Belmont Stakes to run in Saratoga Springs in June, NY Gov. Hochul says

NEW YORK — The Belmont Stakes, the last leg of horse racing’s revered Triple Crown, will relocate from its standard setting on Long Island to upstate Saratoga Springs this June, as Belmont Park undergoes a major renovation, Gov. Hochul said Wednesday.

The switch-up for the 156th running of the Belmont Stakes promises to bring an infusion of horse racing fans and broader sporting and betting interest to Saratoga Race Course, a grand venue that annually hosts the Travers Stakes, another prestigious race.

The Belmont Stakes, typically run in Elmont, N.Y., just beyond the city limits, is scheduled for June 8 this spring.

“As part of the exciting modernization of Belmont Park, Saratoga now adds to its storied history by hosting the third leg of the Triple Crown,” Hochul said in a statement, hailing the one-year move as a “win for horseracing and for the Capital Region.”

Saratoga Springs sits some 30 miles north of Albany.

Renovations at Belmont Park, a 117-year-old track, are expected to cost roughly $455 million. When the venue underwent renovations in the 1960s, the Belmont Stakes took place in Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

Some of horse racing’s most iconic moments, including Secretariat’s yawning victory to capture the Triple Crown in 1973, have played out at Belmont Park, where the sandy track offers a mile-and-a-half test of the sport’s most formidable horses.

More than 100,000 people have attended the Belmont Stakes in some years, though the capacity was reduced in recent years as UBS Arena, home of the New York Islanders, was built next door.

Saratoga Race Course has a capacity of 50,000 and a shorter track, about 1.1 miles of dirt.