The 146th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7 anchors the 54-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park, which opens May 1 and runs through July 13.
The oldest, longest, and final jewel of racing's Triple Crown series, the 1 1/2-mile Belmont this year will be supported by nine additional stakes, including five grade I events: the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap, the $1 million Ogden Phipps, the $1 million Manhattan, the $750,000 Longines Just a Game, and the $750,000 Acorn.
In total, the 13-race card will be worth $8 million, making New York's Spring Championships the second-richest day on the North American racing calendar behind only Breeders' Cup Saturday.
Guests will be able to experience the entire Triple Crown series at Belmont Park, beginning with the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 3. Gates will open at 10 a.m. EDT and fans can watch and wager on all the racing action from Churchill Downs, as well as the first two of 29 graded stakes during the Belmont meet: the Beaugay (gr. IIIT) and the Fort Marcy (gr. IIIT), both $150,000 events.
The Mother's Day card May 11 will include the $400,000 Man o' War (gr. IT), $250,000 Ruffian (gr. I), $150,000 Westchester (gr. III), and $100,000 License Fee on turf.
Memorial Day weekend begins May 24, with the $200,000 Sheepshead Bay (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares. Memorial Day, Monday, May 26 offers a trio of stakes headlined by the $300,000 Poker (gr. IIIT).
One week before Belmont Stakes Day, Big Apple Showcase Day on Saturday, May 31 will feature six stakes worth $900,000, all restricted to New York-breds..
Belmont will hold its inaugural Stars & Stripes DayJuly 5, featuring a pair of grade I contests for 3-year-olds on the grass, the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational and the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational. Also on the card are the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II), the $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship (gr. III), and the $200,000 Dwyer (gr. II).
"Belmont Park is synonymous with great competition, and our racing team, led by senior vice president of racing operations Martin Panza and racing secretary Frank Gabriel Jr., is working every day with the goal of making the 2014 spring/summer meet the best ever," said New York Racing Association CEO and president Chris Kay. "All who visit Belmont during the spring/summer meet will enjoy a more intimate and exciting experience and terrific guest-focused improvements and promotions."
Beginning opening day, guests will be greeted by a wide array of improvements, including 131 new HD televisions throughout the facility, as well as new HD screens in second-floor box seats for improved viewing of live and simulcast racing. Near the paddock, a new 8' by 15' video display wall has been installed by the walking ring offering enhanced HD-picture quality.
The Belmont Cafe on the first floor of the clubhouse has been modernized with new tables and chairs, and the Top of the Stretch picnic area is being expanded with two additional sections.
The popular "Breakfast at Belmont" program, which enables families to enjoy good food at very reasonable prices while watching the horses train in the morning, is available every weekend and holiday during the meet, with the exception of Belmont Stakes weekend.
Twilight racing returns for four Fridays—June 20, June 27, July 4, and July 11—with a special first race post time of 3 p.m. (all times) EDT. First race post time at Belmont Park generally will be 1:20 p.m., with the exception of the twilight racing cards, Derby and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day, when the first race goes off at noon, and Belmont Stakes day, when the first race will go off at 11:35 a.m.
Admission to both the Grandstand and Clubhouse at Belmont Park is $5, excluding Belmont Stakes Day, when Grandstand admission is $10 and Clubhouse admission is $30.