By US Racing Team
The Belmont Stakes trophy – officially named the August Belmont Trophy — is awarded annually to the owner of the Belmont Stakes winner. The silver bowl or cup, which was created by George Paulding-Farnham, a jeweler and metallurgist, for Tiffany & Co. in 1896, was awarded to the Belmont Stakes winner – Hastings — in 1986. The trophy remained with Belmont’s family until 1926 when it was donated to the New York Racing Association and has since been ceremonially presented to the winning owner, and though they have the option to keep possession of the trophy for a year until the next running, it typically stays at Belmont Park.
In a letter to Mrs. Belmont dated June 8, 1926, racetrack officials wrote: “As desired by you, the Cup will be known in the future as the August Belmont Memorial Cup and will be contested for annually in the renewal of the ‘Belmont Stakes’ at Belmont Park, the winner of each renewal to retain possession of the Cup until the succeeding year.”
The winning connections (owner, trainer and jockey) are actually presented with a silver plate to keep, which lists all the winners of the Belmont Stakes.
August Belmont Jr. actually commissioned the trophy, in whose name the race is named. The bowl is made up of 350 ounces of sterling silver, is 27 inches tall and sits on a pedestal composed of the three Thoroughbred foundation stallions Eclipse, Matchem and Herod. The bowl is 15 inches across and 14 inches at the base and features a prominent acorn and oak motif which symbolizes the development of modern racing Thoroughbreds from the three foundation sires. Sitting atop the lid of the bowl is a small representation of the racehorse Fenian, who won the race for the senior Belmont for the first time in 1869.
The cup cost $1,000 to manufacture.