Horse Racing
Chris 'The Bear' Fallica's Belmont Stakes Bear Bytes
Horse Racing

Chris 'The Bear' Fallica's Belmont Stakes Bear Bytes

Updated Jun. 8, 2023 8:19 p.m. ET

The 155th running of the Belmont Stakes is this weekend, which means Saturday will be an exciting day for fans who love horses and bettors looking for a fun way to wager a few bucks on the big race. 

This last leg of the Triple Crown — also known as the Test of the Champion — has a post time set at 7:05 p.m. ET Saturday on FOX and the FOX Sports App.

I've already given you my picks for the race, but now it's time to have a little fun with my "Bear Bytes."

These little "bytes," as I call them, are just nuggets that will give you some entertaining talking points to pull from as you watch the Belmont festivities with friends and family on FOX this weekend. 


Here are the biggest ones that stuck out to me while doing my research:

From 2002-2017, just two favorites won the Belmont Stakes, while eight finished out of the money. But that trend has changed lately. The Belmont favorite has won three straight and four of the last five. In fact, the last Belmont favorite to run out of the money was Exaggerator in 2016.

Todd Pletcher’s success in the Belmont Stakes has been much higher than in the other two legs of the Triple Crown. Pletcher has four wins (11.4%) and 13 total top-three finishes (37.1%) from 35 Belmont starters, compared to two wins (2.7%) and nine total top-three finishes (12.1%) from 74 starters in the other two legs. 

If Javier Castellano wins with Arcangelo, he will become the first jockey since Calvin Borel to win Triple Crown races with two different horses in the same year. In 2009 Borel won the Derby with Mine That Bird and the Preakness with Rachel Alexandra. Before that, one must go back to 1960 to find the last time that happened, when Bill Hartack won the Derby on Venetian Way and the Belmont on Celtic Ash. 

Javier Castellano is one of two jockeys to win three Triple Crown races aboard a horse sent off at double-digit odds. The other is Mike Smith. 

Since Essential Quality won the 2021 Belmont, only one of Brad Cox’s seven Triple Crown starters has finished better than fifth, and that was Angel of Empire – third in this year's Derby. 

Jena Antonucci will look to become the first female trainer to win a Triple Crown race. Three have come close, finishing second — Magic Weisner in the 2002 Preakness (Nancy Alberts, trainer), Casual Lies in the 1992 Derby (Shelley Riley, trainer) and Kingpost in the 1988 Belmont (Dianne Carpenter, trainer).

Joel Rosario has finished first or second in nine of his 32 Triple Crown mounts. And it’s actually nine of his last 26 if you eliminate his first six mounts. 

Note that both the third-place (Angel of Empire) and fifth-place (Hit Show) Derby finishers are in the race after skipping the Preakness. Each of the last two Belmont Stakes has been won by a horse that started the Derby and skipped the Preakness. 

Chris "The Bear" Fallica has covered sports for nearly three decades. While college football has been his focus, he also enjoys the NFL, Soccer, Golf, Tennis, MLB, NHL and Horse Racing, with an "occasional" wager on such events. Chris recently won the inaugural Circa Football Invitational and finished in the Top 10 of the Golden Nugget Football Contest. He’s a multiple-time qualifier for the NHC Handicapping Championship. Remember, "The less you bet, the more you lose when you win!" Follow him on Twitter @chrisfallica.

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