A LOOK BACK AT BELMONT PARK

Here is a historical perspective of Belmont Park courtesy of the New York Times.

Horseplayers — about 40,000 by the end of the day — showed up for the opening of the new Belmont Park on May 4, 1905. Built by men with the names of Whitney, Vanderbilt, Morgan and, of course, Belmont, it was called “a marvel of bigness” by The New York Times. (Photo by NYRA)

The first card had the $10,000 Metropolitan Handicap.

Belmont’s clubhouse was a popular gathering place for racing fans after it opened in 1905. (Photo by NYRA)

From 1905 to 1920, races were run clockwise at Belmont Park, with the finish line far up the homestretch, in front of the clubhouse. The judges’ stand was at the finish line. (Photo by NYRA)

Horse Test: Workers took a sample of a winning horse’s saliva in the 1957 version of drug testing. (Photo NY Times)

Even War Admiral’s workouts drew a crowd. In 1938, he took a break from training for his $100,000 match race with Seabiscuit. (Photo by Bettman/Corbis)

Construction: The reconstruction of Belmont’s grandstand was well under way in 1966. During the rebuilding, racing was relocated to Aqueduct in Queens. The new grandstand, which opened in 1968, was five blocks long and the track could accommodate 100,000 people. (Photo by the NY Times)

After a five-year renovation, Belmont reopened with a vast new grandstand on May 20, 1968. (Photo by William E. Sauro/NY Times)
Crowd: A crowd of 57,029 turned out for the races on Memorial Day at Belmont Park in 1972. (Photo by the NY Times)