5 Biggest Long-Shot Winners In Belmont Stakes History

Jack Haley
June 07, 2019 - 12:57 pm
Sarava with jockey Edgar Prado is led to the winners' circle by trainer Kenneth McPeek after winning the 134th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Race Park on June 8, 2002.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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The top five most shocking winners of the Belmont Stakes

The last jewel of the horse racing’s Triple Crown plays out Saturday at Belmont Park on 1 1/2 miles of dirt. With Las Vegas handicapping the Belmont Stakes, fans are given an idea of who should theoretically win the race. But that isn’t always the case. Here are five of the biggest long shots to win the Belmont Stakes

1. Sarava, 70.2-1 odds, 2002

Producing the biggest upset in the 150-year history of the race was Sarava. The win was so shocking that trainer Ken McPeek was only confident enough to put a $10 bet on his own horse according to the Los Angeles Times. Though small, that ticket ended up being worth over $900 following the major upset.

2. Sherluck, 65-1 odds, 1961

Carry Back was poised to take the Triple Crown following victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but the day way spoiled by Sherluck. The 65-1 odds against the eventual winner provided the biggest payout in Belmont Stakes history at the time to those lucky enough to put money on him.

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3. Temperance Hill, 53.4-1 odds, 1980

Temperance Hill won two prep races preceding the Kentucky Derby in 1980 before taking down Derby champion Genuine Risk and Preakness champion Codex in the Belmont Stakes. Temperance Hill was named the champion 3-year-old of 1980 following the wins.

4. Birdstone 36-1 odds, 2004 

Beside the long odds against Birdstone, the challenge seemed insurmountable because of another horse on the track, Smarty Jones, who was looking to complete the Triple Crown that day. Birdstone owner Marylou Whitney said: “We came to the Belmont Stakes to see Smarty Jones win and complete the Triple Crown. I just wanted my Birdstone to be in the money.” But to her surprise, it was Birdstone’s day to unseed Smarty Jones and take the Stakes by a full length. Birdstone's jockey, Edgar Prado, was the same man who rode Sarava to victory two years earlier.

Birdstone (4), riden by Edgar Prado, overtakes Smarty Jones (9), riden by Stewart Elliott, to win the 136th Belmont Stakes on June 5, 2004 at Belmont Park.
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5. Pass Catcher, 34.5-1 odds, 1971

Pass Catcher found the finish line first and denied Venezuelan native Canonero II from completing the Triple Crown. Hall of Fame jockey Walter Blum guided Pass Catcher to the win in just over 2 1/2 minutes.