Belmont Stakes moving to Saratoga next year

Belmont Stakes moving to Saratoga next year
Belmont Stakes and NYRA are hosting the 16th Annual Paul Sabienza Elmont/Belmont Parade Saturday at 10 a.m. (Courtesy of Belmont Park)

The 156th running of the Belmont Stakes in 2024 will take place at Saratoga Race Course while Belmont Park undergoes major renovations.

Gov. Kathy Hochul made the announcement Wednesday that the third leg of the Triple Crown will be held upstate alongside a four-day festival. 

“It’s a win for horse racing 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,” Hochul said in a statement. 

The race will be held on Saturday, June 8, while the festival will take place from June 6 to June 9. Included in next year’s changes are a $500,000 increase in the purse for the winning horse to $2 million.

Belmont Park will be redeveloped and reconstructed from scratch as part of a multi-year project secured through a $455 million loan included in this year’s state budget. 

No taxpayer money will be used in the loan, which will be paid back with racing revenue over 20 years, according to the NYRA. The horse racing industry in New York generates $3 billion in annual economic activity while sustaining 19,000 jobs, according to the NYRA. 

The project is expected to begin next year and be completed by the 2026 race. A new state-of-the-art facility at Belmont, which was last renovated in 1968, will also guarantee the return of the Breeders’ Cup, thoroughbred racing’s yearend world championships, to Long Island for the first time since 2005.

David O’Rourke, NYRA president and CEO, thanked Hochul for the support of a new Belmont Park that will bring more excitement to the event. 

“Beyond the excitement and energy around a Triple Crown event at the sport’s most beloved venue, the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course will generate important economic impact and drive tourism throughout the Capital Region,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “We are thrilled to add a new chapter to the story of thoroughbred racing in Saratoga Springs this June.”

The Belmont Stakes, the oldest leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown along with the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, moved to Elmont in 1905. The inaugural running took place in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack in the current-day Bronx.

Belmont was also the scene of Secretariat’s 31-length victory in 1973 to secure the Triple Crown followed by Affirm in 1978 and American Pharaoh in 2015.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here