Belmont Park - Featuring the third annual Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, itself anchored by the 149th renewal of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 10, live thoroughbred racing returns to Belmont Park on Friday, April 28 for its 54-day spring/summer meet.
The three-day opening weekend is highlighted by the $100,000 Affirmed Success for New York-bred sprinters on Friday followed by a pair of turf stakes in the $150,000 Elusive Quality on Saturday, April 29, and the $150,000 License Fee on Sunday, April 30.
Live horse racing returns to Belmont Park on April 28
Highlighted by the 149th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, the oldest and most challenging leg of horse racing's vaunted "Triple Crown," the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will begin on Thursday, June 8 and conclude on Saturday, June 10 with 18 stakes races contested over the course of the Festival.
With the Belmont Stakes Draw scheduled for Wednesday, June 7 at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, Thursday, June 8, will open the 2017 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival with live-racing and "Community Day" at Belmont Park. The racing card will feature a trio of stakes with the Grade 3, $250,000 Intercontinental for filly and mare turf sprinters, the Grade 3, $200,000 Wonder Again for sophomore fillies on the grass, and the $150,00 Astoria for 2-year-old fillies.
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On Friday, June 9, Day 2 of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will feature five stakes worth more than $1.5 million, including the Grade 2, $500,000 New York for fillies and mares on the turf, the Grade 3, $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational for long-distance turf runners, and the Grade 2, $250,000 True North for older sprinters.
Belmont Stakes Day, June 10, will be comprised of five Grade 1 contests supporting the final and most elusive jewel of the Triple Crown: the $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap ("Met Mile") for 3-year-olds and up, the $1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan for older horses on the grass and the $700,000 Longines Just a Game for the turf female division, as well as the $750,000 Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares and the $700,000 Acorn for sophomore fillies.
Belmont Park will celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, May 14, with free flowers to all women dining in the Garden Terrace, an enter-to-win contest for moms on track, and other family fun activities. The racing action heats up that same weekend with four graded stakes on Saturday, May 13: the Grade 1, $400,000 Man o' War for older turf horses; the Grade 2, $250,000 Ruffian; the Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay; and the Grade 3, $200,000 Peter Pan, the local prep race for the Belmont Stakes.
New York-breds take center stage for Big Apple Showcase Day on Memorial Day, May 29, with six stakes races worth $900,000, including a pair of one-mile dirt races: the Commentator and the Critical Eye for fillies and mares, both worth $200,000, as Belmont pays tribute to our nation's military service members. Also on Memorial Day, the prestigious Mike Venezia Award will also be presented to the winning jockey, an honor awarded to jockeys who exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship since 1989.
In July, the second "must-see" event of the meet is the fourth edition of the internationally themed Stars & Stripes Racing Festival on July 8, 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 1/4 miles on the turf. Also on the card are the Grade 2, $750,000 Suburban Handicap, the Grade 3, $400,000 Dwyer for 3-year-olds, and the Grade 2, $350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship.
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