood Memorial.[2]

A crowd of 101,562 showed up despite the cold, rainy weather. It was a near-record for Belmont Park, just behind the 2002 attendance of 103,222 that watched Sarava upset War Emblem's Triple Crown bid.[3]

Race description edit

Funny Cide broke well and went to the early lead. Although he set reasonable fractions, the jockeys in the race saw cause for concern. José A. Santos on Funny Cide felt the horse was not handling the sloppy track, while Jerry Bailey on Empire Maker felt Funny Cide was running rank, wasting valuable energy. Funny Cide led for the first mile but tired around the far turn where he was passed by Empire Maker. Ten Most Wanted made a late run to finish second, while Funny Cide held on for third.[3][4]

Despite a Hall of Fame career, it was the first win in a Triple Crown race for trainer Robert Frankel. "I really wanted to win it, more so for the horse," said Frankel. "I just wanted to prove he was the best horse. I was very, very confident all week. I didn't think I could get beat."[4]

Funny Cide became the ninth horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, only to fall short in the Belmont. "I am very proud for all of the New Yorkers, Spanish people and New York-bred people who came out to support this horse today," said Santos said. "To win the Triple Crown is very difficult. That is why it has been 25 years since somebody did it."[3]

Chart edit

Finish Program
Horse Margin Jockey Trainer Post Time
1 1 Empire Maker 34 Jerry Bailey Robert Frankel 2.00 $600,000
2 6 Ten Most Wanted 4+34 Pat Day Wallace Dollase 9.70 $200,000
3 4 Funny Cide 5+14 José A. Santos Barclay Tagg 1.00 $110,000
4 5 Dynever 15+14 Edgar Prado Christophe Clement 8.50 $60,000
5 2 Supervisor 4+12 John Velazquez Linda Rice 14.80 $30,000
6 3 Scrimshaw Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas 11.00

Source: Equibase[1]
Times: 14 — 0:23.85; 12 — 0:48.70; 34 — 1:13.51; mile — 1:38.05; 1+14 — 2:02.62; final — 2:28.26.
Fractional Splits: (:23.85) (:24.85) (:24.81) (:24.54) (:24.57) (:25.64)[1]

Payout edit

The 135th Belmont Payout Schedule[1]

Horse Name Win Place Show
1 Empire Maker $6.00 $3.70 $2.80
6 Ten Most Wanted - $5.80 $3.20
4 Funny Cide - - $2.70

There was no Superfecta betting.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Chart of the 2003 Belmont Stakes". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  2. ^ Finley, Bill (19 May 2003). "Rested Empire Maker A Threat in the Belmont". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Liebman, Dan. "Empire Maker Spoils Funny Cide's Triple Crown Run". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Keyser, Tom. "Empire Maker trumps Triple Crown bid with convincing Belmont win". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 29 September 2016.