NYRA Announces Tweaks To Summer Stakes Schedule

Written By Christopher Feery on March 11, 2020

Back in February, the New York Racing Association announced what sets up to be a stellar stakes schedule for the spring/summer meet at Belmont. Things are getting shifted around a bit with an eye towards drawing more attention to a pair of signature races.

On Tuesday, the NYRA revealed that two Grade 2 stakes races are being shifted a week earlier to maximize exposure. The $500,000 Suburban and $300,000 John A. Nerud are moving from July 11 to the July 4 card.

As part of the move, the two races will be part of The Stars and Stripes Racing Festival, which is set to be broadcast to a national audience on NBC. To help even things out, the $150,000 Victory Ride (G3), a sprint for sophomore fillies contested over 6 1/2 furlongs, will move from its original date of July 4 to July 11.

NYRA CRO and President of NYRA Bets Tony Allevato shared some insight on the moves in a release.

“By moving these races up one week,” Allevato said, “we’ll be able to showcase the Stars and Stripes Racing Festival to a national audience on NBC.”

That’s a big plus for what shapes up to be an excellent July 4 card at Belmont. Here are the details on the two races receiving preferential treatment.

$500,000 Suburban
1 1/4 Miles on dirt
4-year-olds and up

$300,000 John A. Nerud
7 Furlongs on dirt
4-year-olds and up

The Nerud is a race with some serious other stakes involved, as it has been designated as a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In event. Among the other highlights for the July 4 card at Belmont is the $100,000 Manila, a 1 mile turf race for 3-year-olds.

Over the course of the Belmont meet, which runs from Friday, April 24 through Sunday, July 12, there will be a total of 58 stakes races worht over $18 million.

The biggest highlight is naturally Belmont Stakes Day, which features the last leg of the Triple Crown. That’s the $1.5 million race that’s dubbed as the “Test of the Champion” and contested by top 3-year-olds over 1 1/2 miles.

There will be 17 total stakes races over Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which starts on Thursday, June 4 and culminates with Belmont Stakes Day on Saturday, June 6. For the last day of the festival alone, there will be seven G1 stakes races.

Additional highlights for the packed Belmont calendar include the Turf Triple Series, which takes place on Saturday, July 11. The day is highlighted by a trio of stakes races.

$1 million Belmont Derby Invitational
Sophomore horses
1 1/4 miles on turf

$750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational
3-year-old fillies
1 1/4 miles on turf

$250,000 Dwyer
Sophomore horses
1 mile on dirt

The Belmont meet closes up the following day, Sunday, July 12, with one more big highlight to look forward to.

$100,000 State Dinner
4-year-olds and up
1 1/16 mile on dirt

Last but not least, the Belmont meet will include another G1 race earlier in the season on Saturday, May 9. Here are the details.

$700,000 Man O’ War
4-year-olds and up
1 3/8 miles on turf

Add it all up, and it shapes up as a spectacular spring/summer meet over at Belmont. Once it wraps up, New York racing fans get a few days of a break before the Saratoga summer meet kicks off. The always highly-anticipated action at Saratoga gets underway on Thursday, July 16 for a 40-day meet.

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Christopher Feery

Christopher is a freelance writer located in New Jersey. His work has appeared all over the web and has covered numerous industries. In recent years, he has dedicated his focus to sports from an analysis, betting, fantasy, and general news perspective. You can follow and reach him on Twitter @cmfeery

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