ELMONT, N.Y.--The New York Racing Association has announced that, due to the construction of vehicular and pedestrian tunnels designed to provide access to the Belmont Park infield, the Belmont Park fall meet will be held at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The first stakes of the fall meet will be the $75,000 William Entenmann Novice Stakes, which will be the first race of the 28-day Belmont at the Big A fall meet, which begins on Thursday, Sept. 15 and run through Sunday, Oct. 30.
Also on Sept. 15 is the G1, $150,000 Lonesome Glory, Sport of Kings Hurdle Stakes, which will be run as the second race, following the Novice Stakes.
Jack Fisher said that steeplechase racing would be fine at Aqueduct.
"Aqueduct has a good turf course," said Fisher.
The fall meet will include four additional Grade 1 races and four “Win and You’re In” qualifiers to the Breeders’ Cup in November at Keeneland, and Belmont at the Big A will feature 23 graded events among 41 stakes worth $9.9 million in total purses.
LIVE RACING will be conducted Thursday-Sunday.
The construction of tunnels for vehicular and pedestrian access is a major capital improvement project that will unlock the 45-acre infield at Belmont Park.
In addition to providing access for fans and the surrounding community, the tunnels will serve as a conduit to the infield for commercial vehicles allowing NYRA to completely reconstruct the Belmont main track and its two turf courses.
The tunnels will also provide NYRA with the opportunity to consider the installation of a synthetic track in the future.
“This investment in the future of Belmont Park will transform our racing operations and pave the way for a broader re-imagining of the facility,” said Dave O’Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. “The shift to Aqueduct this fall will minimize the overall impact on the racing schedule, and ensure continuity for the Belmont spring/summer meet and Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets. We appreciate the patience of our horsemen and fans as we enter this period of transition at Belmont, and look forward to an exciting fall at the Big A.”
Construction on the tunnels will require the closure of the Belmont Park main track and turf courses at the conclusion of training hours on Sunday, August 7.
NYRA expects main track and turf training to resume in April 2023.
Construction on the racetracks will begin following the conclusion of the 2023 Belmont Park spring/summer meet, which will be held in its entirety at Belmont.
Following a three-week closure for annual track maintenance, the Belmont Park training track will re-open on Monday, Aug. 8 and remain open throughout tunnel and track construction.
As part of the same round of capital improvement projects, NYRA will install a synthetic surface on the ¼ mile Belmont Park Pony Track.
Expected to be complete in September, the Tapeta Footings track will provide a new all-weather training option and yield information and data on the performance of a synthetic surface in the weather conditions at Belmont.
The Oklahoma Training track will operate as normal, with scheduled turf training available throughout the fall.