Any self-respecting horse racing board wouldn't be complete without the addition of the legendary Belmont Park race track. Positioned just outside the New York City limits -in the city of Elmont proper-, this major thoroughbred venue opened its doors over a century ago in 1905 and is the critical host of the third and final leg of the Triple Crown set of Grade 1 races. Belmont Park is part of an elite family of horse racing locations that include the also New York-based Saratoga, Aqueduct, California's Santa Anita, Del Mar and Lexington's Keeneland racetrack.

Some controversy remains as to the origin of its name, with some pundits believing it due to its founding father, August Belmont Sr. or to his son; in any case, Belmont saw the light of day on 1905 with the aid of the aforementioned racing moguls, alongside investors like William Collins Whitney, among others. It features races throughout both the Spring and Fall meets, with a schedule that opens during the month of April, going through the middle of July, and then, later recommences on mid-September to wrap up in October.

The Belmont Park race track is well-known as "The Big Sandy", due to its massive proportions and the thick and difficult quality of its dirt surface. It is also regarded as the "Test of the Champion" thanks to its role as the final challenge within the Triple Crown American Thoroughbred circuit; it also graces the "Championship Track" moniker, as very few established horse racing champions have missed their opportunity to compete in this famous race course.

Belmont's history has but a few blemishes to recall, mostly due to the changing nature of gambling regulations in its home state, as well as those temporary closings connected too much needed renovations, of which we must mention the Aqueduct take-over of its racing program during the grandstand reconstruction between the years of 1964-68. It is currently regarded as the largest grandstand venue in the American racing industry with a seating capacity for over one hundred thousand attendees.

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Belmont Racetrack Facts:

  • Racecourse type: American Stakes Thoroughbred (dirt).
  • Location: Elmont, New York.
  • Purse: varies.
  • Venue capacity: 100 thousand spectators.
  • Track length: 1.5 miles.
  • Important track records: (1973) Secretariat at 2:24 minutes. Belmont Stakes.