The Belmont Stakes is an American horse racing event for thoroughbreds that takes place on an annual basis in New York. Meant for three-year-old thoroughbred race horses, the event is run over a distance of 2.4kms, the longest dirt track in US thoroughbred horse racing.
This thoroughbred horse racing competition is the last event of the prestigious US Triple Crown, an annual horse racing event. The race begins with the Kentucky Derby, and then moves to the Preakness Stakes, which is another much awaited event. All three horse races are 2 to 3 weeks apart from each other.
This race is held on a Saturday, anywhere between June 5 and June 11.
The event attracts the fourth largest attendance in North America, but the crowds are larger than those at events such as Breeders’ Cup.
Belmont Stakes History
This thoroughbred horse racing competition is named in honor of August Belmont who sponsored the first race in 1866. Owing to unfavorable gambling laws in New York, the Belmont Racetrack was shut down and the Belmont Stakes was not run in 1911 and 1912.
This thoroughbred horse racing competition is also called “Test of the Champion” because it is the longest race and is also the last leg of the US Triple Crown. Three-year-old thoroughbred race horses usually lack the experience and the stamina to run such long distances, and winning the Belmont Race is quite an achievement.
Traditionally, This thoroughbred horse racing competition is often described or referred to as the “Run for the Carnations” on account of the practice of covering the winning horse’s neck with a blanket of flowers. This thoroughbred horse racing competition is the only US Triple Crown leg that doesn’t seem to stick to traditions. While “My Old Kentucky Home” and “Maryland, My Maryland” are sung without fail at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, respectively, the Belmont Stakes keeps changing its theme song often. The traditional drink of the Belmont Stakes has also changed from White Carnation to Belmont Breeze.
Belmont Stakes Records
Here is a list of some interesting Belmont Stakes records.
- George M. Odom and James G. Rowe are the only ones to win the Belmont Stakes as both trainer and jockey.
- The first woman jockey to win the Belmont Stakes was Julie Krone who was riding Colonial Affair on June 5, 1993.
- Sarah Lundy was the first female trainer of a horse that took part in the Belmont Stakes in 1984.
- This thoroughbred horse racing competition attracted its largest audience of 103,222 in 2002.
- The most interesting Belmont Stakes record was created by Braulio Baeza who won three Belmont Stakes races run at three different locations—Old Belmont Park in 1961, Aqueduct in 1963, and New Belmont Park in 1969.