05/26/2017 2:21PM

Through the DRF archives: Met Mile has long history of quality

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Since its first running 126 years ago, the Metropolitan Handicap, or Met Mile, as it is popularly known, has tested the mettle of the country’s top handicap horses.

It was firmly established as a top event in 1905, when it was run as the feature on the first day of racing at the new Belmont Park. The race was declared a dead heat when Race King and the brilliant Sysonby could not be separated at the wire.

Through the years, it has been won by stalwarts such as Equipoise and Devil Diver, both of whom finished first three straight times, Stymie, Native Dancer, Carry Back, Forego, Holy Bull, and Ghostzapper – all considered among the very best of their time.

The race has, of course, also been won by Whisk Broom, Tom Fool, Kelso, and Fit to Fight, the only four horses to have swept the Handicap Triple Crown, a series that also included the prestigious Brooklyn and Suburban handicaps.

In modern times, the race’s quality is borne out by the Met Mile’s average winning Beyer Speed Figure of 113.70, a number surpassed only by the Breeders’ Cup Classic at 115.67.