The Belmont Stakes is known as “The Test of Champions” because to the caliber of competitors it attracts. It is quite unlikely that any horse who competes in the world-famous race held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, would ever forget the event. In the same manner, the millions of spectators who have watched this event throughout the years, either in person or on television, are sure to recall the visual experience that was delivered by this arduous and exciting race.
In the context of the sport of Thoroughbred racing, the significance of the Belmont Stakes lies in the fact that it is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, which is comprised of three races that showcase the most talented three-year-olds from all over the globe. The Triple Crown is one of the most prestigious racing competitions in the world, and only 13 horses in the whole history of the sport have ever managed to win all three of the races that comprise it. Because of this, even those who aren’t particularly interested in horse racing find themselves captivated whenever a horse enters the Belmont having already won the previous two legs (the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes). This is because the chance exists that the horse could be able to achieve this extraordinary job.
The Belmont Stakes distinguishes out from the other races in the Triple Crown since it was the first of these competitions to be staged in 1867 and has been run continuously since then with the exception of two years. In 2018, Justify successfully completed the Triple Crown by winning the race that was being held for the 150th time. Those who come so close to winning the Triple Crown at Belmont but end up falling just short are almost as memorable as the winners of the first two legs of the race combined.
The merciless length of the race is where the moniker “The Test of Champions,” or more simply “The Test,” originates from. Both names refer to the same event. The longest of the three legs of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes, which is run over 1 and a half miles. It is extremely challenging for three-year-olds who have already participated in the first two legs of the Triple Crown because of the additional distance that must be covered, as well as the fact that it is the last leg of the Triple Crown in terms of when it is held on the calendar.
One of the remarkable aspects of the Belmont Stakes is the way in which it has been maintained over the years despite the fact that its location has changed somewhat. It all began in 1867 at Jerome Park, which was located in the Bronx in New York City. The name “Belmont” was given to the track after August Belmont Jr., who was responsible for providing the funding for its construction.
Ruthless was the name of the filly who came out on top in the first place finish. Surprisingly, in the 149 runnings of the race since that day, only two other fillies have managed to come out on top. Morris Park will shortly take over as the location of the Belmont Stakes, which had previously been held in Jerome Park. Morris Park would continue to play this role until the construction of Belmont Park in 1905.
Legislation passed in the state of New York in 1911 and 1912 that was intended to discourage gambling resulted in the cancellation of the event both years. There was also a period of time in the 1960s in which the event was staged at a different race track in New York called Aqueduct since Belmont Park was undergoing renovations at that time.
After a number of years during which the race was run at a variety of various lengths, the Belmont Stakes finally decided in 1926 to settle on the distance of a mile and a half as the permanent standard for the event. When it came to the Triple Crown, it wasn’t until the middle of the 1930s that it was officially acknowledged by the press. At that point in time, the Belmont had already established its place on the calendar as the last of the three races that made up the Triple Crown. As a result, the event, which was already of the utmost significance, was given an additional dose of suspense.