The Belmont Stakes: Key Facts

  • Location: Belmont Park
  • Inaugural Race: 1868
  • Current Distance: 1 & 1/2 miles (12 furlongs)
  • Track Type: Left-Handed Dirt
  • Age Qualification: Three-year-olds
  • 2015 Purse: $1.5 million

A Brief History of the Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown following the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The race dates back to 1868 and runs annually in the month of June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It is often nicknamed The Test of the Champions, running just five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Steaks, truly testing a horse's stamina.

Like other triple crown races, the Belmont Stakes is among the top attended American thoroughbred racing events. In 2004, a television audience of 21.9 million tuned in to watch the Belmont Stakes and a record crowd of 120,139 attended the actual event. The inaugural race took place in 1868 at Jerome Park Racetrack in The Bronx. The race was named after August Belmont, Sr., who financed the development of Jerome Park. The race ran here from 1868 until 1890, when it was moved to Morris Park Racecourse. The race was held at Morris Park until May 1905 and eventually moved when the new Belmont Park opened in Elmont, New York.

In 1937, Secretariat became a U.S. Triple Crown champion, winning the Belmont Stakes by thirty-one lengths, in a record time of 2:24. This remains the fastest speed in Belmont Stakes history. The race has run at several distances since it's establishment in 1868, however the current distance of 1 & 1/2 miles remains the race length since 1926.

The final race of the triple crown certainly lives up to it's nickname the "Test of the Champion". The current distance of 1 & 1/2 miles is challenging for most three-year-olds who are inexperienced and unaccustomed to a race of such distance.  The stamina to maintain a winning speed for so long undoubtedly requires the performance of a a true champion.


Race Records

Scroll over any box below to view the historical records for the Belmont Stakes:

Fastest Time

Secretariat- 1973

Biggest Odds Winner

Sarava- 2002

Most Wins by a Jockey

Jim McLaughlin & Eddie Arcaro

Most Wins by a Trainer

James G. Rowe, Sr.

Most Wins by an Owner

Belair Stud (1930, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1939, 1955)

Biggest Winning Margin

 31 lengths
Secretariat (1973)

Historical Results for the Belmont Stakes

In the table below, view a record of the winning horses,  jockeys and trainers for the Kentucky Derby.

Click Here to View Full Table
Winner's Name
California Chrome
Victor Espinoza
Art Sherman
Gary Stevens
D. Wayne Lukas
I'll Have Another
Mario Gutierrez
Doug O'Neill
Jesus Castanon
Dale Romans
Lookin At Lucky
Martin Garcia
Bob Baffert
Rachel Alexandra
Calvin Borel
Steve Asmussen
Big Brown
Kent Desormeaux
Richard Dutrow
Robby Albarado
Steve Asmussen
Javier Castellano
Tom Albertrani
Afleet Alex
Jeremy Rose
Timothy Ritchey