A color print of race horses ridden by jockeys walking slowly. The horses are accompanied by large groups of gentlemen, owners, managers, and patrons, in high black hats. There are rolling hills in the background.
Jerome Park Racetrack opened on September 25, 1866 in Fordham, Westchester County, New York, which now forms part of the Bronx. The American Jockey Club operated this facility on what was once the Bathgate estate. It was owned by Leonard W. Jerome, who helped found the Jockey Club, and August Belmont, Sr. The course was known as “The Bluff” and hosted the first Belmont Stakes in honor of its owner and President of the Jockey Club in 1867. It ran there until 1890 until it was moved to the Morris Park Racetrack. Visits to Jerome Park were integral to New York City social life. In 1894, Jerome Park was scheduled to be turned into a reservoir for the city because the popularity of racing had begun to decline and “bookmaking” was introduced, lowering the class of the facility to the chagrin of the American Jockey Club, which later banned the activity. The prohibition of betting was the final factor in the downfall of Jerome Park.
Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.