Horse race fans from around the world have heard of Belmont Park as it is truly a treasured historical landmark that is loved by many.
The very first win in Belmont Park went to Tanya, a filly. Offering the biggest dirt course in the history of Thoroughbred racing, Belmont Park has a sprawling dirt track that is an impressive mile and a half long. Most of the very best and greatest racehorses of the twentieth century have competed at Belmont Park. Some of the other features at Belmont Park are the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Metropolitan Handicap, and most importantly the Belmont Stakes, the final race in America’s Triple Crown. In 1975 Ruffian almost won a “battle-of-the-sexes” race over Foolish Pleasure but was tragically ended when Foolish Pleasure broke several bones as they just seemed to snap. There are four stone pillars displayed on Hempstead Turnpike that still remain. The park is abnormally large and usually young horse don’t race there but at its placement as the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes set the table for some of racing’s greatest moments of wins and also losses. That was the breaking ground for the park and ever since the park has had one victory after another. Belmont Park has an amazing history for horse racing but it also has a place in American pop culture. The list just continued to go on, Peter Pan in 1907, the undefeated Colin in 1908, Man O’War in 1920, and Citation in 1948. There was an amazing win in 2007 by the first filly in over 100 years when Rags to Riches’ barreled across the finish line first.
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Belmont Park has undergone many facelifts over the years but there are still enough of the original pieces left of what is now called Old Belmont Park. Horse race lovers will never forget the homestretch battle between Affirmed and Alydar in 1978 because this was the match that won Affirmed the Triple Crown. Salvaged during the demolition are the iron railings that are still part of the park’s original grandstand. The greatest feat likely in the history of horse racing was the 31 length victory in 1973 at the Belmont Stakes which featured Secretariat. Secretariat’s statue is present in the Belmont Park paddock to this day.
Before Belmont Park was, it was Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx that hosted the races, but this was in the very early years before 1905 and the birth of Belmont. They symbolize the opening of the South Carolina Jockey Club in 1792.
Opening first in May 1905, Belmont Park brings forth American Thoroughbred horse racing in one of the most fabulous venues. After all, how many race parks have their own drink named after them? The Belmont Breeze? Maybe you remember the drink from “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Odd Couple?” During the racing ban of 1910-12, the park made aviation history when the Wright Brothers chose it as the final venue of the international aerial tournament of 1902-10.
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