Belmont Park features six $1 million-races this season

belmontparkThere will be a few new race names this year at Belmont Park as well as larger purses. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced there will be two busy days of USA horse racing during the spring and summer season as well as the Belmont Stakes Festival which takes place from June 6 to 8. The other two big days will be the Stars and Stripes Day on July 5 and a card held on May 11 for Mother’s Day.

The season kicks off on May 1 and concludes July 13. In total, there will be 62 stakes races taking place for a combined worth of $17.95 million. Six of the races will have a purse of at least $1 million and another 16 of the overnight stakes will each feature a purse of $100,000. The biggest payday is Belmont Stakes Day which takes place on June 7 when there will be $8 million worth of stakes up for grabs with the big race being the Belmont Stakes race with a $1.5 million purse.

There will also be five more Grade 1 races on June 7. These are the Ogden Phipps for mares and fillies four-year-olds and up, the Metropolitan Handicap for three-year-olds and up, the Manhattan Handicap for turf horses four-year-olds and up, the Longines Just a Game Stakes for mares and fillies on turf and the Acorn Stakes, which is for three-year-old fillies.

The $8 million in total purses Belmont Stakes Day makes it the second richest event on the horse racing calendar in North America. The richest day is the Breeders’ Cup World Championships’ second day of competition. The very first Stars and Stripes Day will be held at Belmont on the July 5 holiday weekend. This event features two $1 million races, which are the Belmont Derby Invitational worth $1.25 million and the Belmont Oaks Invitational which is worth $1 million.

The races were previously called the Garden City and the Jamaica Handicap. Both of these races are for three-year-olds and are 1 ¼-mile turf events. However, the Belmont Oaks is for fillies only. The card on July 5 also features the $500,000 Suburban Handicap along with the $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship, which was called the James Marvin in the past. Also on the bill is the $200,000 Dwyer.

On Mother’s Day, the attractions will be the $400,000 Man o’ War as well as the $100,000 License Fee, the $150,000 Westchester and the $250,000 Ruffian. On May 31 the Big Apple Showcase Day takes place and features half a dozen stakes races for New York-breds. May 26 will see Belmont host a Memorial Day card with a trio of stakes races including the $300,000 Poker and the $200,000 Pennine Ridge.

Also, this year’s schedule will see the Astoria and the Tremont return. The Astoria takes place on June 14 for two-year-old fillies while the Tremont takes place the next day and is for two-year-olds. It’s the first time these two races have been scheduled since 2008.

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