“The second richest day in North American racing” will come to Belmont Park on June 7.
That’s what the New York Racing Association (NYRA, and an occasional freelance client of mine) announced last week, in a reconfiguration of its springs/summer stakes schedule designed to create a blockbuster race card on the day of the Belmont Stakes.
This year’s Belmont day will offer 10 stakes races, nine of them graded, worth purses of a total of $7.7 million, second only to the Saturday card at the Breeders’ Cup. Last year’s Belmont card featured six stakes races worth $2.95 million.
Among the more significant changes to the schedule is moving the historic Metropolitan Handicap, considered a Memorial Day fixture, to Belmont Stakes day.
The purpose, said NYRA president and CEO Chris Kay, is to “create a day that would grab people’s attention in classic, bigger-than-life, New York style.”
Who those people are is at this point unclear.
Continue reading at Forbes.com…
4 thoughts on “NYRA Has Built It. Will They Come?”
I think they will come. It’s a perfect card as a set up for Saratoga. We all know how the flood in for the big races there. They can come to New York 5 weeks early now, run in the big stakes on Belmont day and then be on east coast already when Saratoga and Monmouth are firing up their larger days.
Do you think the customers will come, too, Allison?
That is a whole other question, it will be interesting. Even more intriguing if there is no TC on the line. We know that no TC on the line = smaller crowd for Belmont day.
For me as a small breeder, racing fan and employee in the racing industry, this day of racing is more intriguing than the Breeders’ Cup. The quality of the Breeders’ Cup has gone down and has lost it’s original purpose. This new line up at Belmont is kind of bringing the focus back to what it’s about, racing. If I had the $ for a ticket to NY to be there you bet I would be, can’t say the same for Breeders’ Cup.
Definitely encouraging for NYRA. Will look forward to seeing what the prices are.