While there is a whole host of other Grade I races for the older horses on a massive day of action at Belmont Park every June, the three-year-old limelight on the day isn’t only saved for the winner of the Belmont Stakes.
The seven-furlong Woody Stephens is also for the sophomores and is a race that often gives those three-year-olds with top potential who were previously on the Triple Crown trail but perhaps showed more speed a chance to shine.
A Grade I worth $400,000, the Woody Stephens is named after the Hall of Fame trainer who won the Belmont Stakes five times in a row from 1982-1986.
Initiated in 1985 and initially the Riva Ridge Stakes, it was given Grade II status in 1998 and upped to the top level in 2019. Past winners include Is It True, Coronado’s Quest, Posse, Bayern, and American Anthem.