Over its rich history, the Belmont Stakes have been witness to many unique firsts. In 1983, Julie Krone rode Colonial Affair to victory in the Belmont, becoming the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race.
The following year, Sarah Lundy became the first female trainer to saddle a horse in the Belmont Stakes, sending out Minstrel Star to an 11th-place finish. Ruthless, winner of the first Belmont Stakes in 1867, was the first of just three fillies to ever win the race.
Fourteen Belmont winners have sired a Belmont winner, led by Man o’ War with three – American Flag (1925), Crusader (1926) and War Admiral. The latter was the 1937 Triple Crown winner.
James G. Rowe Jr. and George M. Odom are the only men to both ride and train a Belmont winner.
The objective that Mark Casse will set out to achieve when the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes goes postward on June 20th on the biggest day of horse-racing betting in New York perhaps isn’t as rare but it most certainly remains unique.
Over those 151 Belmonts that have been contested, just 10 men can boast that they saddled up the winner as trainer in successive Belmonts.
Bob Baffert’s never done it. Neither have Nick Zito or Todd Pletcher.
Casse, recently inducted into the Horse Racing Hall of Fame, could very well accomplish it this year. He sent out Sir Winston to victory in 2019. This year, his horse Tap It To Win is the second betting choice to win the Belmont at +500.
Let’s take a look back at some of the legends that Casse could very well put his name up alongside with a 2020 Belmont victory.
D. Wayne Lukas
Lukas won four Belmonts, and three of them came in a row with Tabasco Cat (1994), Thunder Gulch (1995) and Editor’s Note (1996).
Tabasco Cat (Preakness Stakes) and Thunder Gulch (Kentucky Derby) both won two-thirds of the Triple Crown. Editor’s Note won with Rene Douglas up for the injured Gary Stevens.
The king of the Belmont in the early 1980s, Stephens sent out five successive winners from 1982-86.
Conquistador Cielo (1982), Caveat (1983) and Swale (1984) were all ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr. Eddie Maple was aboard Creme Fraiche (1985) and Chris McCarron Rode Danzig Connection (1986).
August Belmont IV owned Caveat, joining his grandfather and great-grandfather as owners of Belmont winners.
The most recent winner of back-to-back Belmonts to include a Triple Crown winner, Laurin’s double was launched by Riva Ridge, also the Kentucky Derby winner.
Ron Turcotte was in the saddle for that win, and he captured the Triple Crown for Laurin via Secretariat’s epic win in the 1973 Belmont.
Fitzsimmons got a Triple Crown via the first of his successive Belmont wins with Omaha in 1935. Granville, his 1936 Belmont winner, was sired by Fitzsimmon’s 1930 Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox.
Belair Stud owned both of these Belmont winners.
One of two men to put together multiple Belmont-winning streaks as a trainer, Hildreth turned the trick in 1916-17 and again in 1923-24.
Triple Crown-winning jockey Earl Sande was up for both of Hildreth’s successive Belmont wins. He won with Zev in 1923 and again with Mad Play in 1924. Both winning horses were owned by New Jersey-based Rancocas Farm.
He also won with Friar Rock (1916) and Hourless (1917). Each horse was owned by August Belmont Jr.
James G. Rowe Jr.
Rowe is the only man to ride successive Belmont winners and train successive Belmont winners. He was aboard for Belmont wins by Joe Daniels (1872) and Springbok (1873).
He sent out Peter Pan (1907) and Colin (1908) to successive Belmont wins for owner James R. Keene. Prior to that, he’d trained Belmont winners George Kinney (1883) and Panique (1884). Both were ridden by Jim McLaughlin and owned by the Dwyer Bros. Stable.
Technically, Rowe won back-to-back Belmonts on another occasion. His Sweep took the victory in 1910. The 1911-12 Belmont Stakes races were shelved by the anti-gambling Hart-Agnew Law. When racing returned to the track in 1913, Rowe’s Prince Eugene was the Belmont winner.
John W. Rogers
Rogers won the Belmont with Tanya (1905), the second filly to capture the race, and Burgomaster (1906).
Both horses were owned by Harry P. Whitney, the son of William C. Whitney, who served as Secretary of the Navy during the first administration of President Glover Cleveland from 1885-89.
The trio of McCabe, jockey McLaughlin and owners the Dwyer Bros. Stables combined to turn a three-peat of Belmont wins from 1886-88. Inspector B won in 1886, followed by Hanover (1887) and Sir Dixon (1888).
McLaughlin shares the Belmont record for wins by a jockey with six.
Robert Wyndham Walden
Walden won a record seven Preakness Stakes and also sent out four Belmont winners. Two of them came in a row.
He was victorious with Grenada (1880) and Saunterer (1881). Grenada is one of six horses in racing history to win the Preakness, Belmont and Travers Stakes in the same year. George Lorillard owned both horses.
McDaniel is the only man in Belmont history to train and own back-to-back winners of the race. He actually won three straight Belmonts as a trainer with Harry Daniels (1871), Joe Daniels (1872) and Springbok (1873).
The latter were of course ridden by Rowe,