The August Belmont Trophy is awarded annually to the owner of the winning horse in the Belmont Stakes . The race has been run at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York since 1926. The first Belmont Stakes was held at Jerome Park Racetrack in The Bronx which was built in 1866 by stock market speculator Leonard Jerome and financed by August Belmont, Sr. for whom the race was named.
Facts to know:
- The Belmont Stakes trophy is a silver bowl crafted by Tiffany and Co., 27 inches high, 15 inches across and 14 inches at the base
- Its cover is adorned with a silver figure of Fenian, winner of the Belmont Stakes in 1869—the third running of the Stakes
- Supported by three horses representing the three foundation thoroughbreds, the bowl is raised by: Eclipse, Herod, and Matchem
- It was presented by the Belmont family as a perpetual award for the Belmont Stakes winner in 1926 for ceremonial purposes only
- Created by Paulding Farnham in sterling silver for Tiffany, it weighs 350 ounces
- At its creation, the cup cost $1,000 and augmented the $4,000 in prize money given to the race winner
- From 1896 until 1926, this trophy remained with the Belmont family. In 1926, Mrs. Eleanor R. Belmont, the widow of Major August Belmont II, donated the trophy to the Westchester Racing Association, then a governing body of New York racing, to be established as the permanent trophy for the race
- In addition to being presented the permanent trophy for ceremonial purposes, the winning owner of the Belmont Stakes receives a large silver tray on which are engraved the names of previous Belmont winners
- The winning owner is given the option of keeping the trophy for the year their horse reigns as Belmont champion
- The groom of the winning horse is given “various mementos of the race” (Note to self: Never become a groom. Hard work, 24/7, and various mementos just seems like the wrong sort of reward.)
I was 23 when Secretariat won the 1973 Triple Crown at Belmont by 31 lengths. I’ve enjoyed watching the high-profile ponies since that day—the day that the New York Daily News ran the headline: SECRETARIAT!