By Joe Quillen
2024 Belmont Stakes
When you turn on your television, smart phone or computer on June 8, 2024, things will be looking very different to racing fans. The final leg of the 2024 Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, will be run up in the capital region of New York state at Saratoga Race Course. As a result of the configuration of the Saratoga oval, the race will be shortened to a mile and a quarter.
The Belmont will be part of a special four day meet that will run from June 6 to 9 to coincide with the final Triple Crown race for three-year-olds. The special meet will be called the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, and will have 23 stakes races over the weekend, totaling almost $10 million in purse money.
The official announcement of the change of venue was announced in a press release from New York Governor Kathy Hochul. She called the race temporarily moving to Saratoga “a win for horse racing for the Capital Region to have the excitement and the ability to host the four-day Festival in June at America’s most historic race track.”
Why is the race moving to Saratoga in 2024 and possibly 2025? Belmont is currently in the throws of a major renovation and construction project. Currently, a new one mile synthetic track is being built in the infield, and what is most necessitating the move north is the demolition of the current grandstand and the construction of a smaller grandstand.
The usual 2024 Belmont meets will be run at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens, though no official release of the 2024 dates have been announced as of yet. The summer meet at Saratoga begins on July 11.