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Belmont Park

Belmont Park is a major thoroughbred horse racing facility in the northeastern United States, located in Elmont, New York, just east of the New York City limits. Opened 114 years ago on May 4, 1905, it is operated by the non-profit New York Racing Association, as are Aqueduct and Saratoga Race Course. The group was formed in 1955 as the Greater New York Association to assume the assets of the individual associations that ran Belmont, Aqueduct, Saratoga, and the now-defunct Jamaica Race Course.

Belmont Park is typically open for racing from late April through mid-July (known as the Spring meet), and again from mid-September through late October (the Fall meet). It is widely-known as the home of the Belmont Stakes in early June, regarded as the "Test of the Champion", the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Along with Saratoga Race Course in Upstate New York, Keeneland and Churchill Downs in Kentucky, and Del Mar and Santa Anita in California, Belmont is considered one of the elite racetracks in North America.

The race park's main dirt track has earned the nickname, "the Big Sandy," given its prominent overall dimensions (1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km)) and the deep, sometimes tiring surface. Belmont is also sometimes known as "The Championship Track" because almost every major champion in racing history since the early 20th century has competed on the racecourse – including all of the Triple Crown winners. Belmont Park, with its wide, sweeping turns and long homestretch, is considered one of the fairest racetracks. The Hall of Fame champion Easy Goer graces the cover of the 2005 book, "Belmont Park: A Century of Champions," with paintings by Richard Stone Reeves and text by Edward L. Bowen. The book chronicles seventy racehorses who competed from 1905 to 2005 thrilling fans, setting records, and becoming legends at the venerable New York track.

Belmont hosted its largest crowd in 2004, when 120,139 saw Smarty Jones upset by Birdstone in its Triple Crown bid.

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