Featuring the third annual Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, itself anchored by the 149th renewal of the Grade 1, $ 1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 10, live thoroughbred racing returns to Belmont Park on Friday, April 28 for its 54-day spring/summer meet.
The three-day opening weekend is highlighted by the $ 100,000 Affirmed Success for New York-bred sprinters on Friday followed by a pair of turf stakes in the $ 150,000 Elusive Quality on Saturday, April 29, and the $ 150,000 License Fee on Sunday, April 30. First post time is 1:30 p.m. on Friday and admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. General admission is $ 5 and general parking is free.
Highlighted by the 149th running of the Grade 1, $ 1.5 million Belmont Stakes, the oldest and most challenging leg of horse racing’s vaunted “Triple Crown,” the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will begin on Thursday, June 8 and conclude on Saturday, June 10 with 18 stakes races contested over the course of the Festival.
With the Belmont Stakes Draw scheduled for Wednesday, June 7 at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, Thursday, June 8, will open the 2017 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival with live-racing and “Community Day” at Belmont Park. The racing card will feature a trio of stakes with the Grade 3, $ 250,000 Intercontinental for filly and mare turf sprinters, the Grade 3, $ 200,000 Wonder Again for sophomore fillies on the grass, and the $ 150,00 Astoria for 2-year-old fillies.
On Friday, June 9, Day 2 of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will feature five stakes worth more than $ 1.5 million, including the Grade 2, $ 500,000 New York for fillies and mares on the turf, the Grade 3, $ 400,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational for long-distance turf runners, and the Grade 2, $ 250,000 True North for older sprinters.
A special post-race concert by Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot will close out the day by celebrating the music of Billy Joel. Taste NY vendors as well as the popular food truck village will be on-site offering fans a variety of food and beverage options for purchase.
Friday, June 9 will also mark the start of the Belmont Stakes Challenge, a two-day live-money handicapping contest with a $ 10,000 buy-in and a guaranteed prize pool of $ 110,000. In addition to prize money, entrants will compete for one seat to the 2018 Belmont Stakes Challenge, four seats to the National Handicapping Championship and two seats to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
Online registration is open through Wednesday, June 7. For full contest rules and additional information please visit belmontstakeschallenge.com.
Belmont Stakes Day, June 10, will be comprised of five Grade 1 contests supporting the final and most elusive jewel of the Triple Crown: the $ 1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap (“Met Mile”) for 3-year-olds and up, the $ 1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan for older horses on the grass and the $ 700,000 Longines Just a Game for the turf female division, as well as the $ 750,000 Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares and the $ 700,000 Acorn for sophomore fillies.
Tickets for the 2017 Belmont Stakes Racing festival are selling fast and fans should act now to lock in discounted rates. General admission tickets are just $ 15 through April 30 and limited inventory remains for premium hospitality areas. Please visit belmontstakes.com for additional information.
As New York’s Triple Crown headquarters, Belmont Park will host a full simulcast of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6, complemented by live racing and a trio of graded stakes: the Grade 2, $ 200,000 Sheepshead Bay, the Grade 3, $ 150,000 Fort Marcy, both on the turf, and the Grade 3, $ 200,000 Westchester, the traditional prep for the Met Mile on Belmont Stakes Day
Derby Day at Belmont Park will include a wide array of entertainment options including family fun activities, food trucks and games for all ages throughout the backyard. May 6 marks the first giveaway of the spring/summer meet, a Triple Crown-themed clock available with admission while supplies last.
NYRA’s Derby Day offerings will, for the first time, include an event called “Boot Scoot & Derby” that will place in the North Shore Terrace to honor the charms of Kentucky. Tickets ($ 45 for adults, $ 27 for kids) include admission and program, a three-hour BBQ buffet, mechanical bull rides and access to country line dancing. Tickets can by purchased by calling 844-NYRA-TIX or via ticketmaster.
Also on Derby Day, students from area schools will be able to take advantage of Belmont’s annual “College Day,” offering an array of activities and prizes to college students with a valid student I.D. Any students or college organizations looking to participate must RSVP at [email protected] by Tuesday, May 2.
On Kentucky Oaks Day, Friday, May 5, Belmont will host the first of 32 graded stakes races of the spring/summer meet, with the 67th running of the Grade 3, $ 200,000 Vagrancy for female sprinters.
Always a fan favorite, “Breakfast at Belmont” will return on the Saturday and Sunday of Mother’s Day weekend, where racing fans can enjoy breakfast in the Belmont Café while watching horses train on the main track. Beginning at 8 a.m. on select days throughout the spring/summer meet, “Breakfast at Belmont” will also be offered on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 27 through Memorial Day, May 29; Father’s Day Weekend, Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18; as well as Stars & Stripes Festival Weekend, Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9.
Belmont Park will celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14, with free flowers to all women dining in the Garden Terrace, an enter-to-win contest for moms on track, and other family fun activities.
The racing action heats up that same weekend with four graded stakes on Saturday, May 13: the Grade 1, $ 400,000 Man o’ War for older turf horses; the Grade 2, $ 250,000 Ruffian; the Grade 3, $ 150,000 Beaugay; and the Grade 3, $ 200,000 Peter Pan, the local prep race for the Belmont Stakes.
On Preakness Day, Saturday, May 20, fans will be able to enjoy live racing at Belmont as well as full-card simulcasting of the day’s events at Pimlico, a Beer & Wing Festival, and other family-centric events. Tickets for the Beer & Wing Festival are available on Ticketmaster.com.
New York-breds take center stage for Big Apple Showcase Day on Memorial Day, May 29, with six stakes races worth $ 900,000, including a pair of one-mile dirt races: the Commentator and the Critical Eye for fillies and mares, both worth $ 200,000, as Belmont pays tribute to our nation’s military service members. Also on Memorial Day, the prestigious Mike Venezia Award will also be presented to the winning jockey, an honor awarded to jockeys who exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship since 1989.
Dads can take in a car show and celebrate Father’s Day on June 18 at Belmont with bourbon tasting, and an enter-to-win contest for dads at the track as well as a stainless steel insulated tumbler giveaway
In July, the second “must-see” event of the meet is the fourth edition of the internationally themed Stars & Stripes Racing Festival on July 8, highlighted by the Grade 1, $ 1.2 Belmont Derby Invitational for 3-year-olds and the Grade 1, $ 1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational for 3-year-old fillies, both at 1 ¼ miles on the turf. Also on the card are the Grade 2, $ 750,000 Suburban Handicap, the Grade 3, $ 400,000 Dwyer for 3-year-olds, and the Grade 2, $ 350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship. Food trucks and other activities will be on hand for the Stars & Stripes Racing Festival, as well as the final giveaway of the spring meet, a short sleeve t-shirt.
Twilight racing returns with “Party at the Park,” taking place on five Fridays this summer: June 2, June 16, June 23, June 30 and July 7, with a special first-race post time of 3:05 p.m. and live post-race entertainment in the backyard.
With the exception of the twilight racing cards, Derby and Preakness Day, and the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, the first race post time at Belmont Park generally will be 1:30 p.m. Admission to Belmont Park is $ 5, excluding Belmont Stakes Day.
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