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Homeracing

10-year Belmont Stakes trends favor Nest, We The People in 2022 field

Profile Picture: Ashley Anderson

June 10th, 2022

The 154th running of the Belmont S. (G1) will present an intriguing field of three-year-olds in "The Test of the Champion," including longshot Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Rich Strike, Kentucky Oaks runner-up Nest, and Preakness S. (G1) third-placer Creative Minister.

To help narrow down the field to find the most likely winner of the 1 1/2-mile race at Belmont Park, we looked at the 10-year trends of the Belmont S. from trainers to jockeys, leading sires, and more.

Past Belmont S. winners

YearHorseTrainerJockeySireKentucky Derby startPrevious Belmont start
2021
Essential Quality
Brad Cox
Luis Saez
Tapit (Pulpit)
Finished 4th
N/A
2020* (run at 1 1/8 miles)
Tiz the Law
Barclay Tagg
Manuel Franco
Constitution (Tapit)
Finished 2nd (run after Belmont in 2020)
Won Champagne S. in lone previous Belmont start
2019
Sir Winston
Mark Casse
Joel Rosario
Awesome Again (Deputy Minister)
N/A
2nd in Peter Pan S. in lone previous Belmont start
2018
Justify
Bob Baffert
Mike Smith
Scat Daddy (Johannesburg)
Won Kentucky Derby and Preakness
N/A
2017
Tapwrit
Todd Pletcher
Jose Ortiz
Tapit (Pulpit)
Finished 6th
N/A
2016
Creator
Steve Asmussen
Irad Ortiz
Tapit (Pulpit)
Finished 13th
N/A
2015
American Pharoah
Bob Baffert
Victor Espinoza
Pioneerof the Nile (Empire Maker)
Won Kentucky Derby and Preakness
N/A
2014
Tonalist
Christophe Clement
Joel Rosario
Tapit (Pulpit)
N/A
Won Peter Pan S. in lone previous Belmont start
2013
Palace Malice
Todd Pletcher
Mike Smith
Curlin (Smart Strike)
Finished 12th
2nd in maiden special weight in lone previous Belmont start
2012
Union Rags
Michael R. Matz
John Velazquez
Dixie Union (Dixieland Band)
Finished 7th
Won Champagne S. in lone previous Belmont start

Winningest Belmont trainers since 2012

In the last decade, both Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher have won the Belmont twice. Baffert, a three-time overall winner of the Belmont, conditioned the two Triple Crown champions of the past decade, American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018). He also won with Point Given in 2001.

Pletcher, who has two starters — Mo Donegal and filly Nest — in the 2022 Belmont field, won with Tapwrit in 2017 and Palace Malice in 2013. Outside of the last decade, Pletcher also won in 2007 with Rags to Riches, the third of three fillies to earn a trip to the winner's circle in the Belmont.

Winningest Belmont jockeys since 2012

Joel Rosario (Sir Winston, Tonalist) and Mike Smith (Justify, Palace Malice) are the only multiple winners of the last 10 years. Rosario will guide Barber Road, but Smith will not compete in the 2022 Belmont.

Among the other jockeys named to ride in the 2022 race, Jose Ortiz (Nest) won in 2017 aboard Tapwrit while paired up with Pletcher.

Jose's brother, Irad, also won the Belmont once, in 2016 with Steve Asmussen pupil Creator. He will pair up with Pletcher for the 2022 competition with Kentucky Derby fifth-place finisher Mo Donegal.

Winningest Belmont sires since 2012

Three-time North American leading sire Tapit has left a significant mark on the Belmont over the last decade. The 2004 Wood Memorial winner is the father of four of the last 10 winners and the grandfather of 2020 champ Tiz the Law, whose sire was Constitution.

Three 2022 Belmont hopefuls can trace their lineage back to Tapit. The prized stallion is the father of We the People's sire, Constitution, and Barber Road's sire, Race Day, while he's the damsire of Creative Minister.

Winningest Belmont post position since 2012

Only Gate 2 has produced multiple winners (two) over the past decade.

The post position draw for the 2022 Belmont will be held on Tuesday, June 7, at 11 a.m. ET.

Belmont winners who ran in the Kentucky Derby

All but two of the last 10 Belmont winners raced in the Kentucky Derby, but only a pair of them (American Pharoah and Justify) claimed the garland of roses at Churchill Downs.

Sir Winston (2019) and Tonalist (2014) were the only two Belmont champions who skipped the Derby over the last decade. The average finishing position in the Kentucky Derby for the last 10 Belmont winners was 5.75.

Among the 2022 field, Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby, while Mo Donegal finished fifth and Barber Road placed sixth.

Belmont winners who had a previous start at Belmont Park

Five of last 10 Belmont winners had prior experience at Belmont Park, including Peter Pan S. (G3) winner Tonalist and Champagne S. (G1) victor Tiz the Law.

Half of the 2022 field (Rich Strike, Creative Minister, Skippylongstocking, and Barber Road) have never raced at Belmont Park.

Mo Donegal and Nest both broke their maiden at the track, while We The People and Golden Glider finished first and second, respectively, in the Peter Pan.

2022 Belmont S. field

Barber Road

Trainer: John Ortiz
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Sire: Race Day (Tapit)
2022 record: 5 0-3-1

Sixth in the Kentucky Derby last out, Barber Road will make his debut at Belmont for conditioner John Ortiz for his 10th career start. The gray Race Day colt won a starter allowance at Churchill Downs in November 2021 and has cracked the trifecta in three of his four graded stakes starts.

Creative Minister

Trainer: Kenny McPeek
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
Sire: Creative Cause (Giant's Causeway)
2022 record: 4 2-1-1

Another gray colt making his first start at Belmont Park, Creative Minister last finished third in the Preakness to Early Voting. The son of Creative Cause did not race at age 2 and has produced a 4 2-1-1 record in 2022, with his two victories coming in an optional claimer on the Kentucky Derby undercard on May 7 and a maiden special weight at Keeneland in April.

Golden Glider

Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey:
Dylan Davis
Sire:
Ghostzapper (Awesome Again)
2022 record:
5 1-1-0

The chestnut debuted at Belmont last out, when he finished second by 10 lengths to rival We The People in the Peter Pan. The son of Ghostzapper broke his maiden in January at Tampa Bay Downs, where he placed fourth in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), and came home fourth in the Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland two back.

Mo Donegal

Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
Sire: Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie)
2022 record: 3 1-0-1

A troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby resulted in a fifth-place finish for the Wood Memorial (G2) champ, who beat out Preakness winner Early Voting by a neck in the graded stakes race at Aqueduct.

Pletcher's trainee will race for the third time at Belmont Park on Saturday. He has one win and a third in his two prior starts at the track, both against maiden special weight company.

In six career starts, he has collected three wins and two third-place finishes.

Nest

Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Jose Ortiz Jr.
Sire: Curlin (Smart Strike)
2022 record: 3 2-1-0

By Preakness S. and Breeders Cup Classic (G1) winner Curlin, Nest will become the 24th filly to run the Belmont S. in her first career attempt against the boys.

The bay has finished in the exacta in all but one of her six career tries, when she placed third in the Tempted S. at Belmont in November 2021.

Nest also broke her maiden at the track in 2021 and will make her third career start at Belmont on Saturday. Last out, she finished second by two lengths to Secret Oath in the Kentucky Oaks.

Her damsire is 1992 Belmont winner A.P. Indy, who sired 2007 Belmont-winning filly Rags to Riches.

Rich Strike

Trainer: Eric Reed
Jockey: Sonny Leon
Sire: Keen Ice (Curlin)
2022 record: 4 1-0-2

After Ethereal Road scratched from the Kentucky Derby, 80-1 longshot Rich Strike gained entry into the 20-horse field and defied the odds to upset favorite Epicenter.

Rich Strike will make his first start at Belmont Park in his ninth career race. The Keen Ice son has a 4 1-0-2 record in 2022 and just one other career win, at the maiden claiming level at Churchill Downs.

Skippylongstocking

Trainer: Saffie Joseph
Jockey:
Manuel Franco
Sire: Exaggerator (Curlin)
2022 record:
5 1-0-1

Coming off a fifth-place finish in the Preakness, Skippylongstocking will make his Belmont debut in his 11th career start.

The Exaggerator colt last won on March 2 in an optional claimer at Gulfstream. He placed third in the Wood Memorial two back.

We The People

Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset
Jockey: Flavien Prat
Sire: Constitution (Tapit)
2022 record:
4 3-0-0

Another descendant of Tapit, We The People's lone loss of his career came in his third start, when he finished seventh in the Arkansas Derby (G1) to Cyberknife in April.

The bay colt rebounded with a win in the Peter Pan at Belmont and earned his two other career victories at Oaklawn Park.

Like 2020 Belmont winner Tiz the Law, We The People is by Constitution out of a Tiznow mare.

Most likely Belmont S. winner based on 10-year trends

Two-time winning Belmont trainer Pletcher possesses two viable win candidates in Mo Donegal and Nest, but the latter fits more of the 10-year trends related to the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Not only will Nest ride under a Belmont-winning jockey, but her lineage makes her a prime candidate to excel at the 1 1/2-mile distance, as both her sire and damsire have produced Belmont winners.

Furthermore, co-owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners won the Belmont as a co-owner of Tapwrit, who was trained by Pletcher and ridden by Nest's jockey, Jose Ortiz.

The only major knock against Nest is the fact a filly has claimed the blanket of carnations just three times in the race's 153-year history, and only one female has prevailed in the last century.

Aside from Nest, another strong win candidate based on the trends is We The People, with sire Constitution being by Tapit. The main concern for him is his lack of experience, as the Belmont will mark his fifth career start. But another Tapit son, Tonalist, managed to win the Belmont in his fifth career start, and first since romping to a four-length win in the Peter Pan, also won by We The People.

Once Tuesday's post position draw concludes, we may gain an even better clue as to which runner is likely to win the 154th running of the Belmont S. If the recent past is any indication, more history will be made in the latest iteration of "The Test of the Champion."

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