Belmont Stakes to be held at Saratoga, shortened in 2024
The 2024 Belmont Stakes will be run at Saratoga Race Course, with the third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown shifting from Long Island to upstate New York because of the massive renovation of Belmont Park.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the move Wednesday, which has been expected for some time since the New York Racing Association unveiled plans for the $455 million Belmont Park project.
“The ability to have the Belmont up at Saratoga, a bunch of circumstances would have to come into alignment,” NYRA president and CEO David O’Rourke said by phone Wednesday. “It’s the most historic venue in the country. It’s one of the coolest sporting venues on the planet, and it’s one of the greatest tourist towns in the nation. Everyone’s excited.”
This is set to be the first time the Belmont is run at Saratoga, but it’s probably not the last. O’Rourke added that it’s likely the Belmont will stay there in 2025 because of the Belmont Park work.
Pending the approval of the North American Graded Stakes Committee, the Belmont will be run at a distance of 1 1/4 miles, shorter than the race’s traditional 1 1/2 miles because of the shape of the dirt track at Saratoga. The purse will increase from $1.5 million to $2 million and the race will be part of a special four-day run at Saratoga a month before the usual summer meet there begins July 11.
“It’s a win for horse racing and for the Capital Region to have the excitement and the ability to host the four-day festival in June at America’s most historic track,” Hochul said in a statement.