The Belmont Stakes is a three-year-old Thoroughbred stakes event held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Colts and geldings weigh 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies weigh 121 pounds (55 kg). The event, also known as The Test of Champions or The Run for the Carnations, is the customary third and final leg of the Triple Crown.

The Belmont Stakes is normally contested on the first or second Saturday in June, five weeks post the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. It will take place on June 11 in 2022.

Also read: Belmont Stakes 2022: Racing odds, picks for the ‘test of the Champion’

Secretariat, the 1973 Belmont Stakes, and Triple Crown victor, holds the mile and a half stakes record of 2:24 (which is also a track and world record on dirt).

When run at 1+12 miles, the Belmont Stakes covers one complete loop of Belmont Park, dubbed “The Championship Track” since it has hosted practically every major American champion in racing history. Belmont Park, with its enormous, wide, sweeping bends and long homestretch, is regarded as one of America’s fairest racetracks. Despite the distance, the event favours horses with tactical speed: few winners come from far behind the main pioneers.

The Belmont Stakes has been raced at a mile and a half (except in 2020) since 1926, having previously been run at that distance in 1874–1889.

Also read: Belmont Stakes 2022: Purse, prize money breakdown of the race

The event has also been contested at the following distances: a mile and a quarter in 1890–1892, 1895, and 1904–1905; a mile and a quarter in 1893–1894 and again in 2020; and a mile and three furlongs from 1896 to 1903 and 1906–1925.

Since 1900, the race has been raced at a level weight of 126 pounds (with a 5-pound leeway for fillies) with one exception. The 126 pounds are based on the English Classics, where the typical weight is 9 stone, with one stone equaling 14 pounds. The Belmont was contested as a handicap in 1913, with the winner weighing only 109 pounds and the runner-up carrying 126 pounds. Prior to 1900, weight criteria in races varied.

Also read: Belmont Stakes 2022: All you need to know about the horses

In 1880, the 14th Belmont hosted the first post parade in the United States. Prior to 1921, the race was run in the traditional clockwise fashion of English racing. The race has since been run in the American, or counter-clockwise, way.