Eleven years ago it was Silver Charm that was oh so close to Triple Crown and Belmont Stakes betting glory only to let it slip away. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens still wonders about what happened in 1997.
Belmont Stakes odds almost always have Triple Crown hopefuls favored and in the last 30 years all of those hopefuls have failed. Silver Charm took the lead and looked like a sure Belmont Stakes odds winner down the stretch but the horse coasted in the stretch and was caught by Touch Gold ridden by Chris McCarron. Gary Stevens still regrets his decision to take the lead so soon. “It should have been 1997 when we had the last Triple Crown winner instead of 1978”, he said.
The next year was even more disappointing in Belmont Stakes odds as Kent Desormeaux and Real Quiet looked like sure winners. Real Quiet led by four lengths with a furlong to go but Victory Gallop got up and won by a nose in Belmont Stakes odds. Desormeaux also thinks he may have moved too soon. With back-to-back disappointments in Triple Crown Belmont Stakes odds it just couldn’t happen a third straight year in 1999 could it? Yes, it could, and it did as Charismatic was the sure winner in Belmont Stakes betting but the horse broke his leg in the stretch.
Charismatic was not the favorite in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness but he was the Belmont Stakes betting favorite. Jockey Chris Antley decided to have Charismatic go with Silverbulletday early in the race and the horse was eventually overtaken by Belmont Stakes odds longshot Lemon Drop Kid. Antley did not ride a good race but he was credited with saving Charismatic’s life by pulling the horse up quickly.
In 2002 it looked like War Emblem would win in Belmont Stakes odds but the horse stumbled at the break and couldn’t recover. Most experts believe War Emblem would have won in Belmont Stakes betting easily if not for the stumble. Funny Cide disappointed in 2003 Belmont Stakes odds due to a muddy track. The latest disappointment in Belmont Stakes odds was Smarty Jones in 2004. He lost to 36-1 Belmont Stakes odds longshot Birdstone at the wire.