First on 13: Governor wants to bring Belmont to Saratoga 

On eve of Travers, Hochul says Saratoga should host triple crown jewel during Belmont modernization.

Governor Kathy Hochul wants the Belmont Stakes to be run at Saratoga Race Course.

NewsChannel 13 anchor Mark Mulholland has learned that the Governor has expressed her support of bringing the third jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown to Saratoga during the planned redevelopment of Belmont Park. 

According to a person who was at a private fundraiser in Saratoga Springs Friday night, and did not want to be identified, Governor Hochul spoke openly of her support for holding the 2024 Belmont in Saratoga. 

The idea of staging the Belmont at Saratoga as early as next year and possibly in 2025, was first raised by NYRA CEO David O’Rourke several months ago as the association rolled out its plans to transform Belmont Park. 

When reached Saturday for comment, NYRA VP of Communications Pat McKenna said he had no knowledge of the Governor’s Friday night comments, but he expressed gratitude for her support of the idea and her support of New York’s thoroughbred racing. 

McKenna has said previously that Saratoga is NYRA’s first choice for what would likely be a three-day festival of racing to be held in early June. 

The Saratoga racing meet usually runs from mid-July through Labor Day. 

Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus wasn’t at the Governor’s fundraiser, but said Saturday, “It’s great to hear that the Governor agrees Saratoga is the place to host the Belmont. She was a key supporter of the Belmont modernization and we know she loves Saratoga. We will be ready to welcome the Belmont to Saratoga County.”