Belmont Park Racecourse

Located on Long Island in New York State, Belmont Park Racecourse is best known for hosting the third race in the American Triple Crown, the Group 1 Belmont Stakes. The racecourse is frequently referred to as the ‘Championship Racecourse’ due to the fact that it has hosted all the greatest American champion thoroughbreds during its history.

Belmont Park is recognised as one of the finest racing facilities in thoroughbred racing. Like many other historic thoroughbred racing venues, Belmont Park is considered to be chronically under-utilised, and a plan of expansion has been developed to ensure that racing takes place on the racetrack throughout the year.
Belmont Park Racecourse Layout

The main Belmont Park racetrack is a 1 mile 4 furlong dirt track, nicknamed the ‘Big Sandy’. The dirt track encircles two turf tracks. The first turf track, officially known as the Widener Turf Track, runs for a distance of approximately 1 mile 3½ furlongs.

The outer turf track at Belmont Park in turn encompasses the inner turf track, which covers a distance of 1 mile 1½ furlongs. The Belmont Park turf tracks are amongst the shortest turf ovals found in the United States.

Belmont Park Racecourse Facilities

Belmont Park Racecourse boasts the largest racecourse grandstand in the world. Built in 1968, the main grandstand can accommodate 100,000 spectators, with seating for 33,000 spectators. The size of the grandstand contributed to a Belmont Park ruling which prohibits the use of the infield by spectators during race meetings.

The main picnic area at the racecourse is the paddock, which is situated behind the grandstand. This area is also used by the public to view racehorses before they compete in races. One of the racecourse’s most famous features is a 180 year old white pine tree which predates the construction of the racing facilities, and which is positioned in the middle of the paddock.

Belmont Park History

August Belmont Junior and William Collins Whitney are credited with proposing and financing the first racing facilities at Belmont Park. The racecourse started hosting events in 1905, with races originally run clockwise around the track according to the English tradition.

From the 1950s onwards Belmont Park underwent extensive renovations, resulting in the construction of the present grandstand as well as the demolition of the original clubhouse. The history of the venue is commemorated by two art displays in the clubhouse – a Pierre Bellocq mural which portrays the most famous jockeys and trainers in the history of the track, as well as a collection of paintings of Old Belmont Park.

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