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Fog,61°
Monday, November 24, 2014
And they're off at Belmont
Tony Bellissimo/Herald
Read The Research, with jockey Javier Castellano aboard, took the 2013 Belmont Spring/Summer Meet opener.

Belmont Park’s 56-day Spring/Summer Meet got under way last Friday, with Read the Research winning the track’s opening race of 2013, taking a one-mile dirt event by five lengths with jockey Javier Castellano aboard.

Read the Research established control out of the gate and was hardly pressured in the allowance optional claiming event, which had a purse of $64,000. She pulled away down the stretch and paid $7 to win. Peggy Jane completed the exacta, and Haldane finished third. The trifecta paid $120.

“It was a beautiful trip,” Castellano said. “She broke on the lead and controlled the pace. I’m very proud of the way she ran. When I asked her for a little more in the stretch, she gave it to me.”

Castellano, one of the top jockeys in the country, said it was exciting to be back at Belmont. “It’s wonderful to be here,” he said. “It’s my favorite track in the world. I love everything about it.”

The 145th running of the Belmont Stakes, on Saturday, June 8, is the glittering centerpiece of the meet, which runs through July 14. The oldest and longest leg of horseracing’s Triple Crown, the 1½-mile Belmont will be supported by four additional graded stakes.

The Belmont Stakes Festival begins on Saturday, June 1, with Elmont’s Belmont Stakes Parade kicking off a week of community events that includes the Belmont Stakes Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer on June 2, a special Triple Crown Q&A with renowned New York jockeys Ramon Dominguez and Richard Migliore on June 4 at the Elmont Library, the Garden City Belmont Festival on June 7 and the Floral Park Belmont Festival on June 9.

But there’s no need to wait until June for special events at Belmont. This Sunday, the New York Racing Association will host a Cinco de Mayo party in the backyard, featuring Mariachi Loco de NY. And May 11 marks the beginning of an indoor farmers’ market at Belmont, which will be held weekly on Saturdays throughout the meet (except Belmont Stakes Day) on the first floor of the Grandstand.

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