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Exciting Memorial Day Weekend at Belmont

With four great live bands, a straw beach mat giveaway, a special appearance by racing legends Steve Cauthen and Jorge Velasquez and world-class stakes racing, the biggest beach party on Long Island is set for Memorial Day weekend at Belmont Park.

 

The festivities kick off on Saturday, May 26 as jockeys Cauthen and Velasquez autograph postcards to commemorate the unforgettable 1978 Triple Crown, won by Affirmed over archrival Alydar. With the 18-year-old Cauthen aboard, Affirmed beat Alydar by a mere head in the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes to become the 11th and most recent horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont, held this year on Saturday, June 9. The postcards will be given away free, with paid admission, at the park entrances. The autograph signing will be $5.00, with all proceeds to be donated to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.

 

The first of four live bands for the holiday weekend takes to Belmont’s backyard stage on Saturday, with Therapy Band serving up Caribbean and Calypso fare beginning at noon. On track, turf fillies and mares contest the Grade 2, $200,000 Sheepshead Bay, with The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) offering a guaranteed $350,000 Late Pick 4 on Saturday.

 

The beach party continues on Sunday, May 27, with live parrots, a tropical obstacle course, a surf board simulator, and the Under The Sea inflatable, all free for kids in the backyard as Family Fun Day begins at noon. On stage, The Young Rebel Goombahs will be playing reggae-themed rock.

 

On Monday, May 28, fans can get the perfect summer accessory – a Belmont Park straw beach mat – with paid admission while supplies last. Memorial Day will also offer not one, but two live bands: the Island Breeze Trio in the Paddock Tent and the Jimmy Buffet tribute band, Barometer Soup, on the backyard stage.

 

Adding to the excitement is a $500,000 Guaranteed All Graded Stakes Pick 4, comprising the Grade 1, $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap; the Grade 1, $400,000 Ogden Phipps; the Grade 1, $300,000 Acorn, and the Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point.

 

The prestigious Met Mile is expected to bring together some of the top older horses in the nation, including Grade 1 Carter Handicap hero Jackson Bend and runner-up Caleb’s Posse; 2011 Preakness hero Shackleford, winner of the Grade 2 Churchill Downs last time out, and 2011 Cigar Mile Handicap victor To Honor and Serve, most recently triumphant in the Grade 3 Westchester. In its new spot on the calendar, the Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares should bring together multiple Grade 1 winner It’s Tricky and last year’s winner, Awesome Maria, riding a six-race winning streak, while the one-mile Acorn, also run on Memorial Day for the first time, is likely to attract some of the country’s top 3-year-old fillies.

 

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