Belmont Park is a major Thoroughbred horse-racing facility located in Elmont, New York. It opened on May 4, 1905. It has two race meets per year, a Spring Meet from late April through mid-July, and a Fall Meet from mid-September through late October.
It is known as the home of the Belmont Stakes, regarded as the "Test of Champions", the third leg of the American Triple Crown.
A group of investors, including August Belmont, Sr., built the original Belmont race track. From 1905 until 1925 Belmont Park featured racing clockwise, in the "English fashion". During the time that horse racing was outlawed in New York State due to the Hart-Agnew law, Belmont Park attracted the Wright Brothers and their international aerial tournament.
Sadly, the original clubhouse was torn down in the 1950s due to structural issues , along with the Manice Mansion—the turreted 19th-century homestead that served as the headquarters of Belmont's Turf and Field Club. The new grandstand, constructed between 1964 and 1968, cost $30.7 million and opened May 20, 1968. It is the largest in Thoroughbred racing, with a capacity of 100,000.
The race track is known as “the Big Sandy” given its generous size and the deep, sometimes tiring surface made of sand, clay and silt. Inside of the main track is the Widener Turf Course spanning 1 5⁄16 miles plus 27 feet, which in turn surrounds an Inner Turf Course with a circumference of 1 3⁄16 miles plus 103 feet.