And They’re Off! New York’s Biggest Racing Event is Coming to Saratoga in 2024
The New York Racing Association is set to break ground on a massive, $455 million renovation of Belmont Park in 2024.
Among the handful of changes that are set to be made, fans will see improved track surfaces, smaller grandstands and more. It's a well-deserved, long-overdue facelift for one of horse racing's foundational venues. That said, in the interim, one of the biggest stakes races in the world, the Belmont Stakes, was about to be left without a home in 2024.
That was the case until Wednesday, December 6th, when this massive announcement was made about the future of the Belmont Stakes
Belmont Stakes Finds Temporary Home in 2024 at Saratoga Race Course
Brace yourself, Capital Region residents, because the 2024 Belmont Stakes is set to be run at Saratoga Race Course, in Saratoga Springs, NY. The stakes race will serve as the crown jewel in what is being called the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.
It will begin on Thursday, June 6, 2024, and continue through Sunday, June 9, 2024, and all of it will take place at the Spa.
To give context for how big of an event this is going to be, let's look at this story by-the-numbers:
- 23 stakes races in total
- Purses totaling $9.7 million
- Increased purse for the Belmont Stakes from $1.5 million to $2 million
Here's another stat for you: 50,000. That is the listed capacity at Saratoga Race Course. Will that total be exceeded on Belmont Day? I'm not sure, but there's certainly a chance.
Here's what New York Governor Kathy Hochul had to say about the news:
“As part of the exciting modernization of Belmont Park, Saratoga now adds to its storied history by hosting the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown. It’s a win for horseracing and for the Capital Region to have the excitement and the ability to host the four-day Festival in June at America’s most historic track." -Gov. Hochul via News10
Without a hint of hyperbole, I say that this has the chance to be the largest sporting spectacle in the history of New York's Capital Region.
More to come.
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