|HRI STAFF EDITED RELEASE— ELMONT, N.Y. – Following consultation with horsemen and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), and the approval of the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC), the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that the 37-day Belmont fall meet will be held in its entirety at Belmont Park. |
On July 10, NYRA announced plans to conduct a portion of the 2019 fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack from October 11 through October 27 to ensure the continuity of racing operations in New York and best serve the interests of horsemen in light of the planned construction of a new arena at Belmont Park for the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders.
However, with the current construction site preparation proving less impactful to racing operations than expected, NYRA, with the support of NYTHA and its members, will host the full fall meet at Belmont Park.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer the entirety of the Belmont fall schedule at the facility where these races were meant to be run,” said NYRA CEO and President Dave O’Rourke. “This decision follows careful analysis of the nature of construction site activity and a series of productive meetings with horsemen.”
Beginning on September 25, live racing on weekdays at Belmont Park will adjust from the current 3 p.m. post time to a 1 p.m. first post. Saturdays and Sundays will continue to feature a first post of 1 p.m. with entry gates open to the public at 11 a.m. To account for live racing on Columbus Day, October 14, that week will feature a Thursday-Monday schedule from October 10-14.
“NYTHA commends NYRA’s flexibility in deciding to run the complete fall meet at Belmont Park and return to the traditional 1pm post time,” said NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum.
“This is an example of a deliberative process that was informed by direct communication between NYRA management and our trainers to get the right outcome for all parties.”
The Belmont Café will open for simulcasting on live race days at 11 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday, as well as Monday, October 14, and will close for the remainder of 2019 on October 27.
The lucrative 37-day Belmont fall meet, highlighted by seven Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” events along with 45 stakes worth $11.525 million in purse money, kicked off on Friday, September 6 and will continue through Closing Day Sunday, October 27.
Vehicle access to Belmont Park will continue to be available only through Gate 5 off Hempstead Turnpike and Gate 8 off Plainfield Avenue. Direct access from the Cross Island Parkway to Belmont Park is no longer available.
During the fall meet at Belmont Park, patrons will have access to the first floor of the Grandstand along with the first and second floors of the Clubhouse.
The Belmont Room and Top of The Stretch hospitality areas will remain open on live race days through October 27. The Aqueduct fall meet will run from Friday, November 1 to Sunday, December 1 and include 22 race days before the opening of the Aqueduct winter meet on Thursday, December 5.