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Belmont Stakes in the United States

The Belmont Stakes is the third and final horse race of three-year-old Thoroughbreds in the Triple Crown. The race, which is also known as 'The Run for the Carnations' is held at the Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

©iStockphoto.com/Dmitry Vdovichenko

The Triple Crown begins with the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May, which is followed by Preakness Stakes two weeks later. The Belmont Stakes occurs five weeks after the Kentucky Derby.

Is Belmont Stakes Day a Public Holiday?

The Belmont Stakes is always held on the first Saturday of June. Since Saturday is a non-working day in the United States, most government offices and schools are closed, but businesses tend to stay open. Public transport may be limited and it is recommended that people check with the local transit offices for public transport timings.

Holidays in the United States

How Is the Belmont Stakes Celebrated?

The oldest and the longest race of the Triple Crown at 2.41 km (1.5 miles), the Belmont Stakes is one of the most watched live sports events in the United States. Because of its length, it is also known as 'The Test of the Champion'. The race attracts well-dressed attendees who traditionally celebrate the event by drinking the Belmont Jewel, the official cocktail of the race.

Not the First Official Drink

The Belmont Jewel, which is made by mixing bourbon, lemonade, and pomegranate juice, has not always been the official drink of the Stakes. In 1997, the original cocktail, the White Carnation, was replaced by the Belmont Breeze. Neither drink met the approval of reviewers. This prompted the organizers to introduce the Jewel in 2011.

Run for the Carnations

The winner of the race is awarded a blanket of over 500 white carnations, which are painstakingly glued to green velvet by hand. The flowers are imported from Colombia.

A Silver Trophy

In addition to the elaborate and heavy blanket of carnations, the winner receives the August Belmont Trophy. It is a silver cup that was designed by American jewelry designer George Paulding Farnham and created by New York jewelers Tiffany and Co. Donated by the Belmont Family, the founders of the Belmont Park, the trophy became the official award of the Stakes in 1926. The winner gets to keep the trophy for a year until the next race day.

Official Song

Like the official drink, the official song of the event has changed over the years. The first official song of the race was The Sidewalks of New York, a song composed in 1894 by Vaudeville actor and singer Charles B. Lawlor. The lyrics of the song were by James W. Blake. In 1996, this was changed to the theme song from New York, New York, a Martin Scorsese film. In 2010, Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind was made the official song of the Belmont Stakes, but in 2011, the organizers went back to the theme song from New York, New York.

What Is the Belmont Stakes?

The Belmont Stakes is a competitive race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, and is the last event of the triple crown. To win the Triple Crown, a horse has to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. So far, only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown.

Geldings and colts are required to carry 57 kg (126lb) and fillies 55 kg (121lb) while running the race.A gelding is a castrated male horse, a colt is a young male horse, while a filly is a young female horse.

History of the Belmont Stakes

Belmont Stakes is one of the oldest Grade I Stakes in the United States. First run in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx, the race did not move to its current home, the Belmont Park, until 1905.

The race and the race track are named after August Belmont Sr., American politician, diplomat, and avid horse breeder. He was responsible for financing the building of the Jerome Park Racetrack.

Belmont Stakes Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SatJun 6Belmont StakesSporting event
2016SatJun 11Belmont StakesSporting event
2017SatJun 10Belmont StakesSporting event
2018SatJun 9Belmont StakesSporting event
2019SatJun 8Belmont StakesSporting event
2020SatJun 6Belmont StakesSporting event
2021SatJun 5Belmont StakesSporting event
2022SatJun 11Belmont StakesSporting event
2023SatJun 10Belmont StakesSporting event
2024SatJun 8Belmont StakesSporting event
2025SatJun 7Belmont StakesSporting event

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