After a day of kids soccer and baseball, we cooked up some barbeque and gathered around to watch all the Belmont Stakes hoopla. I was about my oldest son’s age when Seattle Slew, then Affirmed won the Triple Crown back to back. I was hoping to share some history with my boys. But now we will have to wait another year. We hope Big Brown is OK.
But today is a good time to remember that Belmont is the other fantastic sports mecca of Queens (no offense, Aqueduct. More on you some other time). If you’ve never been there, you owe yourself a trip to Belmont. My cousin (he’s a Yankee fan but I love him just the same) has his birthday party at Belmont every year. It’s a kid-friendly place and a nice day out.
Last year, my parents celebrated their 50–something anniversary and their 75th birthdays. The Kingman siblings and I threw them a surprise party, which included a day at Belmont Park. The 7th race was named in their honor and we had a great dinner in one of the restaurants. It is a great New York experience and I highly recommend it.
The party included a tour. Here are some highlights. First up, the paddock area, where Belmont has a wonderful statue to Secretariat:
Belmont Park’s logo is a tree. The whole Park is built around this tree, which is in the paddock area.
More from the Paddock area, where the jockeys mount up just before heading into the Park, about 10 minutes before each race:
Finally here is the long tunnel between the paddock and the massive track of Belmont Park. It doesn’t matter if it is the Belmont Stakes or a random weekday during racing season: you walk down this tunnel and your heart rate quickens as you sense the historic sports arena you are entering into:
More photos TK.