2005-06-sbelmont.jpgThe 137th running of the Belmont Stakes had been promoted as the rubber match between Giacomo and Afleet Alex, but the duel never materialized. Afleet Alex left the field in the dust, running the fastest final quarter mile at the Belmont since 1969 and winning the race by seven lengths.

To many fans, the race was an anticlimactic finish to the Triple Crown season. For the first time since 2001 there wasn’t the possibility of a Triple Crown winner and only 62,274 fans went out to Belmont on Saturday, about half the amount that attended last year. However, Afleet Alex deserves to be mentioned with Funny Cide and Smarty Jones, surviving a near fall to win the Preakness and then delivering a dominating performance in the Belmont.

Fans of horse racing will now look ahead to the Travers Stakes in August. Afleet Alex and Giacomo will probably both run in the race and if he has fully healed, Bellamy Road, the Kentucky Derby favorite, will join the fray. It should make for an exciting Saturday in Saratoga.

Photo by AP via ESPN