Just past the city line in Elmont, Hempstead Turnpike (NY 24) passes Belmont Park Racetrack , which captures the public imagination every June as it hosts the third leg, and lengthiest, of the three Triple Crown thoroughbred horse races, the Belmont Stakes. The racetrack was built in 1905 with funds raised by financier and German immigrant August Belmont Senior (1813-1890). Belmont’s son, August Jr., also an avid sportsman, founded the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) in 1902, which built NYC’s first subway. The Belmont Stakes race actually originated in the Bronx in 1867, where it was run at Jerome Park Racetrack, owned by Leonard Jerome for whom the Bronx’ Jerome Avenue was named, the grandfather of Britain’s World War II prime minister Winston Churchill.
The last Triple Crown winner, as of 2014, was Affirmed in 1978.