THE QUESTION: Which race would you rather win, the Kentucky Derby or the Belmont?

June 15, 1959
June 15, 1959

Table of Contents
June 15, 1959

What To Call Him?
Boxing's Dirty Business
  • The great slump ended when Mickey Mantle stopped playing ball like an $80,000-a-year resident of Easy Street. His blazing bat and fiery base running woke up the Yankees

Wonderful World Of Sport
Agony And Upsets
Field Dogs
  • Pictured on these pages in the poses characteristic of their performances in the field are the 22 most popular sporting dogs in America today. Each is an expert in his particular phase of hunting, but, like any expert, each must be trained to use his instinctive abilities with maximum efficiency. In this issue Sports Illustrated begins a four-part series that will teach you how to train your dog to hunt in the field

Horse Racing
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

THE QUESTION: Which race would you rather win, the Kentucky Derby or the Belmont?

Board of Trustees, NYRA
New York
The Belmont, because 1½ miles is a better test of a Thoroughbred. The race is older and has more color and background. Ruthless, owned by my great-grandfather, won the first Belmont in 1867. Later at Morris Park my father and uncle won it with Bowling Brook in 1898.

This is an article from the June 15, 1959 issue

Owner, Llangollen Farm
Upperville, Va.
If I had lived 50 years ago, I would rather have won the Belmont than any race in the world. But today there is a lot more glory and profit in winning the Kentucky Derby. Even so, I'm sorry that I don't have a horse ready for this weekend's Belmont, which I love. Maybe next year.

Race horse owner
Old Westbury, N.Y.
The Belmont, which, because of its distinguished history and great age, is known to eminent sportsmen as America's premier horse race. The 1½-mile classic distance is a truer test of a horse than the Derby 1¼. That's why Belmont winners have been the better studs.

Trainer and partner in Bieber-Jacobs Stables Sparks, Md. and Riverdale, Calif.
I would like to win either one. Both are equally important to breeders and owners of stables. Perhaps the Kentucky Derby has more color, coming so early in the season. By the time we get to the Belmont, the horses are beginning to tire and are not at their best at 1½ miles.

Co-owner, Greentree Stable
Manhasset, N.Y.
I'm tempted to say the Kentucky Derby, because the last Derby the Greentree Stable won was in 1942. I wasn't there because of the wartime restriction on travel. Actually I'd rather win the Belmont. It's too difficult to get a horse ready for the Derby, run early in May.

Owner, Warner Stable
Hollywood and New York
The Kentucky Derby. There's no question it is the greatest American race. It has enormous prestige and is covered by newspapers around the world. The winner of the Derby is immediately established as a valuable sire. My second choice is the Preakness and third, the Belmont.

Owner, Charfran Stable and Crafty Admiral
Miami Beach
The Kentucky Derby. From a breeder's point of view, a Derby winner gets lots more publicity than a Belmont winner. Consequently, he's a much more valuable stallion. Ask any jockey that question, and he'll tell you the Derby is tops.

Owner, Frank C. Rand Stable
Santa Fe, N. Mex.
The Derby, the most glamorous horse race on this side of the Atlantic and the event for which American racing is best known. It's comparable to the Epsom Derby in prestige and newspaper coverage throughout the world.

Owner of Adele L. Rand Stable and race horse Clem
Santa Fe, N. Mex.
I disagree violently with my husband. The best horse wins the Belmont, but there's a lot of luck in the Derby, like Native Dancer being bumped out of stride, Gallant Man losing when his jockey stood up too soon and this year's bumping duel.

Owner, Merrybrook Farm
Far Hills, N.J.
The Belmont. I like the distance. It's the classic race rather than a circus buildup. You can really get 3-year-olds to their peak for the Belmont. I have never won either, but I would compromise for the Kentucky Derby.

Restaurateur and Owner, Derby winner Count Turf
Paris, Ky. and New York
The Kentucky Derby. Once you win the Derby, every other race is secondary. The importance of any race determines its newspaper and magazine coverage. Ten times as much is written about the Run for the Roses as any other horse race.