The biggest one-day collection of Grade 1 races outside of the Breeders’ Cup comes June 11 at the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Belmont Park. The New York track will play host to eight Grade 1s that day, headlined by the third leg of the Triple Crown – the 154th Belmont Stakes.
This is the centerpiece of Belmont Park’s Spring/Summer Meet stakes schedule, announced by the New York Racing Association. The Belmont spring/summer meet features 12 Grade 1s among its 59 stakes races offering $16.95 million in purses.
To give you an idea how deep the three-day Belmont Racing Festival is, the June 9-11 Festival offers horseplayers 17 stakes races. Four races deliver purses of $700,000 or more, including the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes.
The Belmont Stakes card offers several races that would stand as featured races on any other day. There’s the $750,000 Grade 1 Manhattan, for older turf runners. There’s the $1 million Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, where you’ll likely see stellar sprinter Flightline. The $500,000 Grade 1 Ogden Phipps for older fillies and mares. The $500,000 Grade 1 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies and the $500,000 Grade 1 Just a Game for older fillies and mares.
Three Belmont Grade 1s are Breeders’ Cup qualifiers
Almost lost in the Grade 1 blizzard are the $400,000 Woody Stephens and the $400,000 Jaipur.
The Met Mile (Dirt Mile), Ogden Phipps (Distaff), and the Jaipur (Turf Sprint) are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series races.
One day earlier, on June 10, the newly minted Grade 1 New York Stakes and its $750,000 purse headlines a five-stakes Friday that features three Grade 2s and a Grade 3. The New York was one of three races upgraded to Grade 1 status this year by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
Turf Triple Series opening legs on the schedule
NYRA returns its Turf Triple Series Saturday, July 9 with the opening legs of its three-race turf series. That begins with two 10-furlong Grade 1 races: the $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational and the $700,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational for 3-year-old fillies.
Both open their respective gender legs of the Turf Triple. The male division proceeds with the Grade 1 Saratoga Derby and the Grade 3 Jockey Club Derby during the Belmont Fall meet. The distaff division resumes with the Grade 3 Saratoga Oaks and the Grade 3 Jockey Club Oaks during Belmont’s fall slate.
The meet’s first Grade 1 comes May 14, with the $700,000 Man o’ War for older horses on the turf. That headlines a four-stakes day that offers the $200,000 Grade 3 Peter Pan. That race serves as Belmont’s prep for the Belmont Stakes.
Belmont Park-2022 Spring/Summer Meet Key Stakes
|May 14||Man o’ War Stakes||I||1 3/8 miles (turf)||4-year-olds and up|
|June 10||New York Stakes||I||1 1/4 miles (turf)||4-year-olds and up, fillies and mares|
|June 11||Belmont Stakes||I||1 1/2 miles||3-year-olds|
|June 11||Metropolitan Handicap||I||1 mile||3-year-olds and up|
|June 11||Manhattan||I||1 1/4 miles (turf)||4-year-olds and up|
|June 11||Acorn||I||1 mile||3-year-old fillies|
|June 11||Just a Game||I||1 mile (turf)||4-year-olds and up, fillies and mares|
|June 11||Ogden Phipps||I||1 1/16 miles||4-year-olds and up, fillies and mares|
|June 11||Jaipur||I||Six furlongs (turf)||3-year-olds and up|
|June 11||Woody Stephens||I||Seven furlongs||3-year-olds|
|July 9||Belmont Derby Invitational||I||1 1/4 miles (turf)||3-year-olds|
|July 9||Belmont Oaks Invitational||I||1 1/4 miles (turf)||3-year-old fillies|
The first stakes race is the $100,000 Affirmed Stakes April 29. The first graded stakes is the May 7 $200,000 Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay.
The spring/summer meet opens Thursday, April 28 and runs through Sunday, July 10. For a full list of Belmont Park spring/summer stakes, click here.