Belmont Stakes at Jerome Park (1867-1889)
The first Belmont Stakes took place at the Jerome Park Racetrack in Bronx, a borough of New York City. It was won by the filly Ruthless.
The Jerome Park Racetrack had been built two years earlier by stock investor Leonard Jerome and the politician/financier August Belmont Sr., and the Belmont Stakes was named after Mr. Belmont. The last Belmont Stakes at Jerome Park was the one held in 1889.
Belmont Stakes at Morris Park Racecourse (1890-1904)
In 1890, the Belmost Stakes were held at the recently inagurated Morris Park Racecourse. Originally, this racecourse was within the boundaries of Westchester County, but in 1895 the area was annexed into the Bronx. The Belmont Stakes were held here from 1890 through 1904. Notably, the Preakness Stakes were also held here in 1890.
In 1895, the Belmont Stakes wasn´t held in June, because of the newly enacted law that prohibited bookmaking in New York City. After a lot of back and forth, the race was eventually held in November instead.
Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park (1905-present)
Belmont Park opened in May 1905 and immediately become the new home of the Belmont Stakes. Belmont Park is located in Elmont, on Long Island, just east of the New York City limits. You can read more about Belmont Park here.
When gambling was prohibited in all of New York State, the Belmont Racetrack closed down and the Belmont Stakes were cancelled for the years 1911 and 1912. The Belmont Stakes re-emerged again in 1913, with a race won by Prince Eugene, who finnished the 1 3/8 miles in 2:18.00.
Belmont Stakes at the Aqueduct Racetrack 1963-1967
In 1963-1967, the Belmont Stakes were held at Aqueduct Racetrack because the track at Belmont Park was undergoing renovations. Aqueduct Racetrack is located in Queens, New York City.
A few Belmont Stakes milestones, records and notable events
Most victorious jockey
This is a tie between Eddie Arcaro and Jim McLaughlin, as they have won the Belmont Stakes six times each.
Most victorious trainer
James G. Rowe, Sr. is the most victorious trainer. In 1883-1913, eight of the winners had been trained by him.
Most victorious owner
This is a tie between James R. Keene and the racing stable Belair Stud.
Keene´s horses won the Belmont stakes in 1879, 1901, 1904, 1907, 1908, and 1910. Belair Stud´s horses won in 1930, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1939, and 1955.
Fastest Belmont Stakes
Secretariat won the 1973 Belmont Stakes at the record-breaking 2:24.00.
In addition to being the fastest Belmont Stakes, Secretariat also set a new world record for the distance 1½ mile on a dirt track.
Belmont Stakes win by the widest margin
When Secretariat won the 1973 Belmont Stakes, he had a 31 horse length margin to the runner-up.
First undefeated winner
The first undefeated horse to win the Belmont Stakes was Seattle Slew, who accomplish this in 1977.
Largest crowd in the 20th century
The largest Belmont Stakes crowd of the 1900s came together in 1971, when over 80,000 people showed up for the event. A large reason for this extra-large crowd was the presence of the Venezuelan colt Cañonero II. (He was foaled in the United States but sold to Venezuela at a young age.) Cañonero II had already won the 1971 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and had a huge hispanic following. Accordingly, a lot of latinos – especially from New York and New Jersey – attended the 1971 Belmont Stakes to see if their favourite would become a Triple Crown champion. (He didn´t end up winning the Belmont Stakes, because a foot infection slowed him down and he finnished in 4th place. Despite this, he was honored with the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Three-Year-Old Male Horse.)
Largest crowd in the 21st century
In 2002, a new crowd record was set for the Belmont Stakes when 103,222 spectators attended the event. Just two years later, the 2002 record was broken as 120,139 people showed up for the 2004 Belmont Stakes.
First ever crowd-cap
For the 2015 Belmont Stakes, the New York Racing Association capped the total reserved and general admission attendance to 90,000 people. This was the first time ever that such as limit was imposed for the Belmont Stakes.
The 2014 Belmont Stakes had drawn 102,199 spectators, largely because of the possibility of California Chrome capturing the Triple Crown title. The huge attendance let to various problems, including making it difficult for people to leave the track through the overcrowded train platform and poorly organized parking lot exits.
During years when there is no Triple Crown on the line, the typical attendance for the Belmont Stakes is around 60,000.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Belmont Stakes took place on June 20 without on-site spectators.
This was the first time ever that the Belmont Stakes served as the first leg of the Triple Crown, as the Kentucky Derby had been moved to September and the Preakness Stakes to October. (Also, the Breeders´ Cup Classic was moved to November.) The running length of the Belmont Stakes was shortened to 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs), which is the shortest distance for the Belmont Stakes since 1894.