Edited NYRA Release – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced it will again offer a $1 million bonus to the connections of any Japan-based horse who wins the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes slated for Saturday, June 5 at Belmont Park.
The three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from Thursday, June 3 through Saturday, June 5 will encompass 17 total stakes, including eight Grade 1s on Belmont Stakes Day, capped by the $1.5 million “Test of the Champion” for 3-year-olds in the 1 ½-mile final leg of the Triple Crown.
Tickets for the 2021 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival are not yet on sale to the public. Additional information and the timing of the general on-sale will be released in the coming weeks.
The $1 million bonus, offered for the first time in 2017, is in addition to the $800,000 winner’s share of the Belmont Stakes, which is contested at 1 ½ miles [2,400 meters], the same distance as classic races in Japan.
In 2017, the Japan-based Lani competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown, with his best showing being a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.
The Japan-based Master Fencer, who was elevated to sixth in the 2019 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, closed to finish fifth in that year’s Grade 1 Belmont.
To qualify for the bonus, a horse must have made at least three starts in Japan prior to starting in the Belmont and must be nominated to North America’s Triple Crown series. In the event of a dead heat, the connections will receive a $600,000 bonus.