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The third of the Triple Crown horse races in the United States. The Belmont Stakes has been run since 1867, making it the fourth oldest horse race in North America. Held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York since 1905, (at Jerome Park and then Morris Park before that) this race comes five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. The park and the race are named for influential New Yorker August Belmont. At 1 1/2 miles over a dirt track, the Belmont is the longest Triple Crown contest. It is open to three year old horses, but has been won by only two fillies. Fillies often run in the Acorn Stakes at Belmont instead. The Belmont Stakes record time of 2:24 was set in 1973 by Secretariat.

The Belmont Stakes was run in the English fashion (clockwise) until 1921.

The "Belmont Breeze" is said to be the traditional beverage, but it is a relatively new tradition. The drink is based on a Colonial recipe for whiskey punch. In 1997, the song played during the post parade, "Sidewalks of New York", was replaced by "New York, New York". After the race, a large cast iron horse statue with an iron jockey on its back is painted with the colors of the winner. The winning horse is covered with a blanket of white carnations in the Winner's Circle. The trophy is a silver bowl with cover. It is eighteen inches high and fifteen inches across. On the top is a silver statue of Fenian, who won the Belmont Stakes in 1869 and was owned by the senior August Belmont. Under the bowl are figures of the three stallion progenitors of the Thoroughbred breed.

Winners of the Belmont Stakes:

Source: The Thoroughbred Times and http://espn.go.com/horse/TripleCrown00/s/Belmonttraditions.html

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