Belmont Park is best known for hosting the final jewel of the Triple Crown, but this weekend it hosts the Stars and Stripes Racing Festival featuring the $1.2 million Belmont Derby Invitational and the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes. Learn more about the historic racetrack with the fun facts below.
1. Belmont Park has the longest dirt course in the country at 1 ½ miles. It also has two turf courses, a training track and a pony track on its 445 acres.
2. The track was named after 19th century financier August Belmont, who also is the namesake of the Belmont Stakes. The racetrack was co-founded by his son August Belmont II, who was chairman of The Jockey Club for nearly 30 years and bred Man o’ War.
3. Belmont’s grand opening was May 4, 1905, highlighted by a dead-heat win between the great Sysonby and 20-1 Race King.
4. More than $19.1 million was bet on-track on Belmont Stakes day, June 7, 2014.
5. Belmont hosts five million-dollar races this year. In addition the Belmont Derby and Oaks, the track held the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, the $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap, and the $1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes all on June 9.
6. Belmont Park will share its grounds with the New York Islanders NHL team as soon as 2020. The new Islanders arena, adjacent to the Belmont Park grandstand, was announced in December 2017.
7. Belmont is part of the New York Racing Association, which contributes a whopping $2 billion to the economy of New York each year.
8. The Belmont grandstand is 1,266 feet long and includes 1.3 million square feet of floor space.
9. A Belmont Park superfecta paid $565,235 on June 17, 2012 when 48-1 shot Argument’s Sake defeated 26-1 Outlaw Cody Z, 2-1 Sweet Moon, and 3-1 Bridgetta.
10. A record crowd of 120,139 fans packed the track on June 5, 2004 to see Smarty Jones try for the Triple Crown in that year’s Belmont Stakes. Attendance has since been capped at 90,000.