06/09/2011 6:01PM

Top Belmont Stakes rides: No. 5


5. Chris Antley, Charismatic, 1999

This ride was not a performance of victory but of valor. Charismatic, seeking a sweep of the Triple Crown, injured himself during the race, which inspired Antley to ease slightly and then dismount quickly after crossing the finish line third. His instinct to nurse and support the colt’s wounded leg until a medical team could arrive surely helped save Charismatic’s life. Less than two years later, Antley would be found dead at his home in California after countless bouts with drug addiction. But for one indelible moment at Belmont Park, Antley, a talented, star-crossed rider, performed a heroic act that was as powerful as any winning ride. Interestingly, a similar incident occurred in the 1958 Belmont, when jockey Ismael Valenzuela rode Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Tim Tam to a gallant second-place finish while the colt was going lame in the stretch.

4. Bill Shoemaker, Jaipur, 1962 >>