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) thoroughbred 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). The Belmont Stakes is called the "Run for the Carnations" because of the blanket of white carnations that are draped over the winner's neck.
Secretariat at the 1973 Belmont Stakes finish line Enlarge 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 km˛) 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 in 1869. "Victory Gallop" denies "Real Quiet" the Triple Crown in the 1998 Belmont Stakes Enlarge "Victory Gallop" denies "Real Quiet" the Triple Crown in the 1998 Belmont Stakes Because of its length (one lap around the enormous Belmont main track), 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).
Due to the reconstruction of Belmont from 1963-1967 the race would be held at Aqueduct Racetrack.
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