The third and final leg of the illustrious Triple Crown™, the Belmont Stakes is a true test of a champion. Ran over one-and-half-miles, the race is one of America’s most highly-anticipated of the racing calendar. Named after leading banker and racing man of the 19th century August Belmont, the Belmont Stakes is held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes.
First inaugurated in 1867, the Belmont Stakes initially took place at Jerome Park from 1867 to 1889, before moving to its current home in 1905 with the opening of Belmont Park in Elmont, NY.
The longest of all three Triple Crown™ races, the Belmont Stakes is unpredictable. It is a test of guts and stamina. While many have gone in search of immortality here and the coveted Triple Crown (34 horses were eligible), just 12 horses have completed the rarest of American sporting successes.
At Belmont Park, horses must be bred to run the extra distance. At 1.5 miles-in-length, it is one of the longest first-class races in the United States.
Down through the years, the hallowed turf has seen it all. From Secretariat’s record-breaking act of sheer brilliance in 1973 when “moving like a tremendous machine”, Rags To Riches bridging a 102-year gap by becoming just the third filly to stride to victory in 2007, to 2015’s coronation of American Pharoah when becoming the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown™ following 37 years of a drought, few races compare when it comes to history, prestige or excitement.
Ahead of the 2017 Belmont Stakes, which takes place from June 8 -10 at Belmont Park, NY. Belmont Experiences will recount the story of our ten favorite successes at the “Run for the Carnations” for the next ten Wednesday’s leading up to race week.
Looking back on 1978, many will remember the duel between Affirmed and Alydar in each leg of the Triple Crown™, near wins in both the Kentucky Derby® and Preakness for Affirmed over Alydar lead to a heated rivalry in that year’s Belmont Stakes. One horse was looking for revenge and the other for a Triple Crown™, which produced a race that horse-racing fans would rejoice over for years.
With a slow start from both top contenders, many wondered if Affirmed would falter in the last leg. It wasn’t until the last half mile, that both Affirmed and Alydar would pull ahead of the pack to run head-to-head towards the finish. As what some call “one for the history books”, Affirmed took the Belmont Stakes and claimed a Triple Crown™ victory by a nose, etching his name in horse racing folklore.
Be at the Belmont Stakes in 2017!
The Belmont Stakes is a true test of a champion. In 2017, make sure you are there to witness history in the making. With Belmont Experiences, the Official Experience Provider for the Belmont Stakes, race fans will be able to enjoy all-encompassing views of the track.
Complete with access to our in-track, climate-controlled hospitality setting in The Diamond Room at North Shore Terrace, guests will enjoy gourmet food buffets, a premium open bar, live entertainment, legendary jockey appearances, and big-screen televisions with full race day coverage that ensure you’ll be in the most festive and exciting venue for the 2017 Belmont Stakes.