Belmont Park is a horse racing facility located in Belmont in New York. The racecourse is functional from late April till mid-July and from September to late October.
History of the Track
The main dirt track of the park is known as ‘the Big Sandy’ because of its dimensions as well as the rugged surface. Belmont is also known as “The Championship Track” because all the great champions of racing after the 20th century have played here at least once and this includes the Triple Crown winners as well.
The place was originally opened on May 4, 1905 and during its first few years, it allowed the guests of the racing association to race in front of the clubhouse. The clubhouse was eventually taken down in the 1950s and was turned into a headquarter for the Belmont’s Turf and Field Club.
Races Held at Belmont Park Racecourse
Some of the major races that have been held at the Belmont Park Racecourse include the Woodward Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup, and the Suburban Handicap. Some of the important races for fillies include the Coaching Club American Oaks, the Mother Goose Stakes, and the first two instalments of the New York Racing Association’s Triple Tiara series for fillies. Some other races held in the racecourse include Bowling Green Handicap, Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, and the Man O’ War Stakes.
Layout of Belmont Park Racecourse
The Belmont Park Racecourse is spread over 430 acres and consists of a racing and training complex that is located in the Hempstead Plains. The dirt course of the place stretches over 1.5 miles and is known as the Big Sandy. Inside this is the Widener Turf Course that stretches to 1 5/16 miles and 27 feet. The main track is 1,097 feet long and stretches from top all the way to the finish line. The training track of the park is 1 mile long and ends east of the main track.
Racing at Belmont Park is done in two parts. The first segment, which is “spring-summer meeting”, starts on the second Wednesday in May and ends on the fourth Sunday of July. The second segment, known as the “fall meeting” starts on the Friday after Labor Day and ends on fourth Sunday in October. The Saratoga Race Course remains operational during the time between these two racing segments.
Belmont has a spacious backyard where racing fans get to see their horses being saddled before they go off to the track. The place also has a paddock area, which is used for picnics during the Belmont Stakes Day that generally falls on the Saturday between June 5 to June 11. The Belmont Stakes Festival is held in communities that are located near the track, like Garden city as well as Floral Park and is attended by a large number of people.