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!
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!
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