Belmont Park Fall Events
This Saturday at Belmont Park: Empire Showcase Day features the best in New York-bred racing, Taste NY, and family fun
Anchored by eight stakes races featuring the best New York-bred thoroughbreds competing for $1.75 million in purses, Saturday's Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park will offer an array of New York-produced foods and a wide variety of outdoor activities that the entire family can enjoy. Gates will open at 11:00 am, with the first race scheduled for 12:20 pm.
Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park will feature a unique 11-race card comprised solely of New York-bred horses, and reflects the New York Racing Association's continued support of the state's vast equine industry. The industry leader responsible for more than one in every five dollars wagered on thoroughbred racing across the nation, the New York Racing Association continues to work closely with New York equine breeders to increase the foal count and further grow this critical, statewide economic engine.
"The New York-bred program is a vital segment of the state's thoroughbred industry, which provides approximately 17,000 jobs and annually contributes more than $2 billion into New York State's growing economy," stated Christopher Kay, New York Racing Association Chief Executive Officer and President. "Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park is a celebration of New York's important equine tradition, and will offer our loyal racing fans an unparalleled day filled with the best in New York-themed racing, cuisine and family entertainment."
The centerpiece of Saturday's all-state-bred card will be the 38th running of the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race which has been won by such local stars as Haynesfield, Fourstardave, and defending champion Saratoga Snacks. This year's edition also will feature Albany winner So Lonesome, New York Derby hero Empire Dreams, and Evan Shipman star Sinistra.
Along with the Empire Classic Handicap, Saturday's racing card will feature familiar rivals Lubash and King Kreesa facing off in the $200,000 Mohawk on the turf, La Verdad returning to state-bred company in the $150,000 Iroquois for filly and mare sprinters, the $250,000 Empire Distaff for fillies and mares, the $150,000 Hudson Handicap for sprinters, the $200,000 Ticonderoga for turf fillies and mares, and a pair of $250,000 races for juveniles, the Maid of the Mist for fillies and the Sleepy Hollow, both at a mile.
In addition to great thoroughbred racing, the day will mark the return of Taste NY to Belmont Park. A signature initiative launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo and embraced by the New York Racing Association, Taste NY has successfully connected racing fans with the very best in New York-produced foods, spirits and crafts. There will be 17 separate vendors joining the New York Racing Association on Saturday in conjunction with Taste NY and 11 other craft vendors.
Further, the New York Racing Association has put together an exciting, fun-filled array of family activities which will take place in Belmont Park's spacious backyard. A pumpkin patch will enable children to pick their own pumpkins, with a decorating station allowing them to add their own fall-themed flair. An inflatable Pirate Obstacle Course and face painting will also be available for children, with Gallop, Belmont Park's mascot, available for photos.
Children of all ages can take part in free horse-drawn hay rides, and participate in a scarecrow scavenger hunt. A professional pumpkin carver will also be on hand, and will be plying his craft on a 100-pound pumpkin for all guests to see.