The Belmont Stakes & History of its Signature Drink!

The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival on Long Island in NY begins today! Tomorrow, the winner of the Preakness Stakes, Exaggerator will take the field with 12 other horses to run the longest distance of any of the jewel races. The Belmont Stakes is 1.5 miles….a quarter mile longer than any other derby. These three year olds have probably never raced that long, and honestly will probably never race that long again! For this reason, the Belmont Stakes is known as the “Test of a Champion” and the “Big Sandy”.

The Kentucky Derby is a party for many, like people go and don’t even remember seeing a race. I have never been, but I have heard that the infield can get a little crazy. The Belmont seems to be a little more subdued. There is no spectator party in the infield, and no alcohol from the outside is allowed in, so no tailgating really. It’s still a fancy horse race, so I still expect lots of fun dresses/ties/hats/ and so on! Exaggerator is currently the favorite with his jockey Kent Desormeaux and and brother trainer Keith Desormeaux. The Desormeaux brothers are horse racing royalty- here is a really great article about Kent confronting and working through his struggles with alcohol. I guess he partied so hard after the Preakness win that he doesn’t even really remember the celebrations 😦 Great story, so happy he is going to be taking better care of himself! They looked great here on the 6th!

The 148th Belmont Stakes - Previews
ELMONT, NY – JUNE 07: Jockey Kent Desormeaux rides Exaggerator during a training session prior to the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 6, 2016 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

I knew that the mint julep and roses were trademarks of the KY Derby, and The Black Eyed Susan is the drink and flower for the Preakness, but what do we have for the Belmont? The flower for the Belmont is the white carnation. The official drink for the Belmont changed from the White Carnation to the Belmont Breeze in 1998, and from the Belmont Breeze to the Belmont Jewel in 2012! The Belmont Jewel looks pretty good, I hope that one sticks around. Here’s the recipe for each of the three Belmont drinks!

White Carnation til 1998

2 oz vodka / 1/2 oz peach shnapps / 2 oz orange juice / soda/ cream / orange

Shake the liquors and soda with ice, pour in glass and then add a splash of cream to the top! Garnish with orange slice.

Belmont Breeze til 2012

Ok this one is complicated. It was created by a mixologist named Dale DeGroff. I wouldn’t even try to make this at home hahaha.

Belmont Jewel the present signature drink!

1.5 oz bourbon / 2 oz lemonade / 1 oz pomegranate juice / orange zest

Shake with ice, serve with ice and garnish with an orange. I have also seen simple syrup and lemon juice instead of lemonade and some add sparkling water. A cherry or lemon wheel could also be a nice garnish.

I love learning the history and traditions associated with my favorite equine sporting events. I really want to go to all three Triple Crown races someday, as well as Keeneland, the Veuve Cliquot polo classic, and the Maryland Hunt Cup! Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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Update 6/13/16- We made the Belmont Jewel for friends and watched the big race! Its not a bad drink BUT you can taste bourbon no matter what, so if you hate bourbon, even the lemonade and pomegranate juice won’t make it bearable haha

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American Pharoah Settles in at Ashford Stud

Yesterday, American Pharoah arrived at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud near Versaille KY. I think it was like, 8 miles down the road from Keeneland in Lexington KY. American Pharoah raced his last race, the Breeder’s Cup, in Keeneland on Saturday. He won decisively. Since he won the Belmont Stakes making him the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, American Pharoah has actually raced three times. Many may have retired him right after that Belmont win, but American Pharoah went on to win the Haskell Invitational, then came in second at the Travers, and then finally won the Breeders. In his short three years of life, he has raced 10 times, winning 8 of those races. American Pharoah, Victor Espinoza, Bob Baffert, and Ahmed Zayat will be a team that my generation won’t forget. This is the first Triple Crown winner in my lifetime. I watched Secretariat the movie on Sunday, a Triple Crown winner from 1973, and got a little misty eyed thinking about all the work that goes into these horses and how amazing it must feel to see that horse race and win.

American Pharoah’s story has brought great press and lots of warm and fuzzies to the horse racing world. A quick google search will tell you that the horse racing world has had it fair share of scandal over the years, so its nice when there can be some positive press there. Unfortunately, because of the amount of money to made or lost in horse racing, there will always be scandal.

American Pharoah was born to do this. His father was Pioneer of the Nile, who came in 2nd in the Kentucky Derby back in 2009. He also has Unbridled as a great grand sire, and Northern Dancer blood on his father’s side. His mother’s side has Native Dancer blood, an almost Triple Crown winner. He settled into his stall at his new home yesterday where he will now be the sire, grandsire, and so on to many babies. Stud fees will likely by in the six figures, but many will pay that hoping that they are creating the next Triple Crown winner. So much careful planning goes into breeding these racehorses. There are people out there that think horse racing is cruel….well I don’t agree but sadly there are cruel people out there. Seeing horses run and play in their paddocks when their young, you just have to know that they love running. Some are just better at it than others.

American Pharoah surrounded by his team arriving to Ashford Stud to his stall which was last used by a horse named Grand Slam, ha
American Pharoah surrounded by his team arriving to Ashford Stud to his stall which was last used by a horse named Grand Slam, ha
A tender moment between Bob Baffert and American Pharoah
A tender moment between Bob Baffert and American Pharoah

There are so many pictures of American Pharoah’s last race. His jockey, Victor Espinoza is the first jockey of Latin descnet to win the Triple Crown, and his trainer Bob Baffert is the oldest trainer at 62 to win the Triple Crown. Remember him racing, the excitement of watching him win. Thank god he is still healthy through these post- Triple Crown races. Also, remember now that its about his legacy. He raced only a couple years, and made history, I can’t wait to see what the first generation of American Pharoah babies will do!

Heres the article from Bloodhorse about American Pharoah’s arrival at Ashford Stud, there are some very nice pictures.

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