Overview of the Belmont Stakes Weekend

The Belmont Stakes, often called “The Test of the Champion”, is the final jewel in the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing in the United States. This prestigious event is held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. In this article, we’ll delve into the schedule of the Belmont Stakes and explore its various components.

Thursday – The Prelude

The Belmont Stakes weekend usually commences on the Thursday before the first Saturday in June. On this day, Belmont Park hosts a number of stakes races. These races serve as a warm-up for the spectators and also for some of the horses that might be racing over the weekend.

Friday – Rest and Anticipation

Friday is typically a less intense day at the racetrack. Though there might still be additional stakes races taking place, the focus starts shifting towards the main event on Saturday. This is also a day when trainers make their final decisions and preparations for the Belmont Stakes.

Saturday – The Big Day

The first Saturday in June is when the Belmont Stakes is held. The day is packed with races, with the Belmont Stakes being the highlight. The post time for the Belmont Stakes is usually around 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time, but there are several other races and events throughout the day.

A Closer Look at Belmont Stakes Day

Morning Activities

The day begins early with morning workouts, where trainers take the competing horses to the track for a light exercise. Following this, Belmont Park grandly opens its gates to the public.

Mid-Day – Undercard Races

Before the Belmont Stakes, there are several undercard races that take place. These races often feature some of the finest horses and are a treat for the spectators. This is also a time when people start settling in, finding their seats, and taking part in various festivities.

The Belmont Stakes Post Parade

Approximately 10 minutes before the race, the post parade introduces the competing horses to the crowd. In this traditional parade, they present horses, jockeys, and trainers before they head to the starting gate.

The Main Event – Belmont Stakes

The atmosphere peaks as the horses line up at the starting gate. The competitors run the race over a distance of 12 furlongs (1.5 miles), making it the longest of the three Triple Crown races. After the race, officials drape the winner of the Belmont Stakes in a blanket of white carnations, which symbolize love and luck.

Events and Entertainment

Infield Festivities

In addition to the horse races, the Belmont Stakes offers a festival-like atmosphere with an infield fest, where attendees can enjoy live music, food, and entertainment.

The Fashion and Hats

The Belmont Stakes is also renowned for its fashion, as attendees often dress up in their finest attire and don extravagant hats. The event usually features contests for the best-dressed attendees and the most impressive hats.

In Conclusion, The Belmont Stakes schedule is rich with tradition and excitement. From the first race on Thursday to the grand finale on Saturday, the weekend is packed with exhilarating horse racing and vibrant festivities. For those planning to attend, it’s important to check the New York Racing Association website for the latest schedule updates and changes.

Belmont Stakes Schedule FAQs

When is the Belmont Stakes usually held?

Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, traditionally hosts the Belmont Stakes on the first Saturday in June.

What time does the Belmont Stakes race typically start?

The post time for the Belmont Stakes race is usually around 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

What are some of the activities and events leading up to the Belmont Stakes race on Saturday?

Leading up to the Belmont Stakes race on Saturday, there are several stakes races on Thursday, and Friday may also have additional stakes races. On Belmont Stakes Day, there are morning workouts, undercard races, the post parade, and infield festivities including live music, food, and fashion contests.