Racing at Belmont Park resumes ahead final leg of Triple Crown as air quality conditions improve: officials
Racing officials in New York announced Friday that live racing at Belmont Park will reopen ahead of the final leg of the Triple Crown race on Saturday, due to “significant improvement in air quality conditions.”
The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) issued a joint statement announcing the decision to resume racing and training after activity at the racetrack was canceled Thursday over air quality concerns from the Canadian wildfire smoke blanketing the northeast.
PETA CALLS FOR BELMONT STAKES TO BE POSTPONED OVER AIR QUALITY CONCERNS FROM CANADIAN WILDFIRE SMOKE
“Moving forward, NYRA will continue to actively monitor air quality conditions and forecasts to ensure the environment remains safe for racing participants and fans this weekend,” officials said in a press release.
The announcement follows calls from PETA to suspend racing until deemed safe for the horses.
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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday that the Belmont Stakes could be canceled if the air quality index on Saturday exceeds 200, the Environmental Protection Agency benchmark for air that is very unhealthy for everyone.
If the air quality is measured at 150 to 200, only horses that pass an additional pre-race veterinary examination will be permitted to race, Hochul added.
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According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) Forecast for New York State on Friday morning, air quality health advisories were still in effect for Long Island, with and AQI of 120.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.