Tracing its beginnings as early as 1867 at Jerome Park, and later moved to Belmont Park in 1905, the Belmont Stakes is the crowning glory among the Triple Crown Series, where the victor will be determined and awarded the silver Belmont Stakes Trophy. It comes after the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and is one of the leading U.S. Grade I stakes for thoroughbred horseracing, featuring colts 3 years of age, 126-pound geldings, and 121-pound fillies.

Also known as the “Run for the Carnations” because of the blanket of 300 to 400 white carnations given to the winners at the end of each race, the Belmont Stakes is named after the famed financier August Belmont, Sr., who was known for his extravagant dinner parties and lush balls.

The Belmont Stakes is the most enduring and most difficult of all the Triple Crown Series, and has been rightly recognized as the “Test of the Champion”. Its earlier version in 1873 entailed main course of a mile and five-eights. Eventually, it decreased to a main course of a mile and one-eights and a mile and three-eights in 1890, and a mile and a half in 1926. It has been run at the same distance since then.

Throughout the centuries, the Belmont Stakes has seen many champions. The first winner of the Belmont purse was a filly named Ruthless. 1973 Triple Crown Winner Secretariat has the best speed record (with 2:24) and the most length. Jim McLaughlin and Eddie Arcaro, on the other hand, both hold the record for the most wins by a jockey. Following the two are Earl Sande and Bill Shoemaker, as well as Braulio Baeza, Pat Day, Laffit Pincay, Jr., James Stout, and Gary Stevens.

James G. Rowe, Sr. takes the lead in terms of most wins by a trainer, followed by Sam Hildreth, Jim Fitzsimmons, Woody Stephens, Max Hirsch, D. Wayne Lukas, R. Wyndham Walden, J. Elliott Burch, John M. Gaver, Sr., Lucien Laurin, Frank McCabe, and David McDaniel.

Foreign-born thoroughbred winners from 1874 to 1998 include Saxon (United Kingdom), Bowling Brook (United Kingdom), Hourless (United Kingdom), Johren (United Kingdom), Gallant Man (United Kingdom), Cavan (Republic of Ireland), Celtic Ash (United Kingdom), Go And Go Republic of Ireland, and Victory Gallop (Canada).

More recent thoroughbred winners from 2001 to 2009 include Point Given (ridden by Gary Stevens), Sarava (ridden by Edgar Prado), Empire Maker (ridden by Jerry Bailey), Birdstone (ridden by Edgar Prado), Afleet Alex (ridden by Jeremy Rose), Jazil (ridden by Fernando Jara), Rags to Riches (ridden by John Velazquez), Da’ Tara (ridden by Alan Garcia), and Summer Bird (ridden by Kent Desormeaux).

The Belmont Stakes has also been the source of many traditions, including the Belmont Charity Ball (Meadowbrook Country Club) and the Belmont Festival (Garden City). It was also the inspiration for the Belmont Breeze, a flavorful whiskey punch created by Head Bartender Dale DeGroff of Manhattan’s Rainbow Room/ Windows on the World.

Whenever you hear Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”, you know the Belmont Stake is at hand.