THE historic Belmont Stakes had its sixty-second renewal on Saturday, June 7, and was a contest between Gallant Fox and Whichone for the supremacy of the 3-year-olds.
Earl Sande piloted Gallant Fox to the finishing line three lengths in front of the Whitney colt. James Butler's Questionnaire and W. J. Salmon's Swinfield were the other two starters in the old classic. The time of 2:31 3/5 was the best for this stakes since the distance was increased to 1 1/2 miles in 1926, when Crusader ran it in 2:32 1/5. The track Saturday was not considered fast, since it had been raining quite a while prior to the running of the race. The value of the stakes, $66,040, is the most the race has ever been worth, the nearest to it being in 1928, at $63,430, when Vito won.
It was the fifth time Sande had piloted the winner in this event, the other four being Grey Lag in 1921, Zev in 1923, Mad Play in 1924, and Chance Shot in 1927. He has yet to reach James McLaughlin's record, who in 1882 rode Forester to victory and the next two successive years rode George Kinney and Panique. The following year P. Duffy rode Tyrant the winner, and in 1886 and the next two successive years James McLaughlin again rode the winners, which were Inspector B., Hanover and Sir Dixon, respectively.
Good racing was enjoyed throughout the week at Belmont Park. There was no stakes event on Monday, the feature being the Raceland Handicap, in which Moine won by a neck from Clean Play. The Fashion Stakes was the principal event on the card Tuesday, when Harry Payne Whitney won it for the sixth time with Zelide, defeating the Middleburg Stable's Sunny Lassie. The Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies was the feature race Wednesday and Walter J. Salmon's Snowflake won in hollow fashion from Red Rag, Erin, and others. There were 27 juveniles in a maiden race on the card Wednesday and it was won by H. T. Archibald's Jolly King, which was bred by J. L. Tarlton, owner of Allendale Farm, near Lexington.
The Meadowbrook Steeplechase Handicap was the only stakes race on Thursday. There were only three jumpers to face the starter and Darkness, owned by Thomas Hitchcock, was the only one to finish the course. A good race on Thursday was run, when Laverne Fator piloted Kai Feng home in front of Sun Mission, running the one mile in 1:37.
Starpatic, ridden by Sonny Workman, won the mile event, Ornament Handicap, Friday, beating Dunsany, Hornpipe, Aldershot and five others. Marshall Field's Escutcheon was able to graduate from the 3-year-old maiden ranks when this daughter of *Sir Gallahad III defeated 22 other maidens.
A companion feature with the Belmont on Saturday, June 7, was the eighteenth running of the National Stallion Stakes and was won in hollow fashion by Equipoise, the classy 2-year-old son of Pennant, owned by Harry Payne Whitney. He finished six lengths in front of W. R. Coe's Polydorus.
The racing at Belmont Park closes Tuesday, June 10, and the scene then shifts to Aqueduct.
J. E. Widener Broadcasts
After the sixty-second running of the Belmont Stakes, at Belmont Park, June 7, Joseph E. Widener, president of the Westchester Racing Association, presented the cup to William Woodward, owner of Gallant Fox, and his presentation address was broadcast over the radio. Mr. Widener referred several times to his invisible audience, addressing them as well as those in the official stand. He gave a brief history of the Belmont Stakes; stated that it had been named in honor of the first August Belmont; that the history and greatness of this classic in America was as important to Americans, as the Derby in England, and referred to its having been named for the house of Lord Derby. He praised the services rendered to the Turf by August Belmont and his son, the late Major August Belmont. He congratulated Mr. Woodward on owning such a great horse, and told him that the memory of this victory should be the happiest of his life. He also praised Jockey Sande for his brilliant ride and stated that he was just as full of laudation for Sande's return to the saddle as he had been when he announced that this jockey had left the pigskin.
Gallant Fox the Champion
Gallant Fox, magnificent son of *Sir Gallahad III, property of William Woodward, proved his superiority and his rightful claim to championship of the 3-year-olds when, at Belmont Park, June 7, he added the famous Belmont Stakes to his Wood Memorial, Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby victories.
Ridden by Earl Sande, who has piloted him in all of his starts this season, Gallant Fox finished the one mile and one-half three lengths in front of H. P. Whitney's Whichone, his challenger. James Butler's Questionnaire was third, three lengths back of the Whitney colt and 20 lengths in front of Walter J. Salmon's Swinfield. The fractional time for the distance was :23 4/5, :37 2/5, :50 1/5. 1:03 3/5, 1:16, 1:28 3/5, 1:41, 1:54, 2:07, 2:31 3/5.
The weather was rainy, but the track was considered good. The net value to the winner was $66,040, the greatest amount the event has ever been worth.
Excitement was high as the four were paraded to the post, and, although it was raining many risked a drenching and crowded along the rail to see the starting. The Woodward colt had first position, Swinfield next, and then Whichone and Questionnaire. There was a false start, for which Gallant Fox was responsible, but Sande had him under entire control and returned him to the post without any trouble.
When the barrier went up, Sande at once sent the son of *Sir Gallahad III to the front and he led all the way. Questionnaire raced after him and then Swinfield. Workman had Whichone in last place. The Woodward colt had a lead of two lengths before the run to the backstretch had been completed, but he was galloping under restraint. After they turned out of the backstretch, Workman made his move on Whichone and he went along smoothly until he was in contention. Gallant Fox continued to gallop along like a piece of machinery, and when the Whitney colt seemed a possible menace, Sande urged his mount slightly and the colt moved away gamely until at the end he was three lengths clear and racing along easily.
This was Gallant Fox's first start since the Kentucky Derby, and marked his fourth consecutive victory this season, included in which are the three oldest of the stakes races for 3-year-olds. Gallant Fox has now achieved what only one other horse, Sir Barton, was ever able to do, that is to win the Preakness, Kentucky Derby, and the Belmont Stakes. The two might be called Triple Event winners. The Woodward colt still has in the immediate future the American Derby (June 14) and the Classic (Arlington Park, July 19) before him to add to his earnings, which now are $198,730.