August Belmont, Jr.
American athletes
August Belmont, Jr.
August Belmont, Jr. was an American financier, the builder of New York's Belmont Park racetrack, and a major owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses.
Biography
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Timeline
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    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1924
    Age 71
    He spent his last years on his estate in North Babylon, New York. He died on December 10, 1924 at his apartment at 550 Park Avenue. and was buried in the Belmont family plot at Island Cemetery in Newport, Rhode Island along with his parents and his brother Perry Belmont.
    More Details Hide Details His widow, Eleanor, then sold most of the estate to a property developer. She outlived her husband by fifty-five years, dying just before her 100th birthday in 1979. The remaining, including the family mansion, lake, and main farm buildings, were taken over by New York State. Under the control of planner Robert Moses, the estate was later expanded to and turned into Belmont Lake State Park. The mansion served as headquarters for the Long Island State Park Commission until 1935, when it was demolished to make way for the current building.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1910
    Age 57
    A widower for twelve years, on February 26, 1910 he married actress Eleanor Robson.
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  • 1908
    Age 55
    In addition to his Kentucky horse farm, in 1908 Belmont established Haras de Villers, a breeding operation near Foucarmont in Upper Normandy, France.
    More Details Hide Details Following the cessation of racing in New York State as a result of the Hart-Agnew Law banning parimutuel betting, Belmont, Jr. stood American stallions at Haras de Villers such as Flint Rock, Ethelbert, and the sire of Norman III, Octagon. At his French farm, he bred notable horses such as Prix de Diane winner Qu'elle est Belle as well as Vulcain, one of the best three-year-olds of his generation in France.
    Belmont, Jr. also had horses competing in England and in 1908 his American-bred colt Norman III won a British Classic Race, the 2,000 Guineas.
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  • 1907
    Age 54
    He served as president, and, in 1907, chairman of the company.
    More Details Hide Details Belmont holds the distinction of owning the world's only purpose built private subway car. Named Mineola, it was used by Belmont to give tours of the IRT. Following the United States' entry into World War I, August Belmont, Jr., at age 65, volunteered to assist and was sent to France by the United States Army. He received a commission as major in the United States Army Air Service on November 9, 1917 in France. He was assigned to the supply department of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) and conducted negotiations with the government of Spain to procure supplies for the AEF. He was on detached service to the United States from February 16 to October 23, 1918, when he returned to France. He returned to the United States on December 21 and was discharged from the Army on January 6, 1919. He was one of the oldest officers to serve in the U.S. Army during the First World War.
  • FORTIES
  • 1902
    Age 49
    Three times, horses from August Belmont, Jr.'s stable won the Belmont Stakes, the first coming in 1902 followed by back-to-back wins in 1916 and 1917.
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  • 1895
    Age 42
    August Belmont, Jr. organized the Westchester Racing Association in 1895.
    More Details Hide Details In 1905 he built Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont, on Long Island which operates to this day as the largest thoroughbred racing facility in the state. In the year of its opening, the prestigious Belmont Stakes, inaugurated in 1867 and named in his father's honor, was transferred from the financially troubled Morris Park Racecourse.
    August Belmont, Jr. served as the first president of The Jockey Club and was chairman of the New York State Racing Commission. In 1895 he was one of the nine founding members of the National Steeplechase Association.
    More Details Hide Details August Belmont, Jr. inherited Nursery Stud, a Thoroughbred breeding operation established in 1867 by his father at his Babylon, New York estate. There, Belmont, Jr. raised polo ponies and played on a polo team with Harry Payne Whitney. It was here he stood the Hall of Fame stallion Kentucky. In the early 1880s, Belmont, Sr. leased a farm property in Kentucky, located about three miles outside Lexington. After transferring all of the breeding business there, August Belmont, Jr. developed a very important stud farm whose influences are still felt today. Given the same name as the New York operation, at the Kentucky Nursery Stud he bred 129 American Stakes winners. The greatest of the horses he bred was Man o' War, born while he was serving overseas in World War I. In his absence, his wife Eleanor named the new foal "My Man o' War" in honor of her husband but because of his age and the uncertainty as to the war's end, August Belmont, Jr. decided to disband the stable and with the "My" dropped from the name, Man o' War was sold to Glen Riddle Farm in Maryland.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1888
    Age 35
    In 1888, August Belmont, Jr. became the American Kennel Club's fourth President.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1881
    Age 28
    In 1881, August Belmont, Jr. married childhood sweetheart and next-door neighbor, Elizabeth Hamilton Morgan.
    More Details Hide Details She died at age thirty-six while visiting Paris, France in 1898.
  • 1875
    Age 22
    Born in New York City, he was the son of Caroline Slidell (née Perry) and the wealthy banker, August Belmont. His maternal grandfather was Commodore Matthew C. Perry. He graduated from St. Mark's School (Massachusetts) and was an 1875 graduate of Harvard University, where, as a sprinter, he introduced spiked track shoes to the United States.
    More Details Hide Details He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon at Harvard. Upon his father's death, he inherited a position as head of the Belmont banking house, August Belmont & Co., and served as a director of the National Park Bank. He was chairman of the board of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. August Belmont, Jr. founded the Interborough Rapid Transit Company in 1902 to help finance the construction of and operate New York City's first underground rapid transit line.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1853
    Age 0
    Born on February 18, 1853.
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