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How often do Kentucky Derby winners skip the Belmont Stakes?

We take a look at when the first Triple Crown jewel winner doesn’t make it to the last event in the series.

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Matt Stone/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 155th running of the Belmont Stakes will be held Saturday, June 10 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It’s the longest race of the Triple Cown at 1.5 miles, which is why it’s often called “The Test of Champions”. The Belmont Stakes represents the end of the Triple Crown season.

Post-time for the race is 6:50 p.m. ET, and Fox will be handing the broadcast for the first time.

Any hopes of a final Triple Crown duel between Kentucky Derby winner Mage and Preakness Stakes winner National Treasure have been dashed, as Mage was pulled out of the race shortly after finishing third at the Preakness. National Treasure, trained by the controversial Bob Baffert, will race Saturday and was priced at 5-1 on the morning line.

Mage will be getting time off before starting the summer schedule in Saratoga in August through the Breeders Cup this fall. It’s not unusual to see a Kentucky Derby winner skip the Belmont if there is no chance at a Triple Crown. The schedule of the Triple Crown races and the 1.5 distance of the Belmont is often cited as a factor.

Over the past five years, four horses that won the Derby skipped the Belmont. Country House in 2019, Authentic in 2020, Mandaloun in 2021 and now Mage. There are some caveats with this as Authentic did not race in the Belmont because of it was the first Triple Crown race to go off during the pandemic.

Mandaloun did not win the Derby physically and was named winner when Medina Spirit was disqualified for doping. Medina Spirit, who died in 2021, did not run in the Belmont either as Bob Baffert was barred from entering any of his horses.

Rich Strike, who won the 2022 Derby, skipped the Preakness to run in the Belmont and finished sixth.

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