In 2018, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will again offer a $1 million bonus to the connections of any Japan-based horse who wins the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets. NYRA officials made the announcement Friday.
The $1 million bonus is being offered for the first time in 2017 and is in addition to the $800,000 winner's share of the Belmont Stakes, which is contested at 1 ½ miles, the same distance as classic races in Japan.
Japanese-based Epicharis, runner-up in the Grade 2 UAE Derby, is the second choice on the morning-line for Saturday's 149th edition of the Belmont and he is eligible for the bonus.
Last year, the Japan-based Lani competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown, with his best showing being a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.
To qualify for the bonus, a horse must have made at least three starts in Japan prior to starting in the Belmont and must be nominated to North America's Triple Crown series. In the event of a dead heat, the connections will receive a $600,000 bonus.
Through an agreement reached between NYRA and the Japan Racing Association (JRA), and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, Japanese wagering on the 2017 Belmont Stakes will be conducted through a separate, non-comingled pool.
To facilitate wagering on the 2017 Belmont Stakes, NYRA will provide a live simulcast in Japan, accessible through Green Channel, JRA's official racing cable network channel, as well as replays of the race at the JRA's on- and off-course facilities, JRA racing programs on Fuji Television Network and Television Tokyo, and on the JRA's website at www.jra.go.jp/sp.jra.jp, to be geo-filtered within Japan. Wagering will be available via JRA's internet betting platform, PAT.
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