Mystik Dan, Sierra Leone, Seize the Grey … Belmont156

June 3, 2024

Mystik Dan looking ready in a Saratoga work. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

Kentucky Derby one-two finishers Mystik Dan and Sierra Leone renew rivalry as Preakness-winner Seize the Grey’s stock rises in stacked G1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets

NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Mystik Dan, who was a nose better than returning rival Sierra Leone in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, will look to pick up his second Triple Crown event in Saturday’s 156th running of the Grade 1, $2 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, at Saratoga Race Course.

A blockbuster Belmont Stakes Day at Saratoga awaits with a program to include six Grade 1 events among nine graded stakes races in total, topped by the Belmont Stakes and featuring three Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” qualifiers: the Grade 1, $1 million Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap for 3-year-olds and up going one mile out of the Wilson Chute [Dirt Mile]; the Grade 1, $500,000 Ogden Phipps presented by Ford for older fillies and mares [Distaff]; and the Grade 1, $500,000 Jaipur presented by Resolute Racing for 3-year-olds and up [Turf Sprint]. 

The Belmont Stakes is slated as Race 12 on the 14-race card with a post time of 6:41 p.m. Eastern. First post is 10:45 a.m. Admission gates will open to the public at 9 a.m.

FOX will present live coverage of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets during a special three-hour broadcast from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Prior to Belmont Day on FOX, live coverage and analysis of Belmont Stakes Day racing can be found on the FOX Sports family of networks beginning with America’s Day at the Races on FS1 at 10:30 a.m. 

FOX Sports will provide more than 25 hours of wall-to-wall coverage and expert analysis of the four-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival live from Saratoga Race Course. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.belmontstakes.com/event-info/tv-schedule.

The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival is being held at Saratoga for the first time to allow for the uninterrupted construction of a new Belmont Park. Due to the configuration of Saratoga’s main track, the 2024 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets will be contested at 1 1/4-miles rather than the traditional 1 1/2-miles.

Belmont 156 draw. (Coglianese/NYRA)

Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing, Daniel Hamby, III and Valley View Farm’s Grade 1 Kentucky Derby-winner Mystik Dan [post 3, Brian Hernandez, Jr., 5-1 ML] will become the only horse to race in all three legs of the Triple Crown this year. He raced his way into the history books with a dramatic rail-skimming score in the Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Ken McPeek and expertly piloted by Brian Hernandez, Jr., the Goldencents colt exited post 3-of-20 in the ‘Run for the Roses’ and saved ground from sixth position in the early running. Mystik Dan advanced in the final turn and bravely slipped through the narrowest of openings nearing the quarter-pole to take command and stay on strong to the wire to secure the nose win over Sierra Leone, who outdueled the game Group 2 UAE Derby-winner Forever Young to earn place honors by a nose as part of a thrilling three-way photo.

McPeek credits Hernandez, Jr. for engineering an incredible trip when a matter of inches decided the Derby.

“He’s been doing that for me for years,” McPeek said. “I don’t question it when he’s out there and I don’t worry when it doesn’t go right. He’s ultra-consistent and he’s not scared to go inside. Any tactic he takes, I trust it. As a relationship between jockey and trainer, it’s the best one I’ve ever had. 

Mystik Dan works in company at Saratoga. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

“He gets a horse to travel very well underneath him and they’re very efficient when he’s on them, so the way they move across the ground and how a rider gets a horse to flow in the middle of the race can be more important than the finish,” added McPeek, who completed a long-awaited personal Triple Crown with Mystik Dan after winning the Belmont Stakes in 2002 with Sarava – who, at 70-1, denied War Emblem a Triple Crown – and the Grade 1 Preakness in 2020 with filly Swiss Skydiver. “Brian gets the horse very comfortable, and he has very soft hands. He never checks a horse, ever, unless somebody takes him out, so there’s never any lost motion.”

Mystik Dan, an 18-1 winner of the Kentucky Derby, went to post as the mutuel favorite two weeks later in the Grade 1 Preakness, the second jewel of the Triple Crown contested at 1 3/16-miles over muddy and sealed footing at Pimlico Race Course.

Kenny McPeek talks about his draw for Mystik Dan. (Aam Coglianese/NYRA)
Kenny McPeek talks about his draw for Mystik Dan. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

Hernandez, Jr. rated his colt in fourth position through the opening half-mile as Seize the Grey dictated terms. Mystik Dan improved his position down the backstretch and through the turn, but drifted in slightly at the top of the lane before correcting and putting in a strong bid that was rebuffed by the determined Seize the Grey.

Mystik Dan graduated at second asking in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint in November at Churchill Downs and returned to the winner’s circle in February with an eight-length romp over muddy and sealed going in the Grade 3 Southwest at Oaklawn Park. He was a late-closing third in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby in March ahead of his Derby coup.

Bred in Kentucky by Gasaway, Hamby and 4 G Racing, Mystik Dan is out of the winning Colonel John mare Ma’am. He has banked more than $4.1 million in purse earnings through an 8-3-2-1 record. 

Peter M. Brant, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg, and Brook T. Smith’s Sierra Leone [post 9, Flavien Prat, 9-5ML] is two noses shy of a perfect 5-for-5 record. 

Sierra Leone (inside) works in company with Domestic Product. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)
Sierra Leone (inside) works in company with Domestic Product. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winner Chad Brown, the regally-bred Gun Runner colt made his first two starts at Aqueduct Racetrack with a first-out win in November and a narrow defeat in December to returning rival Dornoch in the Grade 2 Remsen after lugging in down the lane.

Sierra Leone added blinkers and was perfect through his first two starts this year, closing from deep to take the Grade 2 Risen Star over sloppy and sealed footing in February at Fair Grounds and the Grade 1 Blue Grass in April at Keeneland.

The $2.3 million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale purchase, out of the Grade 1-winning Malibu Moon mare Heavenly Love, exited post 2-of-20 under Tyler Gaffalione in the Kentucky Derby and after saving ground early, rallied wide down the lane, bumping with Forever Young from the three-sixteenths to the furlong grounds. Sierra Leone and Forever Young, who share the same second dam in the multiple graded stakes-placed Darling My Darling, brushed to the wire with only a nose between them – but also a further nose back of the victorious Mystik Dan.

Brown remains level-headed about the narrow defeat.

Chad Brown comments after the Belmont Draw with Acacia Courtney Clement. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)
Chad Brown comments after the Belmont Draw with Acacia Courtney Clement. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

“You have no choice but to move forward,” said Brown, whose best previous Belmont Stakes result is a runner-up effort in 2018 with Gronkowski. “It’s not something I think about every day, but that’s horse racing. I’ve been on both ends of it and it just so happens that it was the biggest race in this country. It’s a tough thing to lose the Kentucky Derby by a nose, but hopefully he can redeem himself in this race and I’m just so grateful I have the horse. 

“He ran a super race and never let us down in terms of not showing up in the race. He’s always fired,” Brown added. “Has he gotten in his own way a couple times that prevented him from being undefeated? Probably, but he has so much raw ability that you take the good with the bad—and there’s a lot more good. I’m more or less managing him to try to make him Champion 3-Year-Old – picking the right races and giving him the rest that would be most beneficial to him.”

While the Derby winner continued to the Preakness, Sierra Leone, bred in Kentucky by Debby Oxley, has trained locally over the Oklahoma dirt training track with a new cage bit and on Saturday will have the services of a new rider in Flavien Prat.

“I think the left stick would have done him a world of good on the turn in the Derby, but that’s hindsight, now,” Brown said. “Nevertheless, I decided, for insurance, to have something on him to provide more power-steering. With horses, sometimes you try something when they’re younger and it doesn’t seem to move the needle much, but you try something when they’re more mature—it could be equipment or the ground they run on or a track they don’t like—and it does.”

Sierra Leone has collected more than $1.9 million in purse earnings through a 5-3-2-0 ledger.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won 15 Triple Crown events, including scores in the Belmont Stakes with Tabasco Cat [1994], Thunder Gulch [1995], Editor’s Note [1996] and Commendable [2000]. He will look to add a fifth Belmont with the horse that provided him a seventh Preakness win in MyRacehorse’s Seize the Grey [post 1, Jaime Torres, 8-1ML].

Jaime Torres celebrates winning the 149th Preakness aboard Seize The Grey for the Coach Wayne Lukas at Pimlico Racecourse, Anikar Miskar, Past the Wire
Jaime Torres celebrates winning the 149th Preakness aboard Seize The Grey for the Coach Wayne Lukas at Pimlico Race Course. (Anikar Miskar/Past the Wire)

The talented gray colt is by Hall of Famer Arrogate, who sired last year’s Belmont Stakes-winner Arcangelo. A $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale purchase, Seize the Grey graduated at second asking with then-apprentice jockey Jaime Torres aboard in July at the Spa with a 1 3/4-length score over Dornoch.  

Seize the Grey finished third in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks in March at Turfway Park and was off-the-board in the Grade 1 Blue Grass, leading the colt to the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard. There, he was reunited with Torres, who guided Seize the Grey to a stalk-and-pounce score over the multiple graded stakes-placed Nash to provide both horse and rider their first graded win.

Torres and Seize the Grey continued their good form together in the Preakness, gaining the front with ease and making every pole a winning one to earn a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

Lukas lauded his charge’s versatility in being able to compete on Derby Day as well as in the Preakness, as he mirrors the race spacing of Mystik Dan.

“He’s not one-dimensional,” Lukas said. “I told Jaime Torres before the Preakness – I gave him two things to think about – if you break sharp and they let you have the pace, then just take it. Don’t get creative and try to be cute. Just let him do his thing. If they go with you – Baffert [Imagination] and one other horse or two break, take him back and lay comfortably in the 3-or-4 spot and get him in a better position to run at the quarter-pole. 

“That’s all you got to do – you either make a decision off the break to go or you make a decision to settle off it,” continued Lukas. “That’s what this horse can do. He is definitely not one-dimensional. He’ll rate very kindly. Now, at a mile and a quarter, again the early fractions are probably going to be a little slower. He could end up on the lead again.”

Seize the Grey, an earner of more than $1.8 million from a 10-4-0-3 record, is out of the stakes-placed Smart Strike mare Smart Shopping, who is a half-sister to dual graded stakes-winner Power Broker and stakes-winner Fierce Boots. 

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will have three chances to win his fifth Belmont Stakes when he saddles Grade 3 Peter Pan-winner Antiquarian [post 5, John Velazquez, 12-1 ML], the undefeated Mindframe [post 10, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 7-2 ML] and promising maiden Protective [post 7, Tyler Gaffalione, 20-1 ML]. He decided last week that Champion 2-Year-Old Colt Fierceness would require more time after finishing 15th in the Kentucky Derby.

Antiquarian (outside) in a pe-Belmont breeze. (Aam Coglianese/NYRA)
Antiquarian (outside) in a pe-Belmont breeze. (Janet Garaguso/NYRA)

Last year, Arcangelo won the Peter Pan en route to Grade 1 victories in the Belmont Stakes and the Spa’s Travers to secure year-end honors as Champion 3-Year-Old Colt. Now, Centennial Farms’ Antiquarian will look to join Arcangelo, Counterpoint [1951], High Gun [1954], Gallant Man [1957], Cavan [1958], Coastal [1979], Danzig Connection [1986], A.P. Indy [1992] and Tonalist [2014] as Peter Pan winners to subsequently score in the Belmont Stakes.

“We’re excited about it,” said Pletcher, whose past Belmont Stakes successes include Rags to Riches [2007], Palace Malice [2013], Tapwrit [2017] and Mo Donegal [2022]. “It’s always great to come into these kinds of races with horses who are doing really well. Hopefully, we have enough talent to be competitive.”

Antiquarian, by the Centennial Farms campaigned Preservationist, graduated at second asking on February 17 at Fair Grounds travelling 1 1/16-miles over sloppy and sealed footing when one length the best over next-out winner Cornishman. 

He followed at the same track with a troubled effort in the 1 3/16-mile Grade 2 Louisiana Derby where he broke through the gate before the start and was re-loaded. After exiting post 2-of-11 under returning Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez, Antiquarian was subsequently squeezed and had to travel wide at the three-eighths en route to a sixth-place finish defeated four lengths by the victorious Catching Freedom.

Todd Pletcher remarks on his draw for the Belmont Stakes. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)
Todd Pletcher remarks on his draw for the Belmont Stakes. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

Despite being bumped at the break in the Peter Pan, Antiquarian was in the clear throughout from post 4 and dueled gamely in the three-path to the outside of returning foe The Wine Steward to win by three-quarter lengths. It was a further 1 1/4-lengths back to Protective in third.

Antiquarian worked a half-mile in company with Grade 1-placed Be You – who is entered in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun – on Sunday in 49.99 over the Oklahoma dirt training track.

“I liked the way Antiquarian finished, and I really like the way he galloped out. I’m excited about giving him the opportunity to run a mile and a quarter,” Pletcher said.

Centennial Farms won the 1993 Belmont Stakes with Colonial Affair for Hall of Fame trainer Scotty Schulhofer. Colonial Affair was ridden to victory by future Hall of Famer Julie Krone, who became the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race.

Bred in Kentucky by Brereton C. Jones, Antiquarian, a $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, is out of the winning Istan mare Lifetime Memory, who is a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Speaktomeofsummer and stakes-winner Proud Reunion.

Mindframe (outside) works in company. (Adam Cogilanese/NYRA)
Mindframe (outside) works in company. (Adam Cogilanese/NYRA)

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables’ Mindframe, a $600,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, is perfect through two starts which he was won by a combined 21 1/4-lengths. 

By Constitution, who sired the New York-bred 2020 Belmont Stakes-winner Tiz the Law, Mindframe romped to a 13 3/4-length debut stalk-and-pounce score sprinting seven furlongs on March 30 at Gulfstream Park that garnered a field-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure.

He returned on the Kentucky Derby undercard and made every pole a winning one when stretched out to 1 1/16-miles on good footing where he was ridden out a 7 1/2-length winner over Cornishman.

“He’s been super-impressive in his two races and the way he’s done that and how easily he’s won those races, how fast those races have been – it gives you the confidence he has the talent,” Pletcher said. “The question mark is if he has the experience and the seasoning. Obviously, he’s giving up some experience to some really good horses, so that’s the concern. I think, from a talent perspective, he has enough talent to compete with this field, but he doesn’t have the foundation and the experience that most of the ones in here do.”

Bred by R. Larry Johnson, Mindframe is out of the stakes-winning Street Sense mare Walk of Stars, who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-placed Strike the Moon. Mindframe will look to become the third Maryland-bred winner following Cloverbrook [1877] and Caveat [1983].

Repole Stable’s four-start maiden Protective has made his last two starts in third-place finishes traveling nine-furlongs at the Big A when closing from 11th-of-12 to complete the trifecta in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino in April and tracking from fourth to improve one position last out in the Grade 3 Peter Pan.

“I think he’ll appreciate the mile and a quarter. He’s run well in two big races and hopefully he keeps moving forward,” Pletcher said.

The Medaglia d’Oro colt, a $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, is out of the multiple graded stakes-winning Empire Maker mare Grace Hall, who won the 2011 Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga. He was bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stables.

Wood Memorial winner and Derby starter Resilience (6th) getting in a gallop at Saratoga for the Belmont Stakes. (Mary Eddy/NYRA)
Wood Memorial winner and Derby starter Resilience (6th) getting in a gallop at Saratoga for the Belmont Stakes. (Mary Eddy/NYRA)

Emily Bushnell and Ric Waldman’s Resilience [post 2, Junior Alvarado, 10-1 ML] was the last horse to be confirmed for the Belmont Stakes field following an impressive half-mile breeze in 48 flat Sunday in company with Billal over Saratoga’s Oklahoma dirt training track.

“It was very, very good. The time was good and he did it the right way,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “We intentionally wanted him to go out a bit around the turn after the work, which he did. I had him out in 1:01 and 1:14.”

The Into Mischief colt made the grade with a 2 1/4-length score over Society Man in the nine-furlong Wood Memorial to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby.

Resilience exited post 18-of-20 in the Derby and pounced from 5 1/4 lengths off the pace to be a half-length off the lead at the three-quarters call, but faded in the stretch to finish sixth, 7 3/4 lengths back of Mystik Dan.

“He came off the turn and looked like a winner. Of course, they got to the eighth pole and he didn’t finish it off,” said Mott, who won the 2010 Belmont Stakes with Drosselmeyer.

The talented Resilience is the result of nearly three decades of dedication and hard work by Bushnell and her parents, Pam and the late Marty Wygod, who bred Resilience and his dam, Meadowsweet. 

By Smart Strike, Meadowsweet, is a half-sister to the Grade 1 and multiple graded stakes-winning Storm Cat turfers Courageous Cat and After Market – all three are out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Rahy mare Tranquility Lake. Jalil, a Group 2-winner on dirt, is also by Storm Cat and out of Tranquility Lake.

Mott said the well-bred horse deserves a second chance at the Classic distance.

“The more we thought about it we see some benefit in running,” Mott said. “We questioned the distance in the Derby, and maybe I was correct. But to double-check ourselves and know what we want to do in the future with the Travers being here, I think maybe there’s more to gain by running – win, lose or draw – than by not running. So, I think we maybe answer some questions. The future is always important for any horse like that with a stallion pedigree. I think we need to try it one more time and find out.”

Dornoch (inside) works in company. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)
Dornoch (inside) works in company. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

West Paces Racing, R. A. Hill Stable, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Two Eight Racing and Pine Racing Stables’ dual graded stakes-winner Dornoch [post 6, Luis Saez, 15-1 ML] will look to give trainer Danny Gargan his first win in a Triple Crown event.

By Good Magic and out of the graded stakes-placed Big Brown mare Puca, Dornoch is a full brother to last year’s Kentucky Derby-winner Mage. The $325,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase put together a three-race win streak, beginning with a third-out frontrunning graduation in October at Keeneland ahead of his gritty Remsen win, where he skimmed the rail and relinquished the lead to Sierra Leone before battling back to take the spoils. 

He followed with a gate-to-wire score in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth in March at Gulfstream Park, but has been off the board in two starts since when fourth in the Blue Grass and 10th in the Kentucky Derby after exiting the inside post and enduring a troubled trip when shuffled back and checked.

Gargan remains confident his horse has the talent to bounce back, while acknowledging the talented morning-line favorite.

“Sierra Leone shows up every time. If he shows up we’re all in trouble unless he does something to get himself beat,” Gargan said. “I’m one of the few that has beat him – there’s two of us in the race that have beat him and if we could run our race and beat him one more time this would be a great time to do it.”

Dornoch, bred in Kentucky by Grandview Equine, has banked $552,275 through a 7-3-2-0 ledger.

Honor Marie (outside) worked with jockey Ben Curtis in the saddle alongside his stablemate Anthem King. (Coady Photography)
Honor Marie (outside) worked with jockey Ben Curtis in the saddle alongside his stablemate Anthem King. (Coady Photography)

Ribble Farms, Michael Eiserman, Earl Silver, Kenneth Fishbein, and Dave Fishbein’s Honor Marie [post 8, Florent Geroux, 12-1 ML] arrives from a difficult outing when eighth in the Kentucky Derby.

Trained by former Pletcher and Brown-assistant Whit Beckman and piloted in the Derby by the now-injured Ben Curtis, the Honor Code colt was last-of-20 in the early running after being steadied into the first turn, but improved his position while saving ground down the backstretch and responded well when produced in the lane.

The $40,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase captured the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club to close out a 2-for-3 juvenile campaign and closed well in a pair of Grade 2 starts at Fair Grounds to commence his sophomore season when fifth in the Risen Star and second to Catching Freedom in the Louisiana Derby.

Beckman said he’s hoping for a cleaner trip this time around.

“The more speed and the more pace plays to his running style. He’s one that wants to close,” Beckman said. “I don’t want to see him as far back as he was in the Derby or even the Louisiana Derby. If we can change that a little bit and have a better spot going into that first turn, I think it would be a good thing for him.”

Beckman is hopeful that having Florent Geroux in the irons for the first time in the afternoon will be beneficial.

“Flo has actually breezed this horse prior to the Risen Star, Louisiana Derby, the Kentucky Derby and this,” Beckman said. “He’s always been that guy we were hoping Brad [Cox] didn’t have one for and now that he’s open it’s a good chance to do what he’s been doing in the morning in the afternoon. He gets along with this horse so well. The way Flo and this horse communicate when I watch them work and the way this horse responds to him, I think it’s a great match.”

Bred in Kentucky by Royce Pulliam, Honor Marie has earned $526,175 through a 6-2-2-0 record.

The Wine Steward by a nose over El Grande O in the Funny Cide (Susie Raisher)

Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Grade 1-placed The Wine Steward [post 4, Manny Franco, 15-1 ML] will look to join Tiz the Law [2020], Forester [1882], Fenian [1869] and Ruthless [1867] as New York-bred winners of the Belmont Stakes.

Trained by Mike Maker, the son of 2019 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic-winner Vino Rosso won his first three starts, graduating last May at Belmont ahead of stakes wins in the Bashford Manor in July at Ellis Park and the Spa’s state-bred Funny Cide presented by Rood and Riddle in August.

The Wine Steward made his next three outings with close runner-up efforts in graded company, missing by a half-length to Locked in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity in October at Keeneland and by three-quarter lengths to Encino in the Grade 3 Lexington in April at Keeneland. He was last seen landing three-quarter lengths back of Antiquarian in the Grade 3 Peter Pan.

“If there’s was more of an honest pace last time, he would have appreciated it and maybe would have won it,” Maker said of the Peter Pan effort. “We will hope for better luck this time. The owners have been very supportive of me and of New York. It would be great to win for [them].”

Bred in the Empire State by Sequel Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and Mark Toothaker, the $340,000 OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase is out of the To Honor and Serve mare Call to Service, a half-sister to graded stakes-winners Isotherm and Giant Game. He has banked $467,260 through a 6-3-3-0 record.

The August Belmont Trophy. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)
The August Belmont Trophy. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

The prestigious and historic Grade 1 races on Belmont Stakes Day will also include the $1 million Resorts World Casino Manhattan at 1 3/16-miles on turf for older horses, and the seven-furlong $500,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun for sophomores. A lucrative card also offers the Grade 2, $350,000 Suburban at 10 furlongs for older horses, the Grade 2, $350,000 True North presented by F.W. Webb at 6 1/2-furlongs for older horses and the Grade 3, $350,000 Poker for 4-year-olds and up at one-mile on turf.

The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which spans Thursday through Sunday, is highlighted by the 156th edition of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday, June 8. The four-day Festival will include 24 stakes races with purses totaling $10.25 million, the highest purse levels and number of stakes offered since the launch of the multi-day Festival in 2014.

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