Bit by Bit Blog

Everything You Need to Know About the Belmont

The Belmont Stakes is right around the corner so we are going to give you a crash course of everything you should know. Get out your stop watch- we are about to break some records. And, GO!

The Race

Location – Belmont Park in Elmont, New York

Date –Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Distance – 1 ½ mile dirt track

Horses – 3-year-old thoroughbreds

TV & Time – 6:37 p.m. post time (EST) on NBC

Race – 149th running, first ran in 1867, oldest of the Triple Crown races

Nicknames – “Test of the Champions," named for the race's long distance, and “Run for the Carnations,” named for the blanket of carnations placed on the winner's back.

Fastest Time and Biggest Win– 2:24:00 (World Record for 1 ½ mile on dirt) and 31 lengths (World Record for 1 ½ mile) held by Secretariat in 1973

Last Years Champion – Creator

Prize Money – $1,500,000

Fun Facts

  • The first Belmont Stakes race was held in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx, and in 1890, the race moved to Morris Park Racecourse before making its permanent home at Belmont Park in 1905. The race did take a short break for reconstruction as it was held at the Aqueduct Racetrack from 1963-1967.
  • The inaugural stakes race and eventually, the racetrack itself, were named after August Belmont. He served as a prominent New York horseman and a pioneering chairman of The Jockey Club. He also was known for sporting a fine set of mutton chops from time to time.
  • The race used to be even longer as it was run at 1 5/8 miles up until 1973, before being shortened to its 1 ½ distance it is run at today.
  • The Belmont Stakes trophy, affectionately called the August Belmont Memorial Cup after its founder, is a Tiffany-made silver bowl with a figure of Fenian, winner of the 1869 Belmont Stakes, sitting atop it. The bowl itself is supported by the three foundational sires of the Thoroughbred breed - Herod (from the line of the Byerley Turk), Eclipse (from the line of the Darley Arabian), and Matchem (from the line of the Godolphin Arabian).
Photo: Afleet Alex and Gainesway Farm

Photo: Afleet Alex and Gainesway Farm