The New York Racing Association Inc., which oversees thoroughbred racing at the state’s three major racetracks, boosted the payout for the Belmont Stakes to $1.5 million to rival the other two purses that are part of the Triple Crown.
The 50 percent increase for the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown puts the winnings on par with the $2 million offered for the Kentucky Derby and $1.5 million for the Preakness Stakes, the association said in an e-mailed statement today. The next Belmont Stakes will be held June 7.
“We feel this increase suitably reflects the race’s status as one of the sport’s prestigious Triple Crown events,” said Martin Panza, senior vice president of racing operations for NYRA, in the statement.
The previous $1 million payout had been offered for the Belmont since 1998, the NYRA said.
Earlier this month, the Maryland Jockey Club said it would boost the purse for the Preakness Stakes from $1 million, which had been offered since 1998.
The Belmont earnings will be distributed among the first eight horses that place, with $800,000 to the winner and $30,000 to the eighth-place finisher, the NYRA said.
The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.