This year marks the milestone 150th running of the Belmont Stakes—“The Test of the Champion”—on June 9 at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY. First run in 1867, the Belmont’s the oldest of the races that make up the American Triple Crown—and at 1½ miles, it’s also the longest.
It was named for August Belmont, a 19th-century German immigrant, who amassed a great fortune and great political power in New York and was a leading sportsman. The greatest Belmont ever? There are plenty to choose from, and good arguments can be made about a number of them.
But for my money, it’s the epic 2015 running, when 90,000 people cheered as American Pharoah ended the 37-year Triple Crown drought. In all my years covering sports, I’ve never seen, heard or felt anything like it. Happy birthday, Belmont—here’s to 150 more.