Friday, February 12, 2021 at 2:24 pm | Back to: Top News Updated: February 12, 2021 at 2:33 pm The stakes schedule for the 48-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet will feature 59 total stakes races worth $16.95 million in purses. The spring/summer meet will begin Thursday, Apr. 22 and continue through Sunday, July 11. On Feb. 10, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that live sports and entertainment venues will be permitted to re-open to a limited number of spectators beginning Feb. 23. In order for qualifying venues to re-open, those sites must gain New York State Department of Health approval and limit the number of spectators to 10% of seated capacity. All attendees must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event and adhere to health and safety requirements, including mandatory facial coverings and social distancing. NYRA is reviewing the newly announced guidelines to determine how they apply to Aqueduct, where the first floor is currently the site of a New York State COVID-19 vaccination center, and to Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. The Belmont spring/summer meet will offer 11 Grade I contests and seven races with purses of $700,000 or higher, with four of those contests coming during the three-day GI Belmont S. Racing Festival from Thursday, June 3 through Saturday, June 5. The festival will encompass 17 total stakes, including eight Grade Is on Belmont S. Day, capped by the $1.5-million “Test of the Champion” in the 1 1/2-mile final leg of the Triple Crown. In addition to the 153rd running of the Belmont S. June 5, that day's card will include three Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” qualifiers: the GI Metropolitan (Dirt Mile); the GI Ogden Phipps (Distaff); and the GI Jaipur (Turf Sprint). The blockbuster Belmont S. Day card will also feature the GI Manhattan; the GI Acorn; the GI Longines Just a Game; the GI Woody Stephens; and the GII Brooklyn. The Stars and Stripes Racing Festival returns Saturday, July 10 and features a trio of graded stakes headlined by the opening legs of NYRA's Turf Triple Series. Launched in 2019, the Turf Triple returns with a pair of races earning Grade I status, featuring the $1-million Belmont Derby Invitational and the Belmont Oaks Invitational. Click here for the full 2021 Belmont Park spring/summer stakes schedule. Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts. This story was posted in Top News and tagged Andrew Cuomo, Belmont Park, Belmont Stakes, Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, COVID-19 protocols, NYRA, stakes schedule, Stars and Stripes Racing Festival.
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