A tradition for Long Islanders for over a century, this year marks the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes. The third and final leg of the Triple Crown is set for June 9 and is guaranteed to be thrilling. For those headed to the races, I want to ensure your experience is just as fun. This is everything you need to know to navigate the place like a pro.
Dress the part
Fans tend to dress up for the big race day, wearing the best of their summer attire. Need inspiration? Check out some of Pulse’s top picks. And when dining at some of the indoor restaurants, keep in mind there is a dress code. At the Garden Terrace Dining Room, for example, no short or abbreviated wear is permitted, and collared shirts are required for men. Those who plan on going the extra mile, don’t miss the Longines Fashion Contest in the middle of the day. Finalists will walk the “blue carpet” and the 2018 “Prize for Elegance” winner will receive a Longines ladies watch.
What to grub
At the Belmont racetrack, there are many options for dining from concessions and bars to the all-important air-conditioned restaurants. Those looking for a sit-down experience, head up to the fourth floor of the Clubhouse, which houses the Garden Terrace Dining Room. The restaurant offers sweeping views of the racetrack through its floor-to-ceiling windows, and of course has many televisions to see close-ups of the action. There is also an upscale buffet that is sure to impress. Head to the classic Heritage Club Food Court, located on the third floor of the Clubhouse, for a quick bite. It has a full-service bar and serves delicious burgers, paninis and salads. In the Backyard Picnic area, there will be many concession stands offering burgers, hot dogs, french fries, ice cream, pretzels, soda and beer. More into restaurants on wheels? The Coors Light Food Truck Village will be located in the Backyard for attendees to pick and choose their favorite bites.
Take in the race
The food and entertainment may be great, but the heart of the Belmont Stakes is the pulse-raising, one-and-a-half-mile horse race. Justify is the favorite to win, but he has competition. Hofburg and Bravazo are just two of the many horses with buzz for unseating him from the top spot. On the other end of the spectrum, according to early Belmont Stakes odds, horses Free Drop Billy and Gronkowski aren’t expected to win. Nevertheless, it’s definitely going to be an exciting race no matter which horse takes the lead!
A little more entertainment
Horse racing is not the only entertainment offered at the Belmont Stakes—they only last a few minutes after all. On Saturday, there will be a post-race concert featuring rock band Third Eye Blind, who has recorded four best-selling albums and will certainly get everyone dancing. For Broadway lovers, there will be a performance from the show A Bronx Tale. Based on the original play and the classic film, A Bronx Tale features a doo-wop score and will give fans a taste of NYC theater.