Belmont Park reopens after air quality improves

Horse Racing

ELMONT, N.Y. — Live racing will resume at Belmont Park on Friday following significant improvement in air quality conditions in the state, the New York Racing Association announced.

Both Belmont and Saratoga reopened for training Friday morning, and the 11-card race will start at 12:50 p.m. The NYRA said in a statement that it will actively monitor air quality conditions and forecasts to ensure the environment remains safe for racing participants and fans ahead of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

Racing at Belmont Park was canceled on Thursday due to poor air quality from wildfires in Canada. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul had warned that the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, could be affected if conditions don’t improve by Saturday.

New York Racing Association vice president of communications Patrick McKenna said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday that state officials and the NYRA consulted on how to proceed going forward in “our shared efforts to provide the safest possible environment for training and racing thoroughbred horses.”

McKenna had said his group remained “optimistic that conditions will allow for the resumption of training and racing on Friday in advance of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.”

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