Belmont Park Coming to Manhattan on June 7
By Jenny Kellner
The excitement of thoroughbred racing at Belmont Park will be coming to Grand Central Terminal with the inaugural Belmont Stakes Fan Festival set for Friday, June 7, the day before the 145th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes.
From 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., the east side of Vanderbilt Hall will be turned into a mini version of historic Belmont Park, with four interactive event zones open to the more than 750,000 daily commuters, tourists and visitors to New York’s iconic train terminal. By participating, fans will have the opportunity to win Belmont Stakes items, and also be entered to win one of four prize packages including Belmont Stakes Day hospitality and other packages.
Among the activities are:
Tweet to the Finish, a Twitter sweepstakes in which entrants follow @NYRAnews from their Twitter account and tweet the hashtag of the horse they think will win the Belmont Stakes. A randomly selected winner will receive a Belmont Stakes Day Trackside Hospitality package for two including clubhouse seats, trackside parking, and buffet lunch. Second, third and fourth-place finishers will also receive hospitality packages for different dates in June.
Stakes Stampede, where fans propel a horse displayed on a screen to the finish line by running in place.
Winner’s Circle Photo, in which fans can stand in a replica of the Belmont Park winner’s circle and get their photo taken to share with friends via email and social media channels.
Mini Belmont Races, complete with a bugler and professional race caller Larry Lederman, in which fans can jump on one of three mechanical ponies and head around the racetrack to the finish line.
The Belmont Stakes, the final leg of racing’s Triple Crown, is the most celebrated race at Belmont Park. Since 1919, when Sir Barton became the first thoroughbred to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, the “Test of the Champion” has crowned 11 winners of racing’s most prestigious, and elusive prize. Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978) were the three most recent champions to join Sir Barton, Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946) and Citation (1948) as Triple Crown winners.
Reserved seating for the Belmont Stakes can be obtained at www.belmontstakes.com
or through www.ticketmaster.com
. General admission ($10) and clubhouse admission ($20) will be available at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day, with free seating (picnic tables, benches, chairs) available on a non-reserved, first-come basis throughout the track’s spacious viewing areas. The Belmont Stakes will be broadcast by NBC (5-7 p.m. ET) and the NBC Sports Network (3-5 p.m.)
About The New York Racing Association, Inc.
NYRA’s mission is “Meeting the highest standards in thoroughbred racing and equine safety.” Founded in 1955, and franchised to run thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course through 2033, NYRA boasts a lineage that actually stretches back almost 150 years. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of the state’s thoroughbred business which contributes more than $2 billion annually to New York State’s urban, suburban and rural economy. In 2012, nearly 1.8 million people attended the live races at NYRA tracks. Factoring in nationwide off-track wagering, the average daily betting handle on NYRA races totals more than $9 million. NYRA has a vast network of websites, including www.nyra.com
, and www.nyragroupsales.com
. You can also follow NYRA on social media platforms Facebook
, and Instagram