Saturday is a blockbuster day of racing at Belmont Park, highlighted by the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap. The Challenge Series "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile is expected to attract the likes of Code of Honor, McKinzie, and Vekoma this year.
Find eight fun facts about the Met Mile below.
1. The race was first run in 1891, making this year the 127th edition.
2. Two of the last three winners exited the Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park: Bee Jersey (2018) and Mor Spirit (2017). The Steve Sexton Mile was not run this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing Lone Star Park.
3. Frosted ran the fastest Met Mile in history in 2016, stopping the timer in 1:32.73. He also set the record for largest margin of victory, defeating his foes by 14 ¼ lengths. Mitole was only two hundredths of a second off Frosted’s record time last year.
4. The race is open to horses age 3 and up, though it has been won by a 4-year-old each of the last seven years and 11 of the last 14.
6. The race has been contested on three different tracks: Morris Park from 1891 to 1904, Belmont Park since 1905, and Aqueduct in 1960-67, 1969, and 1975.
8. The first edition of the race at Belmont was a memorable one. The only dead heat for the win in the race’s history came in 1905 when Race King and Sysonby crossed the finish line simultaneously.