The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will begin June 6 and conclude June 9, with 23 stakes races in total. This will be the 156th edition of the Belmont Stakes, a race that first came to Belmont Park in 1905.
“As part of the exciting modernization of Belmont Park, Saratoga now adds to its toried history by hosting the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a news release. “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.”
The reconstruction of Belmont Park will include an upgrade of the 117-year-old track and generate $1 billion in construction-related impacts, 3,700 construction jobs, $155 million in annual economic activity, and create 740 new full-time jobs. The renovations will bring the “modern hospitality offerings fans expect” to the historic racing facility.
“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,” New York Racing Association President David O’Rourke said in the release.
Prior to the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, the Belmont spring/summer meet will be conducted at the Aqueduct Racetrack. The fall meet that is customarily held at Belmont Park will also be shifted to Aqueduct in 2024 as construction continues.
The purse levels for the event will be the highest purse levels recorded to date at a total of $9.7 million since the launch of the multiday Belmont Stake Racing Festival in 2014, according to the release.
The purse of the Belmont Stakes will be increased from $1.5 million to $2 million in 2024 by the New York Racing Association. Pending the approval of the North American Graded Stakes Committee, the Belmont Stakes will be contested at 1 1/4 miles in 2024, rather than the traditional 1 1/2 miles because of the configuration of Saratoga’s main track.