On Saturday, June 7 Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will offer racing fans a unique opportunity to watch, wager, and witness horse racing history with the running of the 146th Belmont Stakes. When California Chrome enters the starting gate for the 2014 Belmont Stakes, a 1 ½ mile event, he could become the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.
Hoosier Park will welcome guests with extended hours, advanced wagering, live harness racing, and dining specials to take in the excitement of California Chrome’s run for racing history. Doors will open at 10 a.m. with the first race from Belmont Park getting underway at 11:35 p.m. The Belmont program will feature the second richest day of racing in North America with 10 stakes races and more than $8 million in purse money leading up to the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the elusive Triple Crown.
In conjunction with the Belmont festivities, Hoosier Park will host Hoosier Champions Night, the first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals, on the 14-race card. The first four harness races from Hoosier Park will lead into the main event from Belmont, which has an estimated post time of 6:40 p.m.
The first 1,000 Guests to visit Trackside Club Centaur will receive a souvenir button saying “Go! Chrome, Go!”, and in the event of a Triple Crown win, commemorative souvenir cards will be distributed throughout the property. Additionally, qualified Club Centaur members will receive a $5 win Bet on California Chrome.
The Belmont Jewel, the official drink of the Belmont Stakes, will be available in a collector’s glass and a wide variety of food stations will be available both indoors and outside with free seating available in both locations. Advanced wagering will be available at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for the entire Belmont card and Friday, June 6.
“In the 70′s it seemed almost ordinary to have a Triple Crown winner,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “Well, it’s been 36 years since that has happened and I think everyone is hoping for an end to the drought. God speed, California Chrome!”
Eleven horses have completed the monumental feat, but there hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed took all three jewels of the Triple Crown in 1978. California Chrome has won eight of his 12 career races, including his past six, and will start from post two as the 3/5 favorite.
In addition to the horse racing action, Hoosier Park will play host to the fourth annual Guns ‘N Hoses event. The event will pit local police officers and firefighters against one another in a series of challenges to benefit a local charity, Madison County Fire Rescue House. The challenges will begin after the start of live harness racing and range from a foot race carrying Hoosier Park drivers and a jelly donut speed eating contest to a dunk tank and the crowd favorite tug of war competition.
Hoosier Park will also offer various children’s activities in the Kid’s Zone along with a classic fire truck on display. Guns & Hoses, open to all ages, is free to the public and will start at approximately 5 p.m. in the Yard.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet will offer an extended stakes schedule and be conducted through November 15.