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Nashua's victory in the mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes accounted for neither world nor track record time. But William Woodward's powerful colt simply couldn't let this 87th Belmont Day slip by without providing at least one surprise for the 32,097 customers who turned up in a light drizzle to watch a classic which in eight of the nine past seasons has decided the 3-year-old championship. Having already frightened away virtually all of his better eastern rivals, Nashua proceeded—for once—not to frighten those who bet him down to 3 to 20. He won by nine lengths (tripling his best previous winning margin), and although the opposition was pitifully weak, Nashua gave the impression that he could have gone around again with no trouble at all and in just about the same good time (2:29). Nobody connected with Nashua had any doubts about the outcome of the 119,800 race which saw Woodward take home $83,700. His trainer, Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, said confidently, "I think he's going to beat 'em all." His rider, Eddie Arcaro, with equal frankness said, "I want him to smother those 3-year-olds.

They're a real bad lot, and we simply have to beat 'em bad." When Eddie tore into Nashua at the top of the stretch the pride of Belair Stud opened up and kept right on going. "You know," said Arcaro, "I think he's getting smarter about racing." Smarter or not, Nashua has lost none of his speed. His last quarter was accomplished in a blazing 24 3/5.