Belmont Stakes History

The very first Belmont Stakes was run in 1867, just two year’s after the conclusion of the American Civil War and it was raced on the Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx, NY. It was funded by local businessman, August Belmont Sr, after whom the race was named.

The race was at Jerome Park until 1890, when it was moved to Morris park Racecourse, also in New York. It took up residence at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY in 1905 and has remained there eversince.

The first winner of the Belmont Stakes was a filly by the name of Ruthless, ridden by Gilbert Patrick. August Belmont himself owned the winner of the 1869 running when his colt, Fenian won the race.

A silver bowl, topped with a silver figure of Fenian was donated by the Belmont family to be awarded each year to the winning owners of the race. The bowl also has figures of Herod, Eclipse and Matchem who represent the three founding sires of thoroughbred horse racing, Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian and Godolphin Barb.

The Belmont Stakes qute rightly earned itself the reputation of the ‘Test of the Champion’, due to its demanding nature and it being the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. It is also the longest distance of any of the Triple Crown races, being 1½ miles in length and one full circuit of the dirt surface of the Belmont racetrack. The other Triple Crown races are the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Please check out our page on Belmont Stakes legends


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