The Jamaica Handicap is American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old horses run annually on the turf at Belmont Park in Elmont on Long Island, New York. Set at a distance of nine furlongs (one and one/eighth miles), because it is run in early October, it can sometimes be used as a prep to either the Breeders' Cup Turf Mile or the 1½ mile Breeders' Cup Turf.
In 2009, the Jamaica was a Grade I event. Offering a purse of $300,000, it is named after the Jamaica District in Queens, New York. The first running took place in 1929 at the Jamaica Racetrack. When the Jamaica track closed in 1959, the race was shifted to the Aqueduct Race Track in Queens where it was contested in 1960, 1975 to 1977, 1979 to 1981, and 1987.
It was raced at a distance of six furlongs from 1929 to 1953 and 1957 to 1960, then at 1�...> miles (9 furlongs) in 1954, and from 1997 through the present. The Jamaica Handicap was open to horses age three and older from 1929 to 1944, 1949 to 1953, and again in 1960. It has been a turf race since 1994. The Jamaica wasn't run from 1933 to 1935, in 1955 and 1956, from 1961 to 1976, nor in 1995 (due to severe weather conditions). It was run in two divisions in 1946. Of interest is that any horse winning three editions of a single race is a rare occurrence but the Jamaica Handicap has had two horses accomplish that feat.
Belmont Park Graded Stakes Races
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