New York-bred Legacies in the Belmont Stakes

Tomorrow at Belmont Park, graded stakes step aside to make way for a day of New York-bred racing. Seven stakes races offering combined purses of $850,000 will be headlined by the first running of the $150,000 Commentator, named in honor of the New York-bred who won the Whitney Handicap in 2005 and 2008. In 2003,…

Dear Racing, Welcome Back. Love, New York

…the owners of the race tracks in this vicinity are calling back the banished steeds of speed and bidding the admirers of the same to prepare for a Summer made joyous in the old way…  –New York Times, March 1, 1913 Thoroughbred horse racing was back. It was May 30, 1913, when Belmont Park re-opened…

Mr. Belmont and Mrs. Wharton

Yes, that’s right, August Belmont and Edith Wharton. Belmont the Jewish immigrant financier arriviste, he who changed his name from the German Schonberg to the French/Italian-flavored Belmont, the parvenu who married into the establishment, taking as his wife Carolyn Slidell Perry, daughter of the Commodore. Wharton the descendant of the great old Dutch New York…

August Schonberg Belmont

It’s difficult for contemporary racing fans to see August Belmont as anything other than the namesake of the stakes race first and then the racetrack, but when he died in 1890, his very long New York Times obituary doesn’t even mention racing until the thirtieth (!) paragraph. A native of Germany, Belmont was born August…