The 151st running of the Belmont Stakes — the oldest of the Triple Crown races — is set for this weekend, turning Nassau County into the most important place in horse racing in the world.
The Stakes are set for Saturday, June 8, but there will be events happening Thursday and Friday, too, including many more races.
In addition to the races, Flo Rida will be performing on Saturday, as will cast members from "Rock of Ages." Here's everything you need to know to get the most out of the weekend.
Getting to the Race
The Belmont Racetrack is located right on Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont, so you could drive there if you wanted to. But you probably shouldn't. Traffic is going to be pretty nightmarish. Instead, you can take the train. The LIRR will be running special trains to and from Belmont Park on Saturday just for the race. Most of the trains are eastbound, so you'd have the most luck getting on at Penn or Jamaica station, if you're more local. You can get the full train schedule here.
If you're looking to take the bus instead, you're going to want to get on the N6, which runs along Hempstead Turnpike. It also starts at Jamaica Station, so you can jump on there. You can check the NICE Bus website to find more exact pickup times and locations.
Once you get to Belmont Park, there's plenty to do, even if it's not race day.
Friday will feature a craft and vendor fair at the park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring goods from New York artists. After the fair, Southside Johnny and his Bruce Springsteen-inspired band, will play trackside.
Saturday, though, is when the real fun starts.
- 8 a.m.: Parking gates open.
- 11 a.m.: The West Point Band will perform the National Anthem.
- 11:15 a.m.: The West Point Parachute Team will jump into the park from thousands of feet up.
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Triple Crown-winning jockeys Mike Smith, Victor Espinoza and Jean Cruget will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans.
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: The Longines Fashion Contest.
- 5:15 p.m.: "Rock of Ages" cast members will perform trackside.
- 6:48 p.m.: Post time for the Belmont Stakes.
- After the race: Flo Rida performs live trackside.
For more information on the Belmont Stakes, and how you can get tickets to everything, visit the race's website.