Live racing returns to Belmont Park on April 26 for spring/summer meet
by NYRA Press Office
Belmont Stakes Racing Festival set for June 6-8;
Twilight racing moves to Thursdays beginning May 9
Live thoroughbred racing will return to Belmont Park on Friday, April 26 for its 48-day spring/summer meet, featuring 59 stakes races worth $18.4 million, that runs through Sunday, July 7.
First post time is 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Opening Day, and admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. General admission is $5 and general parking is free. Friday's nine-race card will be highlighted by the $100,000 Affirmed Success for New York-bred 4-year-olds and up going six furlongs.
Live racing from Belmont Park will air nationally on FS2 and regionally on MSG+ nearly every day of the spring/summer meet. Opening day coverage will air on FS2 beginning at 4:30 p.m. with MSG+ picking up the action at 4 p.m. For the complete television schedule, please visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
New for 2019, the spring/summer twilight racing program will move to Thursdays beginning on May 9 and continuing with each subsequent Thursday in May followed by twilight cards on June 6 - Day 1 of the 2019 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival - June 13, and June 27. Twilight Thursdays will feature nine-race cards with a first post of 3:05 p.m.
The oldest and longest leg of racing's vaunted Triple Crown will serve as the centerpiece of the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, from June 6-8, that comprises 18 total stakes, featuring the 151st running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on June 8.
Bringing down the curtain on three days of world-class racing, Belmont Stakes Day on Saturday, June 8, will include eight Grade 1 races among nine graded stakes all leading up to "the Test of the Champion," set to air live on NBC.
With the Belmont Stakes Draw scheduled for Tuesday, June 4 at Citi Field in Queens, the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will kick off Thursday, June 6 with a pair of stakes for fillies and mares: the Grade 3, $200,000 Intercontinental on the turf going seven furlongs; and the Grade 3, $200,000 Wonder Again for sophomores at 1 1/8 miles on the grass.
The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival continues Friday, June 7 with five more stakes topped by the Grade 2, $600,000 New York for turf fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles, the Grade 2, $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational at two miles on the turf for 4-year-olds and up; the Grade 2, $250,000 True North for older sprinters; and the $150,000 Tremont for juveniles. Day 2 of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival is rounded out by the Grade 3, $250,000 Bed 'O Roses Invitational for fillies and mares.
Fans are reminded to buy now and save, with general admission to Belmont Stakes Day available through April 30 for just $15. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.belmontstakes.com/tickets/general-admission.
Opening weekend of the spring/summer meet will include the Spring Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, April 27. Located trackside at Belmont's final turn from 1:30-5 p.m., attendees can watch and bet on live racing from the top of the stretch. More than 100 beers from world-renowned breweries will be available for guests who are at least 21 years old. Admission is $50 and VIP admission is $75. Designated driver admission is $12. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.springcraftbeerfestival.com.
The spring meet will feature the second year of the Man o' War Racing Festival on May 11 offering five stakes, including four graded events, led by the Grade 1, $700,000 Man o' War at 1 3/8-miles on the turf for 4-year-olds and upward.
The top-quality card on May 11 is also headlined by the local prep for the Belmont Stakes, the Grade 3, $300,000 Peter Pan for sophomores at 1 1/8 miles. Rounding out the day's stakes are a pair of Grade 3 contests for fillies and mares with the $200,000 Beaugay at 1 1/16 miles on the grass and the $200,000 Vagrancy for sprinters, as well as the $150,000 Runhappy for sprinters 4-years-old and up.
The 2019 spring/summer meet will also see the launch of the Turf Trinity and Turf Tiara as part of the inaugural Turf Triple Series, offering $5.25 million in purse money, for sophomores over three legs at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.
The Turf Triple Series will showcase the best 3-year-old turf runners in the country, with the first legs slated for Saturday, July 6 as part of the Stars & Stripes Festival to be broadcast live nationwide on NBC.
The Turf Trinity, for 3-year-olds, kicks off on July 6 with the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational, contested at 1 1/4-miles on the Belmont turf. The two additional legs of the Turf Trinity will include the inaugural $1 million Saratoga Derby on August 4 at Saratoga Race Course and the finale back at Belmont with the first running of the $1 million Jockey Club Derby on September 7.
The 3-year-old fillies will start their path on the Turf Tiara with the Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational, at 1 1/4-miles on the Belmont turf as part of the July 6 Stars & Stripes Festival, to be broadcast live on NBC.
The Turf Tiara continues August 2 with the inaugural $750,000 Saratoga Oaks, held at 1 3/16-miles. The final jewel of the Turf Tiara, the first-ever $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks slated for September 7 at Belmont, will be contested at 1 3/8-miles on the turf, and aired live on NBC as part of an action-packed weekend of racing to raise the curtain on the Belmont fall meet.
The Stars & Stripes Racing Festival will be contested over three days beginning on Thursday, July 4 and concluding on Saturday, July 6, when five graded stakes will be offered on the Belmont spring/summer meet's penultimate day.
The packed card will also include the Grade 3, $250,000 Dwyer for 3-year-olds; the Grade 2, $700,000 Suburban for 4-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles, and the renamed Grade 2, $300,000 John A. Nerud, formerly the Belmont Sprint Championship, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
In May, Belmont Park becomes New York's Triple Crown headquarters, hosting special events alongside live racing with the chance to watch and wager on the Kentucky Derby on May 4, and the Preakness on May 18.
In addition to a 12-race card with a special first post of 12:50 p.m., Kentucky Derby Day at Belmont includes the return of the Bourbon Festival, which will be held at the North Shore Terrace from 3-7 p.m. More than 30 bourbons, beers and hard ciders will be available for tastings, with admission to the park starting at 10 a.m. and access to the exclusive tastings beginning at 3 p.m. Guests will also receive handicapping advice and betting strategies from the NYRA Bets Squad. Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster or by calling 844-NYRA-TIX. For more information, visit http://www.bourbonatbelmont.com.
Live Derby Day racing at Belmont Park is headlined by the 60th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Sheepshead Bay, the 90th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Westchester and the Grade 3, $150,000 Fort Marcy for 4-year-olds and up.
Preakness Day, May 18, will offer fans a full simulcast of all the action from Pimlico alongside a strong card of live racing highlighted by the Grade 3, $100,000 Soaring Softly, with admission to the park starting at 10 a.m. Preakness Day at Belmont will include family fun and the annual 'Boot Scoot' in the North Shore Terrace with a country BBQ, line dancing and a host of special offers for those in attendance.
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 will be 1:30 p.m. General admission to Belmont Park is $5 every day except Belmont Stakes Day. Fans can purchase general admission tickets to Belmont Stakes day for just $15 through April 30.
Always a fan favorite, 'Breakfast at Belmont' will return on the Saturday and Sunday of Mother's Day weekend May 11-12. 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. Admission to the 'Breakfast at Belmont' buffet is $15 for adults and $7.50 for children under 6 years of age.
During live racing, the Long Island Rail Road will offer daily service, with train service accessible from Penn Station, Woodside and Jamaica. Trains will depart Belmont Park twice, with the second train leaving approximately 30 minutes after the last race. For updated schedules, visit http://lirr42.mta.info/index.php.
For additional information, the complete racing calendar and details on special events, please visit http://nyra.com/Belmont.