The Belmont Stakes, held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, is the third race of the Triple Crown in professional horse racing. The mile and a half race is held every year in June, and in some cases, receives hype around a particular horse vying for the coveted Triple Crown. In 2015, most know that American Pharoah is the latest horse with aspirations of that honor. Here are some facts that you might not know about the Belmont Stakes
1. In early years, the Belmont States was run clockwise, like races in England. The first counterclockwise Belmont Stakes was run in 1921.
2. Only seven women have trained Belmont Stakes horses. Dianne Carpenter showed the best with Kingpost, who finished second to Risen Star in 1988.
3. The Belmont Stakes raced with only two horses in the field five times — 1887, 1888, 1892, 1910 and 1920.
4. The Belmont Stakes is the fourth-oldest stakes race in North America. The top three in order are: The Phoenix Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland, (1831), the Queen’s Plate in Canada (1860) and the Travers at Saratoga (1864). Belmont’s first running was in 1867.
6. The traditional flower of the Belmont Stakes is the white carnation. The winner is awarded a blanket of 300-400 carnations, which takes 10 hours to make. The flowers are shipped in from either California or Bogota, Colombia.
7. James R. Keene and Belair Stud share the record for most Belmont Stakes wins with six. Stud had two Triple Crown winners, Gallant Fox (1930) and Omaha (1935).
8. Easy Goer’s victory in 1989 was the second-fastest (2:26) in Belmont history. Only Secretariat’s time of 2:24 in 1973 was faster.
9. Since 1905, the horse in the first post has produced the most winners with 23.
10. The Belmont Stakes trophy is a Tiffany-made silver bowl. On it features the three foundation thoroughbreds–Eclipse, Herod and Matchem. The trophy was first presented by the Belmont family in 1926. The owner of the winning horse receives a replica of the official trophy. The winning trainer and jockey each receive a smaller version of the trophy.