The name of this street and plaza comes from the National Race Course, a horse-racing track that operated here from 1854-1866.
The Corona area began as West Flushing in 1854, when a group of speculators from the City of New York developed the area and named it after its 200-year-old neighbor to the east. That year also saw the beginning of regional Long Island Rail Road service and the opening of the National Race Course. Developers planned the streets around the railroad route, rapidly increasing settlement in the following years. In 1856, the National Race Course was renamed Fashion Race Track, after a champion horse. The racetrack became a major attraction, featuring the new sport of harness-racing. With the construction of lavish new tracks in Fordham and Sheepshead Bay, however, and with a resurgence of thoroughbred racing, the track closed down in 1866.