Till day, historians still debate about how Native people first obtained horses and how it became so widespread all throughout North America, whether it was through trade or through the capture of stray animals. However, many would agree that horsemanship amongst Native people spread northwards from the colonial Spanish trading centre at Santa Fe, which is now famous as New Mexico.

Talking about the origin of thoroughbred races in the US, the very first racing event actually dates back to 1665 & the Newmarket course in Salisbury, New York. This event was organized by Richard Nichols, the first governor of New York Province at that time when the area was still under the English colonial rule.

Given the long & traditional history associated with thoroughbred horse racing in New York, it is not really surprising that the ‘Sport of Kings’ remains hugely popular. Albeit with the irony that the two of the most famous racetracks are precisely located within the vicinity of the Queens borough of New York City.

Aqueduct Racetrack
Opened for the first time in September 1894, Aqueduct Racetrack celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2019, and it is the only racetrack within New York City limits. Located in the South Ozone Park neighbourhood of Queens, the famous Aqueduct actually came very close to the closure in 2007, when New York Governor of that time considered selling the 192-acre site & stables to the property developer.

Fortunately, those plans were shelved, and Aqueduct remained open for business when gambling laws in the state became a little more relaxed. While online betting and statewide is still awaiting legislative approval, fans of horse racing can find aqueduct picks and still enjoy wagering on the races at this popular venue.

At Aqueduct, racing meets on the two turfed & main dirt circuits are typically held throughout the winter & spring seasons, from the end of October through the April. For those who are interested in how the venue acquired its unusual name, it is because this track is located next to the former Brooklyn Waterworks aqueduct which brought water from eastern Long Island to the Ridgewood Reservoir, in nearby Highland Park.

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Belmont Park
While not actually located within the NY City limits, Belmont Park racetrack is situated right on the other side of the Cross Island Parkway from Queens Village, within the Elmont neighbourhood of Nassau County. Opened in 1905, the original racetrack & grandstand for spectators remained within the Hempstead Plains area of Long Island.

Although the original venue got demolished in 1963 and race meetings were then moved to Aqueduct, the course was completely rebuilt & was accompanied by the largest grandstand in racing with the capacity of over 100,000 spectators.

As for the horse races, Belmont Park hosts meetings through spring & summer that usually features a 48-day calendar which begins in late April & concludes in June. By far the biggest event at this venue is the annual Belmont Stakes. It is also one of the most famous race meetings in the US, that is typically held on either first or second Saturday of June.

Author's Bio: 

Avinash is a technical person who loves writing about anything that is directly or remotely connected to technology. From hardcore tech stories to the overall impact of technology in life, Avinash is passionate about everything. When he is not surfing the Internet, he is busy with his favourite beats.