Ten Things to Know Before You Go: Belmont Stakes

Events / Travel
Fans enjoy a fantastic day of racing at the 2015 Belmont Stakes. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Justify will try to become history’s 13th Triple Crown winner in the Belmont Stakes on June 9, and if you’re heading to beautiful Belmont Park, we have 10 things that you need to know before you go.

1. The Triple Crown is a really, really big deal.

We’re ready when you are, #Justify.

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Winning the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, the Preakness Stakes, or the Belmont Stakes is incredibly difficult — only 3-year-old horses are eligible to run, so it’s literally a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Winning all three races in one year? It’s nearly impossible. In fact, only 12 horses in history have done it. Justify, having won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, will try to become the 13th Triple Crown winner on Saturday.

2. Justify’s team knows its way to the Belmont winner’s circle.

See that? That’s a bobblehead of Justify’s trainer Bob Baffert holding a Triple Crown trophy – and it exists because Baffert trained the most recent Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah. And Justify’s jockey, Mike Smith, is also a pro at winning the Belmont Stakes: he’s piloted 19 Belmont Stakes contenders and ridden two to victory.

3. Justify will have serious competition in the Belmont Stakes.

Justify will undoubtedly be the favorite in the third leg of the Triple Crown, but he has some talented horses to face in the Belmont Stakes. Bravazo, who was second to Justify in the Preakness Stakes, will be back; as will Kentucky Derby runners Vino Rosso, Noble Indy, Free Drop Billy, and Hofburg. New shooters include British racing sensation Gronkowski as well as Peter Pan Stakes winner Blended Citizen, so Justify won’t have an easy win waiting for him in the Belmont Stakes.

4. There’s 150 years of history behind the Belmont Stakes.

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the Belmont Stakes, and in that century and a half, some of the top Thoroughbreds in American history have competed over the track’s hallowed ground. Greats like Secretariat, Sir Barton, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and American Pharoah have all competed in the third leg of the Triple Crown; and Justify will try to join their ranks on Saturday.

5. Tickets are still available!

Attendance at the Belmont Stakes will be capped at 90,000 people, and tickets are going fast! While reserved seats are already sold out, you can still buy General Admission tickets. And don’t worry – you can still have an amazing day without a reserved seat; we have a guide for that!

6. Bring your appetite.

If you love food, you’re going to want to be at the Belmont Stakes. In addition to its usual dining options, Belmont Park will be hosting some of the areas top cuisine in the Coors Light Food Truck Village. Be sure to swing by to try some of New York’s most popular trucks!

7. Planning to dress your best for the Belmont? Win great prizes at the same time!

You can shine even wearing black and white #belmontstakes #belmontstakesfashion

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If you love showing off your style, plan on entering the Longines Fashion Contest on Saturday, June 9. The winner takes home an elegant Longines watch, so plan on wearing  your best racing style to the Belmont. Stakes.

8. There’s a signature cocktail, and it’s delicious!

The Kentucky Derby has the Mint Julep, the Preakness has the Black-Eyed Susan, and the Belmont Stakes has the Jewel. A refreshing blend of bourbon, pomegranate juice, and a hint of orange zest, the Belmont Jewel will be available all over Belmont Park, served in a commemorative Belmont Stakes 150 glass. Be sure to get yours and enjoy responsibly!

9. On a related note: there’s no need to drive.

Belmont Park is one of the most accessible tracks by public transportation — there are even trains from Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal, and Jamaica Station that go directly to the racetrack! Buses, subways, and (of course) ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber are also in play; we have all the details for you right here. If you take public transportation, you’re free to enjoy a Belmont Jewel or two while you’re at the races!

10. It’s so much more than just one day of racing.

The entire week leading up to the Belmont Stakes is a celebration of New York racing. From parades to charity fundraisers, 5Ks to concerts, there’s so much to do while you’re getting ready for Saturday. Check out Belmont’s website to find the perfect event for you!

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