FIRST ON 13: Belmont Stakes to run at Saratoga Race Course
It’s official. The Belmont Stakes will be run at Saratoga Race Course in 2024.
NewsChannel 13 was first to report Gov. Kathy Hochul would make the announcement on Wednesday.
It’s necessary to run the high-profile race at Saratoga because Belmont Park is undergoing a half-billion-dollar renovation.
The third leg of the Triple Crown will be run on Saturday, June 8. It will be part of a four-day Belmont at Saratoga racing festival, beginning on Thursday and ending on Sunday, June 9. The Belmont Park renovation project is expected to push well into 2025, and it’s likely that the 2025 Belmont also will be run at Saratoga.
The festival will include 23 stakes races in total, with purses adding up to $9.7 million.
Pending approval from the North American Graded Stakes Committee, the Belmont Stakes will be contested at a mile and a quarter in 2024 rather than the traditional mile and a half. This is because of the configuration of Saratoga’s main track.
“As part of the exciting modernization of Belmont Park, Saratoga now adds to its storied history by hosting the third leg of the Triple Crown,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul. “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.’”
David O’Rourke, NYRA President and CEO, thanked Hochul for supporting the modernization of Belmont Park while also expressing his excitement to see the race head to Saratoga. “NYRA will soon be able to bring the Belmont Stakes to Upstate New York for the first time in history.” O’Rourke said. “We are thrilled to add a new chapter to the story of thoroughbred racing in Saratoga Springs this June.”
Saratoga County business leaders are thrilled with the plan to hold the big race at Saratoga, saying it will draw tens of thousands of people and pump millions of dollars into the area economy in June before the typical start of the summer tourist season.
Information on hospitality and pricing for the big event are expected in early 2024.
Mark Mulholland will be gathering reaction to this story and will bring us the latest Live at 4 and on WNYT.com.