New York City commuters, tourists, and visitors will have a chance to experience the fun of a trip to Belmont Park thanks to a promotion scheduled the day before this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The Thoroughbred racing experience at Belmont Park will be inside the Grand Central Terminal with the inaugural Belmont Stakes Fan Festival set for Friday, June 7.
From 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., the east side of Vanderbilt Hall will be turned into a mini version of historic Belmont Park, with four interactive event zones open to the more than 750,000 daily commuters, tourists, and visitors to New York's iconic train terminal. By participating, fans will have the opportunity to win Belmont Stakes items, and also be entered to win one of four prize packages including Belmont Stakes Day hospitality and other packages.
Among the activities are:
—Tweet to the Finish, a Twitter sweepstakes in which entrants follow @NYRANews from their Twitter account and tweet the hashtag of the horse they think will win the Belmont Stakes. A randomly selected winner will receive a Belmont Stakes Day trackside hospitality package for two including clubhouse seats, trackside parking, and buffet lunch. Second-, third-, and fourth-place finishers will also receive hospitality packages for different dates in June.
—Stakes Stampede, where fans propel a horse displayed on a screen to the finish line by running in place.
—Winner's Circle Photo, in which fans can stand in a replica of the Belmont Park winner's circle and get their photo taken to share with friends via email and social media channels.
—Mini Belmont Races, complete with a bugler and professional race caller Larry Lederman, in which fans can jump on one of three mechanical ponies and head around the racetrack to the finish line.