Nominations have been released and are now available for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, comprised of 18 stakes worth $9.4 million in purses highlighted by the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, which will see undefeated Justify vie for Triple Crown immortality on Saturday, June 9 at Belmont Park.
In all, 308 horses have been nominated or invited to 17 stakes – including five Grade 1s in addition to the 1 ½-mile “Test of the Champion” – during the three-day racing festival to be held Thursday, June 7 through Saturday, June 9.
Among the headlining stakes on Belmont Stakes Day are the Grade 1, $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, and the Grade 1, $1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan.
The 125th running of the Met Mile has attracted 23 nominations, led by two-time Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen and reigning New York-bred Horse of the Year Mind Your Biscuits and 3-year-old multiple Grade 1 winner Bolt d’Oro. The Manhattan has drawn 19 nominees in its 117th iteration, including recent Grade 1 Man o’ War victor Hi Happy and runner-up Sadler’s Joy, as well as multiple graded stakes winners Beach Patrol, Divisidero, and Oscar Nominated.
Also tabbed for the stellar June 9 card is the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn, with 14 nominations, and expected to feature the return of this year’s Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl; the Grade 1, $750,000 Ogden Phipps, a Breeders’ Cup qualifier for the Distaff this fall, which counts Abel Tasman and Unbridled Mo among its 16 competitive nominees; and the Grade 1, $700,000 Longines Just a Game, which has attracted 19 nominees, including recent Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile winner Proctor’s Ledge and impressive Grade 3 Beaugay heroine A Raving Beauty.
The Grade 2, $400,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun; Grade 2, $400,000 Jaipur Invitational, which carries an all-fees-paid berth into the Breeder’s Cup Turf Sprint; Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational at the Belmont’s 1 ½-mile distance; and the $150,000 Easy Goer for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles will round out the Saturday card.
Horses eligible for the Belmont Stakes are part of the Triple Crown nominating series. Entries for Belmont Stakes Day will be taken Tuesday, June 5. The undercard will be drawn early in the afternoon with the draw for the Belmont Stakes taking place at Citi Field at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET.
Thursday, June 7 will be highlighted by a trio of stakes in the Grade 3, $200,000 Intercontinental, the Grade 3, $200,000 Wonder Again, and the $150,000 Astoria kicking off the festival. The stakes action will continue Friday, June 8 with five stakes: the Grade 2, $600,000 New York; the Grade 2, $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational; the Grade 2, $250,000 True North; the Grade 3, $250,000 Bed o’ Roses Invitational; and the $150,000 Tremont.
Entries will be taken for Thursday’s card on Saturday, June 2, while Friday’s card will be drawn Sunday, June 3.
Full nominations are available at https://www.nyra.com/belmont/horsemen.
Belmont Stakes Racing Festival $29.95
Get Michael’s full card reports for the three days of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from Thursday to Saturday June 7-9! 18 stakes and over $10 million in purses including the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes with Justify seeking to win the Triple Crown! Three days of betting action for one low price!