January 17, 2019

Great Weather Finally Greets a 2017 Classic Race

The weather, which played havoc Kentucky Derby and Preakness week, is fair for Belmont Day (Ellen Elliott photo)

After rain throughout both Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes weeks, perfect weather has been on hand for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival in Elmont, New York.

Good days weather and business wise on Thursday and Friday have led into a blockbuster Belmont Stakes day card on Saturday with 13 races. A big crowd was already on hand for the 11:35 a.m. ET opener won by a pressing Thebigfundamental with Racing Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez aboard.

“The track is very good,” Velazquez said. “Of course, when they run like my horse did the track is always going to feel good.”

Hammerin Aamer got up for second for Javier Castellano, who said after the race there will be no excuses with the track today.

“It’s a fair-playing track. It’s fast, but it’s been playing fair all week,” the soon-to-be Racing Hall of Fame jockey said. “This is a good crowd already. It’s great for the sport to get people out on such a great day. Weather’s been bad, but there’s nothing you can do. This is a good day for racing.”