Belmont Stakes / NYRA-Bleacher Report (p)
BELMONT STAKES (Grade 1)
Belmont Park, 7 June 2014
The Grade I Belmont Stakes Day card will now offer a total of $8 million in purses and 10 stakes, making it the second richest racing day in North America, officials at the New York Racing Association announced Friday. The richest day in 2013 was Breeders’ Cup Saturday at Santa Anita.
Known as ‘The Met Mile’, the Grade I Metropolitan Handicap, which is traditionally run on Memorial Day, will be moved to Belmont Stakes day and is a ‘Win and You’re In’ for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, while the Grade I Acorn Stakes, which was a staple of the Belmont card up until a few years ago, also makes its return.
Other stakes new to the card are the Grade I Ogden Phipps Stakes, a ‘Win and You’re In event for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Distaff’, Grade II Brooklyn Invitational Stakes and Grade III Jaipur Invitational Stakes. The Brooklyn will include a ‘Brooklyn Bonus’ of $175,000 for the winner if that horse previously won a graded stake at 1 3/16 miles or longer.
Remaining as part of the Belmont Stakes card are the Grade I Manhattan Handicap, Grade I Just A Game Stakes, Grade II Woody Stephens Stakes, and the Easy Goer Stakes.
“We wanted to create a day that would grab peoples’ attention in classic, bigger than life New York style,” said Chris Kay, NYRA CEO and President. “By offering what shapes up as the finest day of racing in Belmont history, we wanted to give people a reason to come and be a part of the excitement. When all is said and done, we want our fans and horseman to say that this day was New York racing at its finest.”
Last year’s Belmont Stakes card featured six stakes with purse money of $2.95 million. This year’s 13-race card will serve as the feature of the new three-day ‘Belmont Stakes Festival.’
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News