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Nassau police: Expect delays around Belmont Park on Saturday

The 151st running of the Belmont Stakes takes place Saturday at Belmont Park in Elmont.

If you're not headed to the race, police urge you to avoid the area — unless you like sitting in traffic.

The gates open at 8:30 a.m., with the first race scheduled to go off at 11:30 a.m. The last race is scheduled for about 7 p.m.

Expect delays all day long along Hempstead Turnpike and surrounding secondary roads, Nassau County police said. Plainfield Avenue will be closed from Hempstead Turnpike to Vanderwater Avenue between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., police said. Based on recent history, drivers can also expect delays on the nearby Cross Island Parkway.

The Long Island Rail Road will add extra trains to service Belmont Park. Officials suggest racegoers consider using mass transit options in an effort to avoid traffic and parking issues.

Officials said backpacks, coolers, luggage and duffel bags all are banned Saturday at Belmont Park and that all food items must be in see-through plastic containers or bags.

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