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History of the Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is the final race of the American Thoroughbred Triple Crown series of races and is known to horseracing fans by many different names. The Belmont Stakes of often referred to as the Test of the Champion for many different reasons. One of the reasons why the race is referred to as the test of the champion is that it is the longest race of the Triple Crown series at a mile and a half, or twelve furlongs. Another reason why the Belmont Stakes is such a challenge is that the horses that are running in all of the Triple Crown races will be forced to run three races in six weeks, which is a very grueling task. Another reason why the race is such a challenge is that most of the horses in the race will never have raced at such a long distance and are not experienced enough to be able to maintain their endurance for such a long race.

The first Belmont Stakes was run in 1867 and since this time, there have only been three fillies to ever win the race. History was made in 2007 when Rags to Riches became the first filly to win the prestigious race in over one hundred years. Currently, the Belmont Stakes is held at Belmont Park in New York; however, this has not always been the case. The very first running of the Belmont Stakes took place at Jerome Park, which was located in The Bronx. The race was held at this location until 1905, when it was moved to its current location. The prestigious race was held at Aqueduct Racetrack during the years of 1963-1967 while Belmont Park was undergoing renovations.

Unlike the other Triple Crown races, the Belmont Stakes was not run for two years due to anti-betting legislation that was passed in New York during the years of 1911 and 1912. Another interesting fact that makes the Belmont Stakes different from the other Triple Crown races is that it was run in the English style of racing with right hand turns until 1921.

In 1973, Secretariat set several records running in the Belmont Stakes that still hold to this day. The first record that he set was the world record time for the distance of a mile and a half. He also set the record for the largest margin of victory at thirty one lengths.

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