Daily Racing Form: Racing Will Remain At Belmont Through Oct. 27; First Post Moving To 1pm

The final 14 days of the Belmont meet will likely not be conducted at Aqueduct as was previously announced.

Belmont Stakes
(Billy Francis LeRoux)

ELMONT, N.Y. – Pending expected approval from the New York State Gaming Commission, racing at Belmont Park will continue through Oct. 27, and first post on weekdays will be 1 p.m. starting next Wednesday.

Owing to construction of a hockey arena behind the west end of the grandstand, NYRA officials had previously announced that the final 14 days of the Belmont meet – Oct. 11-27 – would be conducted at Aqueduct. Also, first post on weekdays since the meet began on Sept. 6 has been 3 p.m. with NYRA forced to card only eight races due to limits on available daylight.

However, through the first eight days of the meet, officials and horsemen say that the noise from the early-stage construction has not impeded racing operations, so the decision was made to stay at Belmont through its regularly-scheduled meet.

NYRA management met with horsemen on Wednesday seeking feedback on returning to the regular schedule. Horsemen voiced no objections.

“We wanted to come here and experience it,” NYRA president and CEO Dave O’Rourke said. “There is no issue with the noise. We will be fine staying here for the traditional meet.”

Though there has not been an official ground-breaking ceremony for the arena, work at the site actually began on Aug. 14, one day after the Empire State Development Corporation gave final approval for the project, which includes a 19,000-seat arena, 330,000 square feet of retail space to be built in the south parking lot across the street from the track, and a hotel.

Construction has continued despite the town of Floral Park filing a lawsuit to try and block the project.

Racing will move to Aqueduct starting Nov. 1.

This story originally appeared on DRF.com.

David Grening, Daily Racing Form

David Grening covers the New York Racing Association circuit of Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga plus such national events as the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup. He is a contributing author to "Champions" and joined Daily Racing Form in 1998.


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