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Belmont Stakes: Something Old, Something New

Flamboyant financier Leonard W. Jerome and well-heeled friends, including banker August Belmont Sr., built a racetrack in the Bronx that opened on Sept. 25, 1866.

The crowd at Jerome Park, named for its founder, included Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and members of New York’s fashionable society. It was the first track to attract women in large numbers. Even the horses were chic – ribbons of owners’ colors were braided into their manes and tails.

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