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
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,
Bay, with The New York
Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) offering a guaranteed $350,000 Late Pick 4 on
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
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.