Belmont Stakes Racing Festival Highlights 54-day Live Racing Meet
Live thoroughbred racing returns to Belmont Park on Friday, April 29 for its 54-day spring/summer meet. Fans will enjoy a packed schedule of exciting racing and special events.
The second annual Belmont Stakes Racing Festival features the 148th renewal of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11. Three days of world-class racing at Belmont Park, featuring 19 stakes worth $9.6 million begins Thursday, June 9 and continues through Belmont Stakes Day.
Belmont Stakes Day will be comprised of five Grade 1 contests supporting the final and most elusive jewel of the Triple Crown: the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap (“Met Mile”) for 3-year-olds and up, the $1 million Manhattan for older horses on the grass and the $700,000 Longines Just a Game for the turf female division, as well as the $1 million Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares and the $700,000 Acorn for sophomore fillies.
Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum recording artist Daughtry will headline the entertainment on Belmont Stakes Day with a post-race concert to cap off an afternoon of exciting racing and activities, including food trucks, strolling performers, parachuters, a color guard presentation and special performances from the West Point Band and smash hit Broadway musical “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.”
Thursday, June 9, will open the premier racing festival as “Community Day” at Belmont Park, highlighted by a live Q&A session with Bob Baffert, the Hall of Fame trainer of 2016 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The racing card will feature a trio of stakes in the $200,000 Astoria for 2-year-old fillies, $150,000 Intercontinental for filly and mare turf sprinters and the $200,000 Belmont Coronation Invitational for fillies and mares going 1 15/16 miles on the turf.
Friday’s card will feature five stakes worth more than $1.5 million, including the Grade 2, $500,000 New York and the Grade 2, $250,000 True North, as well as hospitality room entertainment and a handicapping seminar. A special post-race concert by country stars Maddie & Tae will close out the second day of the festival. TasteNY vendors will also be on hand with a variety of regional products of wines, spirits, foods, and crafts available for purchase.
Friday will also mark the beginning of the meet’s elite high-roller handicapping tournament, the Belmont Stakes Challenge, a two-day live-money handicapping contest with a $10,000 buy-in set to conclude on Belmont Stakes Day with a guaranteed overall prize pool of at least $125,000.
The Derby weekend celebrations will begin with the return of the ever-popular “Breakfast at Belmont” beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 7 as well as Mother’s Day Sunday, where racing fans can enjoy breakfast in the Belmont Café while watching horses train on the main track. Held on select weekends throughout the spring/summer meet, “Breakfast at Belmont” will also be hosted Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 28 through Memorial Day, May 30; Father’s Day Weekend, Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19; and Stars & Stripes Festival Weekend, Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10.
Twilight racing returns with “Party at the Park,” taking place on four Fridays this summer – June 17, June 24, July 1 and July 8 – with a special first-race post time of 3:05 p.m. The first race post time at Belmont Park generally will be 1:30 p.m.