Ten Things You Should Know: Jerome Stakes
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor
Originally published on April 21, 2011
1) The Jerome Stakes is race run at Aqueduct Racetrack at the distance of 1 mile and 70 yards. For much of the 20th century the race was held Belmont Park, but in 2011 Aqueduct hosted the race for the first time since 1967.
2) The Jerome is one of the oldest stakes races in the country, run for the first time in 1866. Traditionally, the Jerome was run in September and October, but in its current January slot it’s the first graded stakes race of the year in New York. It’s also the first Kentucky Derby points race of the year.
3) The raced is named for Leonard Walter Jerome. Known during his life as “The King of Wall Street,” he built the Jerome Park Racetrack in partnership with August Belmont, Sr. in 1866. Both men have races honoring them; the first Belmont Stakes was run at Jerome Park in 1867.
4) The Jerome has been run at a variety of distances from two miles to its current distance of 1 mile and 70 yards. It has been hosted by four different New York racing venues, including its original location at Jerome Park in the Bronx. It moved to Morris Park in 1890, and then in 1905 to Belmont Park for its inaugural meeting. It was run at Aqueduct for most of the 1960s because of renovations at Belmont Park.
5) Among the list of winners are Aristides, who also won the first edition of the Kentucky Derby in 1875. The last Derby winner to win the Jerome was Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000. Other Derby winners who won the Jerome include Tom Fool (1952), Carry Back (1961), and Chateaugay (1963)
6) In 1908 Fair Play won the Jerome; he is the sire of the great Man o’ War. In 1957, Bold Ruler won the Jerome; he sired Secretariat.
7) In 1960, Kelso won the Jerome, run that year at Aqueduct. It was the second stakes win of his career and the first of his many stakes wins in New York. It was also the first time Eddie Arcaro rode the future champion — one of 14 straight races together.
8) In 1982, Fit to Fight won the Jerome. Two years later, in 1984, he would become the last winner of the New York Handicap Triple Crown (Met Mile, Brooklyn Handicap, and the Suburban).
9) Jockey Eddie Arcaro won six editions of the Jerome from 1946 to 1960. He won two straight in 1957 and 1958 aboard Bold Ruler and Warhead. He rode Hill Prince in 1950 during his Horse of the Year campaign; he also won the Wood Memorial, the Preakness, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup that year.
10) In 2001, the Jerome was one of many races canceled at Belmont Park during their fall meet as a result of the 9/11 attacks.