The 2014 Belmont Stakes!
On June 7 the eyes of the racing world, along with much of the rest of the world, will be focused on Belmont Park as the 3-year old California Chrome attempts to achieve what has not been achieved since Affirmed in 1978! Winning the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing!
Twelve horses since the 1978 stretch-long duel between Affirmed and Alydar have had the opportunity to achieve Triple Crown greatness by first winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and yet, no horse has been able to accomplish what many believe to be one of the most difficult achievements in sports.
Over the span of five weeks these 3-year olds are asked to run three races at three different track and at three different distances, the last of which will be the mile and a half Belmont Stakes!
But before we see on Saturday, June 7, 2014 whether California Chrome has what it takes, here is a look back at history!
For nostalgia buffs, or for those who simply want to see greatness in action, these videos are of the Belmont Stakes wins by Secretariat and Affirmed. The two races are most striking in the contrasting ways in which the two horses won.
The physical racetrack itself, Belmont Park, has been a landmark on Long Island since May 4, 1905 when 40,000 fans arrived on its opening day and, as they say, the rest is history!
These are some statistics courtesy of the NYRA:
BASIC PHYSICAL DATA OF BELMONT PARK RACETRACK
|Area of Site||445 acres|
|Parking Areas||91 acres (18,500 cars)|
|Main Course||1 1/2 miles|
|Widener Turf Course||1 5/16 miles|
|Inner Turf Course||1 3/16 miles, 103 feet|
|Training Track||1 mile|
|Pony Track||1/4 mile|
|Railroad Terminal – 4 Platforms; City Bus|
|Terminal with Escalators; Chartered and Tour Bus Parking|
|Area; 6 CCTV Race Patrol Camera Towers – 40 feet high|
|Depth Clubhouse and Grandstand||265 feet|
|Floor Area||1,300,000 square feet|
|Concrete Work||40,000 cubic yards|
|Structural Steel Framing||13,047 tons|
|61 Barns (1 Receiving Barn, 1 Pony Barn)|
|Stabling Capacity||2,200 Stalls|
|Total Seating Capacity (including picnic tables
|Closed-Circuit TV Monitors||1,000+|
|First Aid Room||1|
TRACK ATTENDANCE AND HANDLE RECORDS
|One-Day Attendance||120,139, June 5, 2004|
|One-Day Handle||$14,658,559 on Breeders’ Cup Day, Oct. 29, 2005|