“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…