Capturing the Excitement of the Prestigious Belmont
The Belmont Stakes is a prestigious horse race held yearly in June at Belmont
Park in Elmont, New York. The race is the third leg of the
Triple Crown, following
the Kentucky Derby
and the Preakness Stakes.
It is a 1.5 mile (2.4 km)
horse race for three-year-old colts and geldings carrying a weight of 126
pounds (57 kg) and for fillies with a weight of 121 pounds (55 kg).
Secretariat at the 1973 Belmont Stakes finish line. The first Belmont Stakes
was held at Jerome Park in the Bronx, built in 1866 by stock market speculator
Leonard Jerome (1817-1891) and financed by August Belmont, Sr. (1816-1890) for
whom the race was named. The race continued to be held at Jerome Park until
1890 when it was moved to Morris Park, a nearby racetrack in the Bronx. The
race remained there until the May 1905 opening of the new Belmont Park, 430
acre (1.7 kmē) racetrack in Elmont, New York.
Anti-betting legislation was passed in New York State, closing Belmont and
canceling the race for two years between 1911 and 1912.
The first post parade in the United States was at the 14th Belmont, in 1880.
Until 1921, the race was run in the clockwise tradition of English racing.
Since 1926, a silver bowl, made by Louis Comfort Tiffany and donated by the
Belmont family, has been given to the winning owner. Atop the bowl's cover is
a silver figure of Fenian, winner of the third running of the Belmont Stakes
"Victory Gallop" denies "Real Quiet" the Triple Crown in the 1998 Belmont
Stakes Because of its length, and because it is the final race of the Triple
Crown, it is called the "Test of the Champion". Most three-year-olds are
unaccustomed to the distance, and lack the ability to maintain a winning speed
for so long. In a long race such as the Belmont, positioning of the horse and
the timing of the move to chase for the lead can be critical.
The race distance has varied: from 1867 until 1873, it was 1 5/8 miles (2.6
km). In 1874 the distance was reduced to 1 1/2 miles (2.4 km), and from 1890
to 1892, and in 1895, the distance was 1 1/4 miles (2 km). From 1896 until
1925, the distance was increased to the original 1 5/8 miles (2.6 km). In
1926, the race distance was set at the present 1 1/2 miles (2.4 km).
Trainers with most wins:
James Rowe, Sr. : 8
Sam Hildreth : 7
Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons : 6
Woody Stephens : 5 (all consecutive from 1982-1986)
Max Hirsch, D. Wayne Lukas, Robert W. Walden : 4
Elliott Burch, John M. Gaver, Lucien Laurin, Frank McCabe, David McDaniel : 3
Jockeys with most wins:
Jim McLaughlin, Eddie Arcaro : 6
Earle Sande, Bill Shoemaker : 5
Braulio Baeza, Laffit Pincay, Jr., James Stout, Gary Stevens : 3
In 1870, a jockey recorded only as "Dick," a freed slave who later adopted the
name Ed Brown, became the first African-American jockey to win the race.
On June 5, 1993 thoroughbred racing's all-time leading female jockey, Julie
Krone, became the first woman to win a Triple Crown race when she rode to
victory in the Belmont Stakes aboard Colonial Affair.
Secretariat's 1973 Belmont victory set a record not only for the race, but for
the mile and a half (2.4 km) on dirt, that still stands. At 31 lengths, his
margin of victory is not only the race record, but the largest in the history
of American Grade 1 stakes races
Winning Horses of the Belmont Stakes