A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 20, 2010
Run for the Carnations (Belmont Stakes)

The Belmont Stakes (the third race of horseracing’s Triple Crown) has been called the ‘Run for the Carnations.” The Kentucky Derby (the first race of the Triple Crown) has long been called the “Run for the Roses.” The official flower of the Belmont Stakes is the white carnation, and the winning horse while in the winner’s circle gets a blanket of 300-400 white carnations. The official drink of the Belmont Stakes was formerly a concoction called the White Carnation.

“Run for the Carnations” has been cited in print since 1990, but began to be used regularly in the 2000s. An older name (since the 1940s) for the Belmont Stakes is the “Test of a Champion.”


Wikipedia: Belmont Stakes
The Belmont Stakes is an American Grade I stakes race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The race is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, following five weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. It is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old colts and geldings carrying a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg) and for fillies with a weight of 121 pounds (55 kg). The attendance at the Belmont Stakes ranks fourth in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the the Breeders’ Cup. The attendance of the Belmont Stakes typically only trails the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Oaks, for more information see American Thoroughbred Racing top Attended Events.

The Belmont Stakes is called the “Run for the Carnations” because of the blanket of white carnations that is draped over the winner’s neck. Through 1996, the post parade song was “Sidewalks of New York.” Beginning in 1997, the audience was invited to sing the Theme from New York, New York following the call to the post. This tradition mirrors the singing of two other songs at the post parades of the first two Triple Crown races, My Old Kentucky Home at the Kentucky Derby and Maryland, My Maryland at the Preakness Stakes.

The first Belmont Stakes was held at Jerome Park Racetrack in The Bronx, built in 1866 by stock market speculator Leonard Jerome (1817–1891) and financed by August Belmont, Sr. (1816–1890) for whom the race was named. The race continued to be held at Jerome Park until 1890 when it was moved to the nearby facility, Morris Park Racecourse. The race remained there until the May 1905 opening of the new Belmont Park, 430 acre (1.7 km²) racetrack in Elmont, New York.

Anti-betting legislation was passed in New York State, closing Belmont and canceling the race for two years between 1911 and 1912.

The first post parade in the United States was at the 14th Belmont, in 1880. Before 1921, the race was run in the clockwise tradition of English racing. Since then, the race has been run in the American or counter-clockwise direction. The winner of the Belmont Stakes is presented the August Belmont Trophy one of the most prestigious trophies in the country.

Because of its length (one lap around the enormous Belmont main track), and because it is the final race of the Triple Crown, it is called the “Test of the Champion”. Most three-year-olds are unaccustomed to the distance, and lack the experience, if not the stamina, to maintain a winning speed for so long. In a long race such as the Belmont, positioning of the horse and the timing of the move to chase for the lead can be critical.

New York (NY) Times
Question Box
By Ray Corio
Published: June 11, 1990
Belmont’s Flower
Q. The Kentucky Derby is sometimes called the ‘’Run for the Roses.’’ A case can be made that the Preakness Stakes is a ‘’Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.’’ What do they run for at the Belmont Stakes?
A. For most fans on hand, it’s usually a run for the parking lot in order to beat the traffic out of Belmont Park after the featured stakes. For the horses and jockeys, though, the third leg of racing’s Triple Crown can be considered a ‘’Run for the Carnations.’’ That’s the traditional flower of the Belmont Stakes, and the horse that makes the best run for the money is entitled to be adorned in the winner’s circle by a blanket of 300-400 white carnations, in the same way that the winner of the Kentucky Derby is blanketed with roses.

StraightEgyptians.com Forums
El Miladi
Jun 1 2004, 06:42 PM
As for the “Run for the Roses”—that is just for the Kentucky Derby. The flowers for a Preakness winner are black-eyed susans (rather like yellow daisies with black centers) and the Belmont winner gets white carnations. Yes, I know, “Run for the Carnations” doesn’t have the same feel......

Belmont Racebooks
Monday, May 30, 2005
The Belmont Stakes Sweepstakes
The third leg of the racing world’s famed Triple Crown is the Belmont - run in Belmont Park in Elmont, NY. The race course is 1 1/2-mile, 12 furlongs, and is a sand track. Saturday, June 11th, 2005 marks the 137th running of the Belmont Stakes. The field of three year old champions race for a place in history and there is no handicap… the best horse will win.
(...)
The traditional blanket of between 300 and 400 white carnations that drapes the champion in the winners circle takes 10 man hours to put together. The flowers are shipped in from either California or Bogota, Colombia. The name, “The Run for the Carnations,” comes from this tradition. The Kentucky Derby is the “Run for the Roses,” the Preakness is the “Race for the Black Eyed Susans.” The Belmont Stakes is also known as “the Test of Champions” - pass it and you win the Triple Crown…

Casino City Tiimes
Mohegan Sun celebrates final leg of Triple Crown
25 May 2007
UNCASVILLE, Connecticut—(PRESS RELEASE)—The third and final leg of The Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes, will be held on Saturday, June 9th. Mohegan Sun is ready to celebrate the 139th annual “Run for the Carnations” that day with a very special event in the Uncas Ballroom. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • (1) Comments • Tuesday, April 20, 2010 • Permalink


I’ve been to the Run for the Roses and the Black Eyed Susans but not the Run for the Carnations.  Thanks for the briefing on Belmont whenever I can get there.

Posted by Kentucky Sports Online  on  01/20  at  08:52 PM

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