2016 Belmont Stakes

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148th Belmont Stakes
Belmont Stakes
2016 Belmont Stakes logo.png
"The Test of the Champion"
Location Belmont Park
Elmont, New York, U.S.
Date June 11, 2016 (2016-06-11)
Winning horse Creator
Winning time 2:28.51
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Trainer Steven Asmussen
Owner WinStar Farm LLC
Bobby Flay
Conditions Fast
Surface Dirt
Attendance 60,114
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The 2016 Belmont Stakes was the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes. The 1 12-mile (2,400 m) race, known as the "test of the champion", is the final jewel in Thoroughbred horse racing's American Triple Crown series, and was held on June 11, 2016, three weeks after the Preakness Stakes and five weeks after the Kentucky Derby.[1] The race, which had no Triple Crown at stake (as Derby winner Nyquist lost in the Preakness), was broadcast by NBC beginning at 5:00 p.m. EDT, with pre-race coverage on NBCSN starting at 3:00 p.m.[2] The race was won by Creator by a nose over Destin. 2016 Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator finished eleventh.[3]

The attendance for the event was 60,114.[4]


Only four horses from the 2016 Preakness Stakes came to New York to contest the Belmont: Exaggerator, the Preakness winner; Cherry Wine, the runner-up; Stradivari, who had finished fourth; and Lani, who had finished fifth. Of these, only Exaggerator and Lani had also run in the Kentucky Derby, finishing second and ninth respectively. Nyquist, winner of the 2016 Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness, missed the Belmont due to illness.[5]

The field also included five horses from the 2016 Kentucky Derby who had not run in the Preakness: Suddenbreakingnews (5th in the Derby), Destin (6th), Brody's Cause (7th), Creator (13th), and Trojan Nation (16th).

The field was rounded out by four "new shooters" — horses who had not run in either of the two preceding Triple Crown races. These were Governor Malibu, Gettysburg, Seeking the Soul, and Forever d'Oro. Governor Malibu was the only stakes winner among these; the rest were long shots.[6] Front-running Gettysburg was entered by his owner, WinStar Farm as a "rabbit", to ensure a decent early pace for their other entry, Creator. To ensure there was no conflict of interest, WinStar also switched Gettysburg's trainer from Todd Pletcher (who already had Destin and Stradivari in the Belmont) to Steve Asmussen, the trainer of Creator.[7]

The field was drawn on 8 June and the Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator was installed as the 9/5 morning line favorite with thirteen entries.[8]


The weather forecast predicted rain[9] but it held off and the track was fast. As expected, Gettysburg went to the early lead, and set a moderate pace — slow compared to the fractions in shorter races, but relatively fast by the standards of the Belmont.[7] Destin raced about a length behind Gettysburg for the first mile, then moved to the lead.[3]

Photo finish at the Belmont Stakes

Meanwhile, Creator had broken slowly and spent the first half mile at the back of the pack. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. then moved the colt up to sixth place down the backstretch, continuing to save ground on the rail. As they entered the stretch, Creator was full of run but had nowhere to go, surrounded by other horses. Ortiz waited patiently until a hole opened, then burst through, rapidly closing on Destin to win by a nose. It was just the fourth photo finish in Belmont Stakes history.[10]

Lani closed from last to third to round out an all-gray trifecta.[11] The favorite, Exaggerator, had been closer to the front than was normal for him, and raced wide, struggling with jockey Kent Desormeaux to go faster. When Desormeaux finally asked for his run, Exaggerator had no response. Desormeaux said, "I nursed him to the quarter pole and set him down, put him down for a mad drive and said, 'Show me your stuff,' and there was nothing there." Exaggerator finished eleventh.[12]

It was trainer Steve Asmussen's first Belmont Stakes win. "Obviously we're very proud of the horse. ... I really thought the horse tried to win late. He really laid out there, dug in, and I personally feel fortunate for his effort," said Asmussen.[13]

"[Creator] was calm and I just waited for somewhere to go,” said Oritz. “When he got clear, he started running. It’s an amazing feeling.” It was the first win in a Triple Crown race for the 23-year-old jockey.[10]


Finish Post Horse Jockey Trainer Opening
Post Time
1 13 Creator Irad Ortiz Jr. Steven Asmussen 10-1 16.4 $800,000
2 2 Destin Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 6-1 8.4 $280,000
3 10 Lani Yutaka Take Mikio Matsunaga 20-1 12.2 $150,000
4 1 Governor Malibu Joel Rosario Christophe Clement 12-1 17.1 $100,000
5 5 Stradivari John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 5-1 6.6 $60,000
6 12 Brody's Cause Luis Saez Dale Romans 20-1 18.9 $45,000
7 3 Cherry Wine Corey Lanerie Dale Romans 8-1 10.3 $35,000
8 6 Gettysburg Paco Lopez Steven Asmussen 30-1 55.0 $30,000
9 4 Suddenbreakingnews Mike E. Smith Donnie Von Hemel 10-1 5.2
10 9 Trojan Nation Aaron Gryder Patrick Gallagher 30-1 66.25
11 11 Exaggerator Kent Desormeaux J. Keith Desormeaux 9-5 1.45
12 7 Seeking the Soul Florent Geroux Dallas Stewart 30-1 55.0
13 8 Forever d'Oro Jose Ortiz Dallas Stewart 30-1 65.0
  • Winning owner: WinStar Farm and Bobby Flay[3]
  • Breeder: Mt. Brilliant Broodmares[3]
  • Margins: nose, 1​14 lengths[3]
  • Time: 2:28.51[3]
  • Track: Fast[3]
  • Attendance: 60,114


The 148th Belmont Payout Schedule[3]

Horse Name Win Place Show
13 Creator $34.80 $14.60 $9.40
2 Destin - $9.40 $6.20
10 Lani - - $6.60
  • $2 Exacta (13 – 2 ) - $269.00
  • $2 Trifecta (13 – 2 – 10) - $2,751.00
  • $1 Superfecta (13 – 2 – 10 – 1) - $13,967.50

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Terrell, Katherine (May 22, 2016). "Nyquist, Exaggerator aiming for rematch in Belmont Stakes". Times-Picayune. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  2. ^ "2016 NBC/NBCSN Horse Racing Schedule". NBC. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "June 11, 2016 Belmont Park Race 11" (PDF). Equibase. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  4. ^ "Creator logs upset in photo finish at Belmont". Associated Press. Bright House Networks (Bay News 9). 12 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist to miss Belmont Stakes, Daily Racing Form reports". Times-Picayune. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Exaggerator Gallops; Belmont Field Grows". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  7. ^ a b Drape, Joe (11 June 2016). "Creator Wins the Belmont Stakes". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  8. ^ Balan, Jeremy (8 June 2016). "Exaggerator Draws Wide in Belmont Stakes". Blood-Horse.com. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Showers Loom on Belmont Day". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  10. ^ a b Botte, Peter. "Creator beats Destin in wild photo finish at the Belmont Stakes". NY Daily News. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  11. ^ Reuters (12 June 2016). "Creator beats Destin by a nose to win New York's Belmont Stakes". CNBC. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Kent Desormeaux Describes Belmont Run". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Asmussen Basks in Belmont Afterglow". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 12 June 2016.

External links[edit]