Memorial Day at Beautiful Belmont Park, and the Week Ahead: Don’t Rush To Get to June 6th

Marion Altieri,New York writer

Marion Altieri,New York writer

OK, so here’s the deal:  This is really just a copy-and-paste of a press release that I just got from NYRA, in which the events for today (Memorial Day, 2015) are listed, along  with the events for the following week.

I’ve been accused of being a secret NYRA employee, because often I write nice things about them.

This is very funny:   the last thing I wrote here, about NYRA and the 90,000 for Belmont Stakes Day–I’d have written the exact same thing, had the track in question been Churchill Downs or Pimlico regarding their respective Triple Crown races.  But not all people care about that Truth, they’re more interested in accusing me or others.  So silly.  Cool thing is that I don’t care.

So, today–even though I’m not a NYRA employee, OR secretly carrying on with every man on the Board of Directors–I am posting the events on this lovely Memorial Day, that will take place at Belmont. And some very cool things in the week ahead.  As the insanity of the Belmont Stakes comes to a fevered head, let’s remember that there will be horses racing–trainers, owners and jockeys–and other boatloads of good humans working in these days before June 6th.

All of these days offer great fun:  today, if you’re a veteran or active-duty, you get free admission. And if you’re not a veteran or active-duty, I suggest strongly that you take someone who IS.  I’ll bet you have an uncle, aunt, friend, grandparent, parent–who loves horse racing AND who served our country.  (This is a no-brainer:  You take your veteran/soldier friend to Belmont. You don’t have to pay for their admission–and you look like a hero!)  Go ahead, buy your soldier/veteran lunch, even, and let them know that you appreciate their sacrifice for your freedom.

Today is Big Apple Showcase Day will feature $900,000 in purses and some of the best New York-bred Thoroughbreds around.  Sure, go, bet your brains out–have a blast.  🙂

So much to do this next week at Belmont–read carefully, and mark your calendars.  And let me skip to next Sunday, May 31st.  If the multiple arthritises in my joints would allow me, I’d run in the 5K run for prostate cancer.   I’ll bet that every one of you reading this knows a gentleman who’s suffered or died from this horrible disease.  If you can’t run, support the cause however you can.

That’s it from me.  Now, here’s the press release.  Have a beautiful Memorial Day, friends, and take one little piece of advice:  DO NOT throw away the 12 days between today and Belmont Stakes Day.  You’ll never get those days back: savor every day, and the people, horses and pets who cross your path.  June 6th will be here soon enough, then it’ll be over before you know it.

Embrace today, and every day.  Yep, June 6th is a Big Day. But so are today, tomorrow and all the days in-between.

Peace out, yo.




Monday, May 25, 2015

For Planning: 

Week 5 at Belmont Park

WHAT:                       Week 5 at Belmont Park

WHEN:                      Monday, May 25 – Sunday, May 31

WHERE:                    Belmont Park
2150 Hempstead Turnpike
Elmont, NY 11003


With American Pharoah competing for horseracing immortality in less than two weeks, Belmont Park continues to be filled with energy and excitement as we move into the homestretch of Triple Crown season.

The week will begin with a Memorial Day tribute in conjunction with our annual “Big Apple Showcase” on Monday, May 25. As a ‘thank you’ to veterans and all active duty service personnel, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) will offer free admission at Belmont Park on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, to all current and retired military branch members. The fourth race on the day’s program scheduled approximately for 2:53 p.m. NYRA will honor all veteran employees in the winner’s circle following the race.

At the end of the week, 2015 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival activities will begin with a parade kicking off from the Elmont Library, and continuing up Hempstead Turnpike starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 30. The following day on Sunday, May 31, the fourth annual Belmont Stakes Blue Ribbon 5k run for Prostate Cancer will take place after the day’s races.

Media representatives are invited to join the New York Racing Association at Belmont throughout the week. For more information, or to schedule an interview please contact the NYRA Press Office at (718) 659-2244.


  • Live Racing:  Live racing commences at 1:20 p.m. and features the running of six New York-bred stakes for Big Apple Showcase Day.
  • Free Admission for Veterans & Active Duty Military Personnel: The New York Racing Association will provide free admission to all veterans and active duty service military personnel at Belmont Park on Memorial Day.
  • Family Fun Activities: A fun filled array of family activities will be located in Belmont Park’s spacious backyard on Memorial Day, including a petting zoo.
  • Jockey & Trainer Autograph Signing: Scheduled from noon to 12:30 p.m. in the first floor Grandstand (by the Secretariat mural), several jockeys and trainers will greet fans and sign autographs prior to the running of the first race.
  • Venezia Award Trophy Presentation: Established in 1989, the Mike Venezia Award is given to jockeys who exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship. It is named in honor of Mike Venezia, who died as a result of injuries he suffered in a spill in 1988 at Belmont Park. This year’s winner will be awarded during the races on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 and was chosen from fans who voted online at:
  • ‘Enter to Win’ Memorabilia: Fans who register on track at Belmont have the opportunity to win NYRA memorabilia including giveaway items and posters in the ‘Enter to Win’ memorabilia contest
  • Mystery Mutuel Voucher Promotion: A mystery mutuel voucher giveaway will take place for fans who register at:  by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, May 23.  Entrants have the chance to win $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 or $2,000 through email notification. Winners may redeem their voucher on Monday, May 25 at Belmont Park or Aqueduct Racetrack.


  • Live Racing:  Live racing commences at 1:20 p.m.


  • Belmont Parade: Kicking off at 10 a.m. from the Elmont Public Library and continuing on Hempstead Turnpike to Belmont Park, NYRA officials will join local leaders to celebrate the start of Belmont Stakes week.
  • Live Racing:  Live racing commences at 1:20 p.m. and features the $200,000 Penine Ridge.


  • Live Racing: Live racing commences at 1:20 p.m. and features the $200,000 Wonder Again.

  • 5K Run for Prostate Cancer:Integrated Medical Foundation’s fourth annual Belmont Stakes’ Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer® will take place following the completion of the day’s race card, and conclude at Belmont’s finish line. The run raises critical funds for prostate cancer education, support and screenings.