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The Belmont Stakes is an American grade I stakes Thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It is a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) horse race, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg).
Named after August Belmont, a financial business man, who made fortune for himself in New York politics. Obviously, Mr. Belmont was also quite involved in horse racing, and his imprint is even intertwined within the history of the Kentucky Derby. One thing the Belmont does have over the Derby is that it is the oldest of the three Triple Crown events. The Belmont predates the Preakness by six years, the Kentucky Derby by eight.
"The Test of The Champion" or "Run for the Carnations" as traditionally called, because the winning horse is draped with a blanket of white carnations after the race, in similar fashion to the blanket of roses and black-eyed susans for the Derby and Preakness, respectively.
The Race has been run at various distances. From 1867 tp 1873 it was 1 5/8 miles; from 1874 to 1889 it was 1 1/2 miles; from 1890 through 1892, and in 1895, it was held at 1 1/4 miles; from 1896 through 1925 it was 1 5/8 miles; since 1925 the Belmont Stakes has been a race of 1 1/2 miles.
The race, nicknamed The Test of the Champion, is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown and is held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, on a Saturday between June 5 and June 11.
The attendance at the Belmont Stakes is among the American thoroughbred racing top attended events. The 2004 Belmont Stakes drew a television audience of 21.9 million viewers, and had the highest household viewing rate since 1977 when Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown.
A day of horse racing wouldn't be complete without placing a bet. It's the one sporting event you simply cannot enjoy until you've put money on a horse and got a stake in the race yourself. With the Kentucky Derby so close, it is time to take a look at this year’s top contenders as we begin to size up whom might have a shot at winning horse racing’s legendary Triple Crown; the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and the Belmont.
Winners of The Belmont Stakes since 1997 2017 Tapwright 2:30.02 2016 Creator 2:28.51 2015 American Pharoah 2:26:65 2014 Tonalist 02:28.5 2013 Palace Malice 02:30.7 2012 Union Rags 02:30.4 2011 Ruler on Ice 02:30.9 2010 Drosselmeyer 02:31.6 2009 Summer Bird 02:27.5 2008 Da'Tara 02:29.7 2007 Rags to Riches 02:28.7 2006 Jazil 02:27.8 2005 Afleet Alex 02:28.7 2004 Birdstone 02:27.5 2003 Empire Maker 02:28.3 2002 Sarava 02:29.7 2001 Point Given 02:26.8 2000 Commendable 02:31.2 1999 Lemon Drop Kid 02:27.8 1998 Victory Gallop 02:29.0 1997 Touch Gold 02:28.8
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