Air Quality Vastly Improved As Belmont Stakes Racing Festival Opens

Belmont Park Racing Festival opens | Sarah Andrew

Following significant improvement in air quality conditions throughout New York State, and in consultation with the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC), the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA)'s live racing program will resume at Belmont Park today at 12:50 p.m. ET, the organization said in a release Friday morning.

Friday's 11-race card, which is highlighted by five graded stakes opens the 2023 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival after poor air quality forced the cancelation of Thursday's twilight racing program and the closure of Belmont and Saratoga Race Course for training.

In addition to the resumption of live racing, both Belmont and Saratoga re-opened for training earlier this morning. NYRA said they would continue to actively monitor air quality conditions and forecasts to ensure the environment remains safe for racing participants and fans this weekend.

As for other tracks that were affected by the Canadian wildfire smoke that is now moving out into the Atlantic, Woodbine Entertainment reported Friday morning that racing would resume today as well.

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