The third and final leg in horse racing’s Triple Crown will have a new venue in 2024 as the Belmont States is set to move to Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Massive renovations at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., are set to take up to two years at a cost of $455 million, with some speculation that the Belmont could be held at Saratoga in 2025 as well.
“It’s good we have at least an alternative,” New York governor Kathy Hochul said when announcing the move. “Instead of shutting down Belmont (race cards) completely, we can take the races elsewhere in the state.”
The Belmont Stakes will be moving from its regular home for the first time since 1967 when it was held at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens for the last of five consecutive years amid a previous renovation.
The current renovations will include the installation of a synthetic track in place of the dirt track, as well as completely renovating both turf courses.
The 2024 Belmont Stakes at Saratoga will be the 156th running and will see the winner’s purse rise to $2 million from $1.5 million, with the race length reduced to 1 1/4 miles from its grueling 1 1/2 miles.
The 2023 Belmont Stakes winner was Arcangelo, ridden by Javier Castellano. The last time a horse clinched the Triple Crown with a victory in the Belmont Stakes was Justify in 2018, ridden by Mike Smith.
–Field Level Media