Sunday, April 26, 2009


BELMONT PARK OPENS WITH OVER 50 FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS


Belmont Park will open its Spring/Summer Meet on Wednesday, April 29 with more than 50 improvements to the facilities, including upgrades to the spacious main building, the beautiful backyard, the vibrant backstretch area, and the legendary racetrack surfaces.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our facilities,” said Charles Hayward, President and CEO of The New York Racing Association, Inc. “With the multitude of upgrades in place, our fans, horsemen, jockeys, backstretch workers, employees and horses will be treated to a safer, more efficient, and aesthetically pleasing Belmont Park.”


The customer areas, including the main building and the backyard, underwent a myriad of upgrades. Among the many improvements, high capacity water supply lines were installed including a supplemental water pump for use on high volume days, and the majority of the transformers serving the building were replaced. Also, many of the metal railing surfaces were stripped and re-painted, the paddock underwent a number of renovations including new sod and improved drainage, and more picnic tables were added in the backyard.

Additionally, a new hospitality area was created at the “Top of the Stretch.” This location provides the ideal setting for a casual gathering. It features charcoal barbeque pits, umbrella-top tables, can handle groups ranging from 50 to 250, and has a spectacular view of the races.

The backstretch area underwent changes to improve its functionality and appearance. Among the many projects, NYRA upgraded the emergency lighting in all of the cottages, eight of the barns were given a fresh coat of paint, and the backstretch library was renovated to accommodate and support training and enhanced education for the backstretch population. In addition, further upgrades to the backstretch resulted in NYRA recycling over 90 percent of its waste stream.

The world-renowned Belmont Park racing surfaces also saw a number of improvements. In order to ensure the safety of horses and riders, a brand new lighting system was installed on the training track, several pieces of important racetrack maintenance equipment were upgraded, a new surface was installed in the jogging barns, and an additional running lane has been added on both of the turf courses.

The 64-day Belmont Park Spring/Summer Meet runs April 29 through July 26, with live racing Wednesday through Sunday. On most days, gates open at 11:00 a.m. and first post is at 1:00 p.m. The 141st Running of the Belmont Stakes is on Saturday, June 6. There is no live racing on Mondays or Tuesdays, with the exception of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Belmont Park will also be dark on Wednesday, May 27 and Sunday, June 7. Visit NYRA.com for more information.


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