Live Thoroughbred racing will return to Belmont Park on Friday, April 27 for its 54-day spring/summer meet packed with exciting racing action and a variety of special events designed for fans of all ages. The spring/summer meet is highlighted by the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 9.
The 2018 spring/summer meet gets underway on Friday, April 27 with a three-day opening weekend, highlighted by the $100,000 Affirmed Success for New York-bred sprinters running on Big Sandy on Opening Day. The first Saturday of the meet will see 4-year-olds and up compete on the turf in the $125,000 Elusive Quality, and Sunday will feature older fillies and mares of the turf in the $125,000 License Fee.
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.
Opening weekend will also include the Spring Craft Beer Festival on April 28. Located at Belmont's North Shore Terrace from 1:30-5 p.m., with the VIP session from 12:30-1:30 p.m., attendees for the festival can watch and bet on live racing with sweeping views of the track from a climate-controlled area on Belmont Park's fourth floor. 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 Springcraftbeerfestival.com.
Live Thoroughbred racing from Belmont Park will return to MSG Plus (MSG+) on Saturday, April 28. Over the course of the 54-day spring/summer meet, MSGN will telecast 44 Belmont Park Live shows. On Wednesday, June 6, Belmont Park Live will present a half-hour special to preview the Belmont Stakes.
With the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes as its centerpiece, the 2018 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will take place at beautiful Belmont Park from Thursday, June 7 through Saturday, June 9. Featuring the very best in Thoroughbred racing alongside world-class entertainment and hospitality options, the Festival will offer three days of world-class racing including 18 stakes with $9.4 million in purses on the line.
The Festival will kick off June 7 with a trio of stakes for fillies and mares: the Grade 3, $200,000 Intercontinental for turf fillies and mares going seven furlongs; the Grade 3, $200,000 Wonder Again for sophomores at 1 1/8 miles on the grass; as well as the $150,000 Astoria for 2-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs.
Friday, June 8, will feature five additional stakes, topped by the Grade 2, $600,000 New York for turf fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles, the Grade 2, $250,000 True North for older sprinters and the Grade 2, $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational at two miles on the grass.
The 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes – the coveted final jewel of racing's Triple Crown – will bring down the curtain on three days of world-class racing. The “Test of the Champion” will be supported by eight additional graded stakes on Saturday, including five prestigious Grade 1's: the $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap at a mile; the $1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan at 1 ¼ miles on the turf; the $750,000 Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles; the $700,000 Longines Just A Game for turf fillies and mares; and the $700,000 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies at a mile.
Contributing to the stellar Belmont Stakes Day undercard will be the Grade 2, $400,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs, the Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational for 4-year-olds and up going 1 ½ miles, the Grade 2, $400,000 Jaipur Invitational for turf sprinters 4-years-old and up at six furlongs and the $150,000, 1 1/16-mile Easy Goer for sophomores.
One lucky fan will have the chance to earn $150,000 with the Belmont Stakes Sweepstakes. Each ticket purchase, up to a maximum of 12, for the 150th Belmont Stakes and Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will accompany one entry to the sweepstakes. For official rules, please visit BelmontStakes.com/150sweepstakes.
In May, Belmont Park becomes New York's Triple Crown headquarters, hosting a simulcast of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 5, complemented by a full day of live racing along with a host of family fun activities. Kentucky Derby Day at Belmont will include 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 11 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 $95 per person and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster of by calling 844-NYRA-TIX. For more information, visit bourbonatbelmont.com.
Derby Day at Belmont will feature a golf umbrella giveaway, subject to availability.
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.
Three graded stakes at Belmont Park will highlight the local Derby Day action, highlighted 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.
Always a fan favorite, “Breakfast at Belmont” will return on the Saturday and Sunday of May 12-13, 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 hosted Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 26 through Memorial Day, May 28; Father's Day Weekend, Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 18; June 30 and July 1; as well as Stars & Stripes Festival Weekend, Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8.
Five stakes, included four graded, will highlight the Man o' War Festival on Saturday, May 12. Anchored by the 60th running of the Grade 1, $700,000 Man o' War, the day will also feature the Grade 3, $350,000 Peter Pan for 3-year-olds, the Grade 3, $200,000 Beaugay for older fillies and mares and the Grade 3, $200,000 Vagrancy, a handicap for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up.
Belmont Park will celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, May 13, with an enter-to-win contest for moms on track, and other family fun activities.
On Preakness Day, Saturday, May 19, fans will be able to enjoy live racing at Belmont as well as full-card simulcasting of the day's events at Pimlico, a Boot Scoot Party in the North Shore Terrace. Admission, $50 for adults and $30 for children, includes admission and a race day program along with country line dancing, a three-hour buffet, two drink tickets (for patrons at least 21 years old), a cash bar and mechanical bull riding. In addition to watching the second leg of the Triple Crown, Belmont Park will run the Grade 3, $100,000 Soaring Softly.
New York-breds take center stage for Big Apple Showcase Day on Memorial Day, May 28, with six stakes races worth $900,000, including a pair of one-mile dirt races in the Commentator and the Critical Eye; a dirt sprint for 3-year-old fillies in the Bouweire; a mile race on the turf for 3-year-olds and up in the Kingston, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds in the Mike Lee and the Mount Vernon for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at one mile on the turf.
Saturday, June 16 will offer fans the opportunity to engage in their creative side with a Paint & Sip experience. For $40 per person, admission, all art supplies and a Belmont Park canvas apron will be provided. Guests will be welcome to enter the park at 11 a.m. and enjoy the full race day, with the painting session commencing at 1 p.m. from the Top of the Stretch picnic area.
July will spotlight Belmont's second “must-see” event of the meet with the fifth edition of the internationally themed Stars & Stripes Racing Festival on Saturday, July 7, 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, $700,000 Suburban Handicap, the Grade 3, $300,000 Dwyer for 3-year-olds, and the Grade 2, $350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship.
Twilight racing returns with “Party at the Park,” taking place on six Fridays this summer: June 1, June 15, June 22, June 29, July 6 and July 13, with a special first-race post time of 3:05 p.m. Live post-race entertainment in the backyard will take place June 15, 22, 29 and July 6.
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, when Grandstand admission is $20 and Clubhouse admission is $55. Belmont Stakes Day admission can be secured at a discounted rate if purchased prior to May 1. Information on special hospitality packages and seats for Belmont Stakes Day can be found at belmontstakes.com.
During live racing, the Long Island Rail Road will offer daily service, with trains 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.
Belmont Park's 2018 spring/summer meet activities at a glance:
- Dates: Friday, April 27 through Sunday, July 15
- First Post Time: 1:30 p.m. EDT
- Derby Day and Preakness Day: 12:50 p.m.
- Twilight racing: 3:05 p.m.
- Belmont Stakes Day: 11:35 a.m.
- Gates open:
- Weekdays: 11:30 a.m.
- Weekends and June 7, June 8: 11:00 a.m.
Derby Day, Preakness Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day: 10:00 a.m.
Kentucky Derby Day:
- Saturday, May 5 – Bourbon Festival; College Day; golf umbrella giveaway; and family fun activities
- Saturday, May 19 – Boot Scoot Party at the North Shore Terrace
Belmont Stakes Racing Festival:
- Saturday, June 2 – 11th annual Elmont/Belmont Parade
- Sunday, June 3 — Integrated Medical Foundation's seventh annual Belmont Stakes' Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer®
- Tuesday, June 5 – NYRA jockeys to visit the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island
- Thursday, June 7 – Belmont Stakes Racing Festival Community Day
- Friday, June 8 – food trucks, Taste NY, and live entertainment; live-money high-roller handicapping tournament (Day 1)
- Saturday, June 9, Belmont Stakes Day – live entertainment; live-money high-roller handicapping tournament (Day 2)
Stars & Stripes Racing Festival:
- Saturday, July 7 – live-money handicapping tournament
“Party at the Park” twilight racing:
- Dates: Fridays, June 1, June 15, June 22, June 29, July 6 and July 13
- First Post Time: 3:05 p.m. EDT
Breakfast at Belmont:
- Mother's Day weekend – Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13
- Memorial Day weekend & Big Apple Showcase – Saturday, May 26 – Monday, May 28
- Father's Day weekend – Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17
- Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1
- Stars & Stripes Festival weekend – Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8
- Time: 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
- Admission and parking are free.
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