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Belmont Stakes to be run despite NYRA woes

The 2010 Belmont Stakes will be run as

The 2010 Belmont Stakes will be run as planned on June 5. Photo Credit: Newsday / Ana P. Gutierrez

The Belmont Stakes will be run as planned despite budget cuts, the cash-strapped New York Racing Association announced on Thursday.

NYRA released its 2010 stakes schedule for Belmont and Saratoga. The $1,000,000 Belmont - the third jewel of the Triple Crown - will be contested on June 5. NYRA president Charles Hayward had warned recently that the Belmont Stakes might have to be canceled because of the agency's money woes.

Instead, NYRA cut its stakes schedule and lowered some purses to achieve a savings of $1.4 million.

Among those stakes eliminated were the Peter Pan, Tom Fool, Nassau County, and the Poker.

Saratoga's summer meet was expanded from 36 days to 40. The Coaching Club American Oaks, which had been run on Belmont's closing weekend, has been moved to Saratoga's opening weekend, July 24, at a new distance of 1 1/8 miles.

NYRA has had money problems for years that have been exacerbated by the recession. A proposal to install slot machines at Aqueduct Racetrack is on hold and is the subject of an investigation by the state after a politically-connected company was selected by officials including embattled Gov. David Paterson.

Also stalled in Albany is a proposal to overhaul the state's money-losing Off-Track Betting Corporation. OTB has filed for bankruptcy protection.


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