The New York Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually during the third week of June at Belmont Park in Elmont, Long Island, New York. A Grade II event open to fillies and mares age three and older, it is contested on turf at a distance of one and one-quarter miles (10 furlongs).
Prior to 1962 the race was open to horses of either sex. For 1972 only, it was restricted to three-year-old fillies.
Inaugurated in 1940 as the New York Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack, it was moved to Belmont Park in 1961 but returned to Aqueduct in 1963 where it remained until 1975 when it was shifted permanently to Belmont Park. Since its inception, it has been contested at various distances on both dirt and turf:
- 2¼ miles : 1940-1950 on dirt
- 1⅛ miles : 1951-1954 on dirt
- 1⅛ miles : 1959-1960 on turf
- 1⅜ miles : 1955-1956, 1958, 1961, on turf
- 1 3/ miles : 1963-1964, 1968–1971, on turf
- 1 1/ miles : 1965-1967, 1977–1979, on turf
- 7 furlongs : 1972, on dirt
- 1¼ miles : 1980 to present, on turf
There was no race run in 1957 and 1973-1975.
The race was run in two divisions in 1960, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1978.
In 2009, due to heavy rains, the race was taken off the turf and shortened from 1 and 1/4 miles to 1 and 1/8 miles.
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“Law makes long spokes of the short stakes of men.”
—William Empson (19061984)
“New York is a meeting place for every race in the world, but the Chinese, Armenians, Russians, and Germans remain foreigners. So does everyone except the blacks. There is no doubt but that the blacks exercise great influence in North America, and, no matter what anyone says, they are the most delicate, spiritual element in that world.”
—Federico García Lorca (18981936)