With a fleet-footed fury named California Chrome the odds-on favorite to win the Belmont Stakes and thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, MTA Long Island Rail Road is ready to go with the fastest and most convenient service to the big event this Saturday, June 7.
Leave the car at home. Why find yourself in stop and go traffic on the Cross Island Parkway when the LIRR has scheduled 18 extra trains for Stakes day? Sixteen of the trains provide an easy, one-seat ride from Penn Station to beautiful Belmont Park. The other two require a quick change at Jamaica Station for Belmont. Customers nearer to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn will find an additional 18 trains that can get them to the race track, again with a quick change at Jamaica Station. The Jamaica to Belmont connection – just a 12-14 minute ride - is the also best route for the many Long Islanders heading to the track from points east. The trip is even easier when customers purchase their special round-trip Belmont trains ticket in advance. Only Belmont Park train tickets will be accepted for train service to and from Belmont Park.
And when the big race is over, there is no need to rush to the exits. The LIRR will run trains back to Jamaica and Penn Station until 10 PM or later if necessary to ensure that every customer is safely on his or her way home. Staying late at Belmont, customers can enjoy the remainder of the racing card as well as the post-race concert by an Eagles tribute band that the New York Racing Association is staging near the top of the stretch. Perhaps just as important, they can avoid the long lines and significant wait – from 15 minutes to 2 hours - expected as departing fans queue up to board westbound trains.
“The LIRR will be the best way to avoid traffic and get to Belmont for the Stakes race and a potential Triple Crown,” said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski. “We will have plenty of extra service to and from the event. We urge customers to buy their train tickets in advance and consider staying at the park for the late races and for the special concert after the Stakes race to avoid the surge of customers who tend to leave immediately after the big race. We know this will be a great event for Nassau County and for our region and we are happy to support it with extra train service to help keep cars off the roads.”
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said: “The Belmont Stakes is always a great start to the summer tourism season and this year's Triple Crown contender California Chrome makes for an even greater weekend at the track. I invite everyone to visit Belmont Park and take advantage of the frequent train service provided by the Long Island Rail Road.”
NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay said: Belmont Stakes Day is Belmont Park’s biggest day of the year, and, with a Triple Crown possibility, a total of 13 races worth $8 million, and outstanding entertainment on offer, we expect it to be bigger than ever this year. We’re hoping many racing fans in New York City and on Long Island take advantage of the extensive Long Island Rail Road service the MTA is offering on June 7. With the MTA’s help, we can solidify Belmont Stakes Day as one of the premier events on Long Island and in the New York City metropolitan area.”
Big Crowds Expected
As always with a Triple Crown in the offing, attendance at this the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes is expected to exceed 100,000. Based on past performances, the Long Island Rail Road expects more than 20 percent of the gate will travel by rail.
18 Trains – Penn Station to Belmont Park in 33 Minutes
First race post time on Stakes Day is 11:35 a.m. The Belmont Stakes is scheduled for 6:40, with bettors hoping California Chrome becomes the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 36 years. The LIRR’s one-seat service to Belmont begins at 9:45 a.m., arriving at the Belmont Park Station at 10:18.
18 Trains – Atlantic Terminal Brooklyn to Belmont Park (Change at Jamaica)
Additionally, there will be 18 connecting trains departing from Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn (the first at 9:22 a.m.) that will meet with Belmont-bound trains at Jamaica Station. Customers should consult the special LIRR Belmont Stakes Train Service brochure available at stations or online at www.mta.info/lirr
LIRR Fares to Belmont Park
From New York, Brooklyn and Woodside: One-way $8. Round-trip $14
From Jamaica: One-way $7. Round-trip $11
Round-trip fares from Long Island with transfer at Jamaica:
Zone 3 (Rosedale, St. Albans, Queens Village, Hollis) $11
Zone 4 (Far Rockaway, Lynbrook, Hempstead, Mineola) $13
Zone 7 Long Beach, Massapequa, Hicksville, Oyster Bay) $15
Zone 9 (Babylon, Deer Park, Huntington, Northport) $18
Zone 10 (Bay Shore, Sayville, Ronkonkoma, Patchogue, Port Jefferson) $24
Buy round-trip tickets in advance at LIRRticket windows or ticket machines.
Remember, purchasing ticket on board trains will cost you more.
Only Belmont tickets will be accepted for train service to and from Belmont Park.
Other ticket types (City Ticket, Monthly, Weekly, Ten-Trip) not valid on Belmont Park trains.
LIRR Ticket Machines
Tickets are available at LIRR gray, blue or green ticket machines. Press the “Deals & Getaways” button on the first screen. Select “Belmont Park.” Pay with cash, ATM/debit or credit cards.
On Stakes day, the MTA Police will be enforcing a no alcohol policy on trains to Belmont Park, Bags and coolers are subject to search before being allowed on Belmont Park trains at Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal or Jamaica Station. Also, Belmont Park is enforcing its own alcohol ban. No alcoholic beverages of any kind can be brought into the Belmont Park facility. The restriction regarding alcohol has been enacted in the interest of patron safety and in an attempt to make sure that people drink responsibly.
Leaving Belmont Park: No Need to Rush
Remember, the LIRR will continue to provide service after the last race and well into the night for those staying to enjoy the rock concert that follows the racing card. The post-Stakes rush to board westbound trains typically results in wait times ranging from 15 minutes to two hours. To ensure the safe and orderly boarding of LIRR trains, the MTA Police Department will employ a color-coded system that assures an orderly queue with LIRR personnel to assist customers. Return LIRR service to Jamaica, Atlantic Terminal and Penn Station will depart from Belmont at 4:16 p.m., 4:51 p.m., 5:18 p.m., 5:51 p.m. and then every 15 minutes starting at 6:27 p.m. until everyone is accommodated.
Belmont is a special events station and is not wheelchair accessible. There are no elevators and only three escalators and customers must use a staircase to and from most train platforms.
Special prices are in effect for Stakes Day. General admission $10. Clubhouse admission $30.
NYRA Security Policies
In addition to its alcohol ban, NYRA has issued other restrictions, including:
No coolers, backpacks, duffle bags, briefcases or luggage
No glass containers or alcoholic beverages
Noumbrellas, non-folding or folding furnitur
Nocameras with detachable lenses, tripods or lenses more than 6 inches in length
For More Information
For the latest information about traveling via the Long Island Rail Road go to the MTA LIRRwebsite at www.mta.info/lirr. Customers can also call 511, the State Travel Information Line. The deaf or hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service provider for the free 711 relay to reach the LIRRat 511.