A total of 40 stakes worth $10.6 million including two “super” Saturdays, fan-centric activities throughout the meet and low-roller handicapping tournaments on Saturdays are just a few of the highlights as thoroughbred racing returns to Belmont Park for its 38-day fall championship meet, which runs from Friday, September 11 through Sunday, November 1.
The lead up to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships begins with the first of two spectacular days of world-class stakes racing on September 26, featuring the Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh, along with Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame, the Grade 2, $300,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap and the Grade 3, $200,000 Pilgrim. Off track, there will be family fun activities for kids of all ages.
October 3 at Belmont Park is Super Saturday, featuring the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup. The 1 ¼ mile Gold Cup, which offers automatic entry and a fees-paid trip to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland, will be supported by the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational, the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne, the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette, the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap and the Grade 3, $500,000 Hill Prince.
October 3 is also Fabulous Fillies Day at Belmont Park, with events and activities focusing attention on Breast Cancer awareness and early detection. Additional “family fun” activities are planned in Belmont's backyard, with a food truck festival providing fans with many of New York's favorite mobile cuisine.
The spotlight will shine on the Empire State on Saturday, October 24, when the top New York-breds gather at Belmont Park to complete in eight stakes races worth $1.75 million, highlighted by the $300,000 Empire Classic at 1 1/8 miles. Belmont Park also will host Taste New York featuring local New York wines, spirits and food, along with craft vendors, fall-themed family activities and the return of College Day, in which area students can compete for prizes and win scholarships.
Every Saturday at Belmont, guests will be able to experience the thrill of live-money tournament play for just $40 with the return of the popular “low-roller” tournaments. The breakdown of the entry fee is as follows: $10 goes to the prize pool – with 70 percent to be awarded to the first-place finisher, 20 percent to second, and 10 percent to third – and the remaining $30 comprises the entrant's bankroll.
On October 30 and 31, fans can watch and wager on all the Breeders' Cup action at Belmont Park and the simulcast center at Aqueduct Racetrack, with live racing action at Belmont to include the Grade 3, $200,000 Turnback the Alarm for fillies and mares on the turf on Friday and the Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler at seven furlongs on Saturday. Saturday will also offer Oktoberfest, featuring chili and beer, and a haunted house and other Halloween activities for children.
Live racing is generally conducted Wednesdays through Sundays, with first race post time at 12:55 p.m. General parking is free, and admission to Belmont Park is $5. For more information, please visit NYRA.com.
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