Belmont Stakes charges on with history firmly rooted in the Bronx

? The 138th annual Belmont Stakes kicked off Saturday on Long Island with years of Bronx history behind it.

The Jerome Park Racetrack was built in 1867 on what is now Lehman College?s campus. Races were held at the kidney-shaped track for about 23 years. The city later purchased the land and made it into the Jerome Reservoir. The track then moved to the Morris Park area and the sport lasted another three years in the Bronx.

Historian Lloyd Ultan says Triple Crown races used to start in the borough and he says Bronx residents should be proud of the tie to horse racing.

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