Belmont Park is a major Thoroughbred horse racing facility in the northeastern United States, located in Elmont, New York, just east of the New York City limits. Opened 114 years ago on May 4, 1905, it is operated by the non-profit New York Racing Association, as are Aqueduct and Saratoga Race Course. The group was formed in 1955 as the Greater New York Association to assume the assets of the individual associations that ran Belmont, Aqueduct, Saratoga, and the now-defunct Jamaica Race Course.
Belmont Park is typically open for racing from late April through mid-July (known as the Spring meet), and again from mid-September through late October (the Fall meet). It is widely-known as the home of the Belmont Stakes in early June, regarded as the "Test of the Champion", the third leg of the Triple Crown.
Along with Saratoga Race Course in Upstate New York, Keeneland and Churchill Downs in Kentucky, and Del Mar and Santa Anita in California, Belmont is considered one of the elite racetracks in North America.
The race park's main dirt track has earned the nickname, "the Big Sandy," given its prominent overall dimensions (1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km)) and the deep, sometimes tiring surface. Belmont is also sometimes known as "The Championship Track" because almost every major champion in racing history since the early 20th century has competed on the racecourse – including all of the Triple Crown winners.
Exterior and tote board in 1999
|Location||2150 Hempstead Turnpike|
Elmont, New York, U.S.
|Owned by||State of New York|
|Operated by||New York Racing Association|
|Date opened||May 4, 1905|
|Screened on||MSG Plus (restricted to cable systems in New York City, Northern/Central New Jersey, Fairfield County, Connecticut and Northeastern Pennsylvania)|
Capital OTB via WXXA Channel 23.2)
NYRA.com/NYRA Now app (Internet)
Altitude Sports (Rocky Mountains)
Fox Sports 2
Fox Sports Ohio
Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket (Southern California)
Fox Sports San Diego
NBC Sports Network
NBC Television (Belmont Stakes only)
|Course type||Flat / Thoroughbred|
1.5 miles (2.4 km)
|Notable races||Belmont Stakes|
Jockey Club Gold Cup
Mother Goose Stakes
Ogden Phipps Handicap
Man O' War Stakes
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational
August Belmont Jr. and William Collins Whitney, along with other investors, built the original Belmont race track which opened on May 4, 1905. In its first 15 or so years, Belmont Park featured racing clockwise, in the "English fashion"—allowing the upper-class members of the racing association and their guests to have the races finish in front of the clubhouse, just to the west of the grandstand. (A "field stand," at what was then the top of the stretch, was located east of the grandstand). The original finish line was located at the top of the present-day homestretch. In his 1925 book, "The Big Town", Ring W. Lardner refers to the then-recent directional change, when he has a character at Belmont say (speaking of a recent race) "At that time, they run the wrong way of the track, like you would deal cards". A later innovation was created by Joseph E. Widener, who took over track leadership when August Belmont II died in 1924: the Widener Chute. It was a straightaway of just under 7 furlongs (1.4 km) that cut diagonally through Belmont's training and main tracks, hitting near the quarter-pole of the main track; the course was removed in 1958.
There are presently two features of Old Belmont Park remaining today. First is the display of four stone pillars on Hempstead Turnpike, a gift from the mayor and park commissioners of Charleston, South Carolina. The pillars had stood at the entrance of the Washington Course of the South Carolina Jockey Club in Charleston, which operated from 1792 to 1882. The stone pillars are now found at the clubhouse entrance. Lesser known-but more visible-are the racing motif iron railings seen partially bordering the walking ring. The railings, used as decoration on the south side of the old Belmont grandstand, were salvaged during the 1963 demolition.
The original Belmont Park was not only unprecedented in its size, but also had the then-new innovation of a Long Island Rail Road extension from the Queens Village station, running along the property, tunneling under Hempstead Turnpike, then terminating on the south side of the property. The train terminal was moved to its present location north of the turnpike after the 1956 season.
Near the railroad terminal was yet another track—Belmont Park Terminal, a steeplechase course operated by United Hunts until 1927.
In addition to racing history, Belmont Park made history in another industry native to the Hempstead Plains – aviation. Some 150,000 people were drawn to the track in 1910 on October 30, at the climax of a Wright Brothers-staged international aerial tournament, which had started eight years earlier. The event came at the beginning of a period (1910, 1911, and 1912) in which racing was outlawed in New York State.
Today, two displays in the clubhouse of the current Belmont Park commemorate the history of the racetrack: a long mural by Pierre Bellocq featuring the dominant jockeys, trainers and racing personalities of the track's history; and a series of paintings of Old Belmont Park that were featured at a nearby restaurant before the eatery closed.
The last race at the old Belmont Park was run in October 1962. The following spring, NYRA Chairman James Cox Brady announced that two separate engineering surveys found the grandstand/clubhouse was unsafe due to age-induced structural defects and needed to be rebuilt. The book Belmont Park: A Century of Champions noted the comment of NYRA President Edward T. Dickinson: "When you sighted down the stands, you could see some of the beams were twisted. They were in something of an S-shape."
The old structure was demolished in 1963. The new grandstand was built 1964–1968. (The Inner Turf Course was also added during this time.) The Belmont race meetings were moved to Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, Queens, during that time.
The new $30.7 million Belmont Park grandstand, designed by Arthur Froehlich, was opened May 20, 1968 and is the largest in Thoroughbred racing. It has a total attendance capacity of more than 100,000, with the adjoining backyard being able to accommodate more than 10,000. The seating portion totals nearly 33,000. (Ironically, the smaller, more cramped Churchill Downs grandstand has more seats than Belmont, 51,000.) Unlike Churchill and Pimlico, Belmont does not allow paying spectators to picnic in the infield.
In May 2007, reports surfaced suggesting that then New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was considering closing Aqueduct Racetrack, which is ten miles west of Belmont in Ozone Park, New York, and turning Belmont into a nearly year 'round race track when the New York Racing Association lease for all three of New York State's tracks expired at the end of 2007. According to the plans being discussed, Belmont's stands would be heated, additional barns built for Aqueduct's 400 horses, and the track modified to accommodate winter racing. In addition, video lottery machines would be introduced. A new entity would operate Belmont from fall to spring while the New York Racing Association would operate Saratoga Race Course in the summer. Any plans the former governor might have had for the track alignment likely left office with him when Spitzer was forced to resign amid a prostitution scandal in March 2008.
In July 2017, New York State officials announced that vacant parking lots behind the Belmont grandstand had been put to tender for two area top-level professional sports teams: the New York Islanders, an NHL ice hockey team; and New York City FC, an MLS soccer team. Both teams were unhappy with their current locations (the Islanders at Barclays Center; New York City FC Yankee Stadium) and proposed to redevelop the land into their own stadiums. The Islanders proposed an 18,000 seat sports arena, 435,000 square feet for retail development, a 225-room hotel, and a 10,000-sq ft community center, while NYCFC's pledge included a 26,000 seat soccer ground, 400,000 sq ft for retail, a 5.2 acre community park, and 2 acre soccer complex: both proposals were fully privately funded and included improved parking and LIRR facilities as well. On December 20, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Islanders project had won approval to be built, and the Belmont Park Arena will be opened in time for the 2020-21 hockey season. However, the New York City FC proposal was rejected.
The Belmont Stakes was named after financier and sportsman August Belmont Sr., who helped fund the race, and most sources say the racetrack itself was also named for him. Other sources say Belmont Park was named in honor of his son—August Belmont Jr., a key member of the Westchester Racing Association, which established the racecourse.
The race was first run in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx. In 1937, the wrought iron gates that bore an illustration of that first Belmont Stakes were donated to the track by August Belmont II's sole surviving son, Perry Belmont. The gates are now on the fourth floor of Belmont Park's clubhouse.
The Belmont Stakes races have been run at Belmont Park since 1905, with the exceptions of 1911–12, when gambling was banned in New York State; and the 1963–67 editions, held at Aqueduct while the grandstands at Belmont Park were reconstructed. The first post parade in the United States was at the 14th Belmont, in 1880.
Secretariat's finishing time in his 1973 Belmont victory (2 minutes, 24 seconds) set a world record for 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) on dirt, a world record which still stands. The 31-length victory clinched the first Triple Crown in 25 years, dating back to Citation in 1948. A statue of Secretariat is in the center of the Belmont paddock.
Another Belmont Stakes achievement is recognized by the "Woody's Corner" display in the first-floor clubhouse lobby, commemorating the five consecutive Belmont Stakes winners trained by Woody Stephens from 1982 to 1986.
Other memorable performances in Belmont Park history include the opening of the track in 1905 with the famous dead heat between Sysonby and Race King in the Met Cap. In 1923, Belmont Park was host to an international duel between the American and English champions: Zev, winner of the Kentucky Derby, against Papyrus, winner of The Derby. Zev won by five lengths in front of the biggest crowd for a match race in a hundred years.
Belmont Park was the site of the tragedy-marred victory of Foolish Pleasure over champion filly Ruffian in a 1975 match race. Ruffian broke down during the race and had to be euthanized; she is buried near the finish line in the infield at Belmont Park, her nose pointed towards the finish pole.
The racetrack was also the site of Affirmed's epic stretch duel with Alydar in the 1978 Belmont Stakes, a victory that gave Affirmed the Triple Crown; and Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew's defeat of Affirmed in the Marlboro Cup in September of that same year. The Marlboro, a key event of the Fall Championship meets in the 1970s and 1980s, included a dramatic come-from-behind win by Forego in the 1976 installment.
Officials of the New York Racing Association made a concerted effort to boost attendance on Belmont Stakes Day after the 1995 installment drew only 37,171. In 1997, NYRA and local officials put together the Long Island Belmont Stakes Festival—featuring parades, food fests and other events in surrounding communities to promote the big race. The effort succeeded in creating a buzz around the Belmont Stakes apart from the chance of seeing a Triple Crown. The 2000 and 2001 Belmonts—both run when there was no Triple Crown on the line—drew announced crowds of 67,810 and 73,857. The Belmont Stakes Festival continues to be held in communities near the track, such as Floral Park and Garden City. In 2004, a record attendance of 120,139 was on hand to see if Smarty Jones would be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.
American Pharoah won the 2015 Belmont Stakes on June 6, and became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. It was announced before the race that attendance would be capped at 90,000. That year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness both set attendance records, over 170,000 and 130,000 respectively.
Belmont Park also has a history of early aviation shows and tournaments that dates back to the early 1900s.
Harriet Quimby, the first USA woman to obtain a pilot's license, learned of the excitement of flight at the Belmont Park International Aviation Tournament on Long Island, New York in 1910 where she met famed aviator John Moisant and his sister.
In addition to the Belmont Stakes, other major races held at Belmont have included the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Woodward Stakes, the Suburban Handicap and the Memorial Day standby—the Metropolitan Handicap, also known as the "Met Mile." (NYRA moved the Woodward to Saratoga Race Course, in 2006.)
Two important races for fillies, the Mother Goose Stakes and the Coaching Club American Oaks, are also run at Belmont as the first two installments of the New York Racing Association's Triple Tiara series for fillies. The third is the Alabama Stakes, run at Saratoga. In years past, the New York Filly Triple Crown consisted of the Mother Goose, CCA Oaks and another Belmont race, the Acorn Stakes (which is still run at the track).
All of the above races are contested on dirt; notable turf (grass) races include the Belmont Derby, Belmont Oaks, Manhattan Handicap, Just A Game Handicap, Bowling Green Handicap, Man O' War Stakes, Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational.
Belmont's Fall Championship meet includes New York Showcase Day in late October, with seven stakes races for New York-bred horses. The richest race on that program is the $250,000 Empire Classic Handicap.
Racing at Belmont Park is conducted in two annual installments, or "meetings": The "spring-summer meeting," which usually begins on the second Wednesday in May and lasts through the fourth Sunday in July, followed by a "fall meeting" commencing on the Friday after Labor Day and ending the fourth Sunday in October. Racing is held at Saratoga Race Course, during the time between these two meetings. Prior to 1977 a summer meeting was contested at Aqueduct from mid-June until the Saratoga meet began; its abolition led to the Belmont spring meeting being lengthened to its present duration (and eventual renaming).
The autumn installment is known as the Fall Championship meet, since many of the eventual Eclipse Award title winners have earned key victories in some of the meeting's races, such as the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Before the advent of the Breeders' Cup series in the mid-1980s, the Belmont Fall Championship races themselves helped determine the divisional championships.
Belmont has been home to the daylong Breeders' Cup championship in 1990, 1995, 2001 (the first major sports event to be held after the September 11 Attacks in the metropolitan area) and most recently in 2005.
Belmont's backyard is well known as a gathering place for racing fans to see their horses saddled before they hit the track. The center of the paddock is dominated by a white pine that predated the track itself—it turned 180 years old in 2006. A stylized version of the pine has been the centerpiece of Belmont Park's corporate logo since 1968.
The paddock area also serves as a picnic area for the increasing numbers of fans who make Belmont Stakes Day—the Saturday that falls within the range of June 5 through June 11—a tourist attraction.
The 430-acre (170 ha) racing, training and barn complex is located on the western edge of the Nassau County region known as the Hempstead Plains. Just a few miles (kilometers) east on the same plains, the first racing meet in North America was held in 1665, supervised by colonial governor Richard Nicolls.
The dirt racecourse, known officially as the Main Track and nicknamed "Big Sandy" by racing followers, has a circumference of 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km), the longest dirt thoroughbred racetrack in North America. Immediately inside of this is the Widener Turf Course (named after the Widener family that has a long and prestigious history in American horse racing) spanning 1 5⁄16 miles (2.1 km) plus 27 feet (8.2 m), which in turn encircles an Inner Turf Course with a circumference of 1 3⁄16 miles (1.9 km) plus 103 feet (31 m). On the Main Track, it is 1,097 feet (334 m) from the top of the stretch to the finish line, and the segment between the wire and the start of the first (clubhouse) turn covers 843 feet (257 m); this latter segment is shorter by approximately 165 feet (50 m) on both of the turf courses, in order to accommodate the two chutes that exist on the Widener Turf Course, from which turf races of 1 mile (1.6 km) and 1 1⁄16 miles (1.7 km) are started; an additional chute exists for races of 1 1⁄16 miles (1.7 km) on the Inner Turf Course.
A straightaway chute leads on to the backstretch of the Main Track and permits races on the dirt up to 1 1⁄8 miles (1.8 km) long to be run with one turn. The chute used to extend further back across the training track, permitting races of up to a mile and a quarter, but was shortened because a crossover is now infeasible given the clay base of the Main Track and stone-dust base of the training track. Before the 1990 Breeders' Cup, the outer rail of the Main Track was moved back to widen the middle of the clubhouse turn and soften the angle of the start of the 1 1⁄4 miles (2.0 km) Classic. The training track is 1 mile (1.6 km) in circumference and abuts the east end of the main track. In March 2009, lights were added to the training track as a safety measure to prevent early morning workouts from occurring in the dark.
The racetrack, grandstand, training, and barn facilities are located entirely in the community of Elmont in Nassau County, New York. According to the City of New York's own map portal, the Long Island Rail Road station on the property, the ramp between the grandstand and the train station, and some of the adjoining parking fields straddle the Queens County line.
Belmont Park has direct on- and off-ramps to the Cross Island Parkway, which runs north-south and is just to the west of the park. Belmont Park's physical address is given as 2150 Hempstead Turnpike (New York State Route 24).
The Belmont Park property originally totaled some 650 acres (2.6 km2). Because the property stretched slightly into Queens, bookmakers in the track's early days—when bookmaking was illegal—could escape arrest from one county's authorities by jumping over the border. It was once even believed that horses rounding the far turn crossed into Queens and then came back to Nassau for the stretch run. After the 1956 season, the construction of a wider bus road beyond the main course's final turn forced the turn to be shortened. According to the Belmont publication commemorating the track's 1968 reopening, that move cut 96 feet (29 m) off its circumference. The current layout has the entire racing course inside Nassau County.
Because of Belmont's role hosting big, nationally televised races on broadcast and cable TV, its track announcers have been among the best known in the sport. Among the famous race callers who've served as Belmont PA announcers are Fred Capossela, Dave Johnson, Chic Anderson, Marshall Cassidy, Tom Durkin, and present voice Larry Collmus.
Contrary to popular belief, Johnson, not Anderson, was Belmont Park's PA announcer during Secretariat's 1973 romp in the Belmont Stakes. It was on TV that Anderson called the 1973 Belmont Stakes aired by CBS Television, where he famously described Big Red as "moving like a tremendous machine". Anderson was the TV "voice of horse racing" in the 1970s and the announcer at Churchill Downs during Secretariat's racing career. Johnson went on to be TV's voice of horse racing in the 1990s.
Anderson would succeed Johnson as announcer at Belmont and the other NYRA tracks in May 1977, serving until his death on March 24, 1979. Anderson was followed by frequent backup voice Marshall Cassidy, who was the lead caller of NYRA races until Durkin replaced him in September 1990.
Sources: New York Racing Association (NYRA), City of New York
Comedian Robert Klein made Capossella's race calls the subject of one of his routines, captured on his 1974 album Mind Over Matter.
Scenes for the Woody Allen movies Mighty Aphrodite (1995) and Melinda and Melinda (2004) were shot at Belmont Park, as was a paddock scene for the 1990s remake of the film Gloria with Sharon Stone and George C. Scott.
Belmont has hosted a wide range of top musical acts including Billy Joel, Kenny Rogers, Natalie Cole and Blondie. Titled the Coca-Cola Sunset Series, these fan based events were produced by music impresario, Richard Flanzer.
A January 1975 episode of the ABC sitcom The Odd Couple — entitled "Felix the Horse Player"—was filmed partly at Belmont Park, though one of the race clips on the show features the shot of an Aqueduct starting gate.
Belmont Park was featured in an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, in which Frank, Robert, and Ray bet on a horse named "Marie's Mouth".
Belmont Park was featured on season finale of The Amazing Race 27.
The 88th Belmont Stakes was an American Grade I stakes Thoroughbred horse race held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on June 11, 1949. From the fourteen starters, Capot won the race under a ride much praised in the media by future Hall of Fame jockey Ted Atkinson. While Capot had won the Preakness Stakes, there was no Triple Crown at stake as second-place finisher Ponder had won the Kentucky Derby.
The 1949 Belmont Stakes carried a gross purse of $91,500 which went to the first four finishers with the nominator of each of the top three horses receiving $2000, $1,000, and $500 respectively.
Winning breeder: Greentree Stud, Inc.2005 Breeders' Cup
The 2005 Breeders' Cup World Championships was the 22nd edition of the premier event of the North American thoroughbred horse racing year. The eight races, all of which were Grade I, took place on October 29 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York and were telecast by NBC. The Breeders' Cup is generally regarded as the end of the North America racing season, although a few Grade I events take place in later November and December. The results of the races were highly influential in that year's Eclipse Award voting.
The highlight of the event was Saint Liam's victory in the Classic, wrapping up a campaign that earned him Horse of the Year honors.American Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing
The Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing, formerly known as the Filly Triple Crown, is a set of three horse races in the United States which is open to three-year-old fillies. Presently the only official Triple Tiara is the three race series in New York; they are: The Acorn Stakes, run at Belmont Park at a distance of 1 mile, The Coaching Club American Oaks, run at Saratoga Race Course at a distance of 1⅛ miles and The Alabama Stakes, also run at Saratoga at a distance of 1¼ miles.Belmont Park, Montreal
Belmont Park (French: Parc Belmont) was an amusement park that operated between 1923 and 1983 in the Montreal neighborhood of Cartierville in Quebec, Canada.Located on the banks of Riviere des Prairies, Belmont Park was best known for its wooden roller coaster, the Cyclone, but at one time or another had a Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel, Ferris wheel, picnic grounds, dance hall, swimming pool, roller skating rink plus numerous other rides for adults and a "Kiddieland."Belmont Park, which had opened on June 9, 1923, closed permanently on October 13, 1983. This followed a police raid that may have been motivated by city hall's displeasure at the park, a private venture, taking away business from the then city-owned La Ronde.Belmont Park (San Diego)
Belmont Park is a historic oceanfront amusement park located in the Mission Bay area of San Diego, California. The park was developed by sugar magnate John D. Spreckels and opened on July 4, 1925 as the Mission Beach Amusement Center. In addition to providing recreation and amusement, it also was intended as a way to help Spreckles sell land in Mission Beach. Located on the beach, it attracts millions of people each year.
The park's most iconic attraction is the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster, which is considered a local landmark.Belmont Park Arena
The Belmont Park Arena is the tentative name of a $1 billion multi-purpose arena and development in the northeastern United States, located in Elmont, New York, just east of the New York City limits. Groundbreaking and construction is scheduled for 2019, and completion is expected in 2021. It will serve as the home of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL).Belmont Park Racecourse
Belmont Park Racecourse is one of the two major horse racing venues within the Perth, Western Australia metropolitan area, the other being Ascot Racecourse. The track has a circumference of 1,699 m (5,574 ft) with a 333 m (1,093 ft) straight. Belmont is Perth's winter racecourse, with fully enclosed facilities for spectators.On 24 December 1910 Belmont Park held its first harness race meeting, conducted by the Western Australian Trotting Association (WATA). The WATA continued to conduct race meetings on a fortnightly basis, using both Belmont Park and the Claremont Showgrounds as venues, until the harness racing commenced on the WACA Ground track, on 28 June 1913.
In January 1911 the first aeroplane flight in Western Australia was conducted from the Belmont Park Racecourse. The racecourse served as Perth's first regular landing area until a more suitable site was found at Langley Park in 1919.Belmont Park station
Belmont Park is a seasonal-use Long Island Rail Road station on the grounds of the Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont, New York. Train service is operated only when Belmont Park is open. The station is a terminus of a spur line that lies south of and between the Queens Village and Bellerose stations on the Main Line/Hempstead Branch. In consistency with the names of other lines and branches of the LIRR, the spur line is called the Belmont Park Branch.
Unlike the rest of the property on Belmont Park, the Belmont Park station is part of a small sliver of Belmont property (including some parking) that is located in Queens County. The racing complex is located in Nassau County.Belmont Stakes
The Belmont Stakes is an American Grade I stakes Thoroughbred horse race held on the first or second Saturday in June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It is a 1.5-mile-long (2.4 km) horse race, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg). The race, nicknamed The Test of the Champion, and The Run for the Carnations, is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown and is held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. The 1973 Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown winner Secretariat holds the mile and a half stakes record (which is also a track and world record on dirt) of 2:24.
The attendance at the Belmont Stakes is among the American thoroughbred racing top-attended events. The 2004 Belmont Stakes drew a television audience of 21.9 million viewers, and had the highest household viewing rate since 1977 when Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown.The 150th Belmont Stakes took place on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Justify won the race and became the second horse in four years to win the Triple Crown.Brooklyn Invitational Stakes
The Brooklyn Invitational Stakes (formerly known as the Brooklyn Handicap) is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in early June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, on Long Island. It currently is a Grade II event open to four-year-olds and up willing to race one and one-half miles on dirt. It was a Grade 1 race prior to 1993.The race was once the second leg of what is sometimes referred to as the New York Handicap Triple series of races. It was preceded by the Metropolitan Handicap and followed by the Suburban Handicap. Four horses won the Handicap Triple:
Whisk Broom II (1913)
Tom Fool (1953)
Fit to Fight (1984)The race is currently run on the same day as the Metropolitan Handicap, so it is no longer possible to win the Handicap Triple.
First run in 1887 at Gravesend Race Track on Coney Island, New York, the Brooklyn Handicap quickly became one of the top attractions on the New York racing circuit, drawing some of the best Thoroughbreds.
Since inception the race has been held at:
Gravesend Race Track : 1887-1910
Not run 1911-1912 due to New York State ban on parimutuel betting
Old Aqueduct Racetrack : 1914-1944, 1946-1955
Jamaica Race Course : 1956, 1958-1959
Aqueduct Racetrack : 1960-1974, 1976
Belmont Park : 1957, 1975, 1977 to presentThe Brooklyn Handicap has been contested at a variety of distances:
1 mile, 1 furlong : 1915-1939, 1994-2007
1 3⁄16 miles : 1956-1959, 1972-1974
1 1⁄4 miles : 1887-1914, 1940-1955, 1960-1971, 1975-1976
1 3⁄8 miles : 1991-1993
1 1⁄2 miles : 1977-1990, 2008 to presentChampagne Stakes (United States)
The Champagne Stakes is an American Grade I Thoroughbred horse race for two-year-old horses. The race is run at a distance of one mile on the dirt at Belmont Park in October each year. Although the race is open to both colts and fillies, in practice it is New York's premier race for two-year-old colts and fillies enter the Frizette Stakes instead.
The race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby Prep Season qualifying race. The winner receives 10 points toward qualifying for the Kentucky Derby.The race is also a part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series. The winner automatically qualifies for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
The race was first run in 1867, and it is the oldest race of its kind in the United States. It was given the same name as the British Champagne Stakes which has been run annually since 1823 at the Doncaster Racecourse in South Yorkshire, England.
There was no Champagne Stakes run from 1910 through 1913, due to a legislated ban by the State of New York on parimutuel wagering, and no race was held in 1956.
Notable past winners who have gone on to success as three-year-olds or older include U.S. Triple Crown champions Seattle Slew, and Count Fleet and others such as Ben Brush, Colin, Sarazen, Alsab, Grey Lag, Buckpasser, Riva Ridge, Foolish Pleasure, Alydar, Spectacular Bid, and Easy Goer, all of whom are now in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Easy Goer ran the best Beyer Speed Figure performance(in the 1988 Champagne Stakes) by any 2-year-old since Beyer racing figures were first published.The 1880 winner was Lady Rosebery, a horse owned by August Belmont, Sr. and named to honor England's Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery whose family was prominent in British racing. Similarly, the 1950 winner was Uncle Miltie, a horse given the nickname of the famous comedian and New York City native, Milton Berle.
The inaugural running of the Champagne Stakes took place in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack prior where it remained through 1889. Shifted to the Morris Park Racetrack facility, it was held there through 1904. Moved to its present home at Belmont Park for the 1905 racing season, it was run at the Aqueduct Racetrack in 1959, from 1963 to 1967, and again in 1984.
Over the years, the Champagne Stakes has been raced over a variety of distances:
Six furlongs : 1871-1889
Seven furlongs : 1891-1904
165 feet short of seven furlongs (Widener Course) : 1905-1932
Six and one-half furlongs (Widener Course) : 1933-1939
One mile : 1940-1983, 1985–1993; 2005 to present
One and one-eighth miles : 1984
One and one-sixteenth miles : 1994-2004City of Belmont
The City of Belmont is a local government area in the inner eastern suburbs of the Western Australian capital city of Perth, located about 8 kilometres (5 mi) east of Perth's central business district on the south bank of the Swan River. The City covers an area of 39.8 square kilometres (15.4 sq mi), maintains 225 km of roads and had a population of almost 40,000 as at the 2016 Census. The City of Belmont is a member of the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council
Belmont contains Perth's domestic and international airports which account for 33.7% of the City of Belmont's land area.Elmont, New York
Elmont is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located in northwestern Hempstead in Nassau County, New York, United States, along its border with the borough of Queens in New York City. It is a suburban bedroom community located on Long Island. The population was 33,198 at the 2010 census.
Elmont is famous for Belmont Park which hosts the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the prestigious Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing.Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes
The Flower Bowl Stakes is an American Grade I race for thoroughbred fillies and mares run in early October at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. For horses ages three and up, it is raced on turf at a distance of one and a quarter miles and offers a current purse of $500,000.
The race is part of the Breeders Cup Challenge series. The winner of the Flower Bowl automatically qualifies for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.In 1987, the race was switched from turf to dirt due to heavy rain.
The race was named for Flower Bowl, a winner of the Ladies Handicap at Belmont Park and an outstanding broodmare.Matron Stakes (Belmont Park)
The Matron Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually during the Fall at Belmont Park in Elmont, Long Island, New York. It is open to two-year-old fillies and is the filly counterpart to the Belmont Futurity Stakes.
Before 1902, it was run in two divisions, one for fillies and one for colts. After 1915, it was restricted to fillies. The inaugural race took place at Morris Park Racecourse in The Bronx, New York where it remained until 1905 when it was moved to the new Belmont Park. Through special arrangements, in 1910 it was hosted by Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Aqueduct Racetrack hosted the race in 1960 and again from 1962 to 1968.
The Matron Stakes was run over a straight course before 1959 (except for 1941). Since inception, it has been contested at various distances:
Six furlongs : 1892-1972, 2011 to present
Seven furlongs : 1972-1993, 2005-2009
One mile : 1994-2004There was no race from 1895 to 1898, from 1911 to 1913 as a result of New York state legislation that banned parimutuel betting, from 1915 to 1922, and in 2001 it was cancelled in observance of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.
The Matron will be run as a turf race for the first time in 2018.New York Cosmos Stadium
The New York Cosmos Stadium was a proposed 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium and multipurpose facility. It was to be located in the New York metropolitan area in Nassau County, just over the city border. Plans were submitted to New York's Empire State Development Corporation. Upon completion, it would have been the home stadium of the New York Cosmos.New York Racing Association
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) is the not-for-profit corporation that operates the three largest Thoroughbred horse racing tracks in the state of New York, United States: Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, Queens; Belmont Park in Elmont; and Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs.
Racing at NYRA tracks is year-round, operating at Belmont Park from May to mid-July and from September through October; at Saratoga Race Course, from mid-July through Labor Day; and at Aqueduct and its winter track from November through April.
The New York Racing Association is the successor to the Greater New York Association, a non-profit racing association created in 1955. NYRA is separate from the governing body that oversees racing in New York, the former New York State Racing and Wagering Board (now the New York State Gaming Commission).Sea Hero
Sea Hero (foaled March 4, 1990 in Virginia) is an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 1993 Kentucky Derby and Travers Stakes. Since 2011, Sea Hero is the oldest living winner of the Kentucky Derby.Suburban Handicap
The Suburban Handicap is an American Grade II Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Open to horses age three and older, it is now run at the 1 1⁄4 mile distance on dirt for a $500,000 purse.
In 2009, this race was downgraded from a Grade I to a Grade II event.The Suburban Handicap was contested at a distance of one and one half miles in 1975 and at a mile and three-sixteenths in 1976. Beginning in 1978, the race was started on Belmont Park's clubhouse turn and run at a mile and a quarter.
Named after the City and Suburban Handicap in England, the Suburban had its 132nd running in 2018. First held at Leonard Jerome's Sheepshead Bay Race Track in 1884, it stayed at that location until 1913. For 1915 alone, the Suburban was held at Empire City Race Track; afterward, it was moved to Belmont Park and there it has remained except for the races of 1961 to 1974 and 1976. During that time, the Suburban was hosted at Aqueduct Racetrack. The race was not run for three years: 1911, 1912, and 1914.
The Suburban is the final of the three races that once composed the New York Handicap Triple series of races, as it follows the Metropolitan Handicap and the Brooklyn Handicap. Four horses have won the Handicap Triple:
Whisk Broom II (1913)
Tom Fool (1953)
Fit to Fight (1984)The list of former winners is like a who's who of the race horse world, featuring some of American racing's greatest champions. The first mare to win the Suburban Handicap was the great Hall of Famer, Imp.