Only 11 horses have won horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1997) and Affirmed (1978).
Should Kentucky Derby 134 and Preakness Stakes champ Big Brown become the first 3-year-old in 30 years to join that elite cast, all fans leaving Churchill Downs after the Belmont Stakes simulcast will receive a coupon for the commemorative print that can be redeemed on Sunday, June 22.
Even if Big Brown doesn’t win – 10 have failed in sweep attempts since 1978, including previously unbeaten Smarty Jones in 2004 – fans will receive a coupon worthy of a champion, good for free general admission to Churchill Downs’ upcoming “Stephen Foster Super Saturday” program on Saturday, June 14, featuring reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin.
The possibility of a commemorative Triple Crown print giveaway complements one of the most anticipated racing dates of the year. Churchill Downs will open admission gates Saturday at 11:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) with the first of 10 live races scheduled for 1:15 p.m. The first of 13 simulcast races from Belmont Park is noon.
The 140th running of the Belmont Stakes – the third and final leg of the Triple Crown – is scheduled as Belmont Park’s Race 11 at approximately 6:25 p.m. Coverage of the historic race will be featured prominently at Churchill Downs on the giant infield and paddock screens as well as television monitors throughout the facility. Race 10 at Churchill Downs, the final live race of the day, is scheduled for 6:02 p.m.
Other Belmont Stakes Day festivities at Churchill Downs include live jazz music by Lexington-based Upshaw Briggs in the paddock area between 3-7 p.m., as well video replays of past Triple Crown sweep attempts and Triple Crown trivia between live races. Also, officially licensed Big Brown merchandise will be sold on-track. Special wagers on the day include $1 million guaranteed pools for Belmont Park’s Pick 6 (Races 6-11) and Pick 4 (Races 8-11).
Also, advance wagering on the Belmont Stakes will be available at Churchill Downs on Friday (Note: Gates open at 1 p.m. and the 11-race twilight program begins at 2:45 p.m.). Betting on a special two-day Brooklyn Handicap/Belmont Stakes Double also will be offered.