On Saturday at Belmont Park, the New York Racing Association will run its annual autumn showcase for New York-bred horses. Re-named this year, Empire Showcase Day will feature 11 races exclusively for horses that were foaled in this state. More than 100 horses will compete for purse money totaling more than $1.6 million.
Showcase Day annually produces the second-highest attendance and handle numbers of the prestigious Belmont Fall Championship Meet, second only to the day on which the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup and five other graded stakes races are run. Last year, more than $12 million was wagered on Showcase Day, which was attended by 7,000 people.
In addition to showcasing New York racing, the day also features more than 30 New York craft and food vendors and the Taste NY initiative, which highlights dairy, spirits, fruits, vegetables, beer, and wine produced in the state.
It’s the sort of event that you’d think New York would promote, highlighting as it does a number of the state’s economic engines. It’s sort of the event that you’d think might even attract the attention of the governor, who seized control of New York racing nearly 18 months ago.