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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:26 pm 
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Just learned I am going to NY for the weekend of Oct 1 (TR) thru 4th (SUN) and need some quick feedback on the Belmont experience. I've never been - though I've been glued to the TV/Simulcast screens for many a Belmont race as well as others. Read where Saturday was going to be the running of the Jockey Gold Cup and a major day of other stakes/handicap races so called and found out a few boxes are still available.

Here's the question(s) - Is the box seating a good experience (I'll be with friends who would not enjoy having to stand a great deal, wait in line a great deal, etc. but want to see the racetrack in all it's fall glory and witness a day of historic racing)? IF there are downsides to the box seating would appreciate any heads up/tips.

Secondary question(s) - Best way to get to the Belmont race track from Manhattan (and return). I don't mind taking the subway/trains but to make sure everyone in my party is happy/secure I don't mind taking a cab etc. What about the food concessions at the track or in the area? Any tips of where to eat/snack etc. AND most importantly: the best bar!

Would appreciate your frank opinions/advice and tips....asap!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:06 pm 
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Location: FL, NY
jellac wrote:
Just learned I am going to NY for the weekend of Oct 1 (TR) thru 4th (SUN) and need some quick feedback on the Belmont experience. I've never been - though I've been glued to the TV/Simulcast screens for many a Belmont race as well as others. Read where Saturday was going to be the running of the Jockey Gold Cup and a major day of other stakes/handicap races so called and found out a few boxes are still available.

Here's the question(s) - Is the box seating a good experience (I'll be with friends who would not enjoy having to stand a great deal, wait in line a great deal, etc. but want to see the racetrack in all it's fall glory and witness a day of historic racing)? IF there are downsides to the box seating would appreciate any heads up/tips.

Secondary question(s) - Best way to get to the Belmont race track from Manhattan (and return). I don't mind taking the subway/trains but to make sure everyone in my party is happy/secure I don't mind taking a cab etc. What about the food concessions at the track or in the area? Any tips of where to eat/snack etc. AND most importantly: the best bar!

Would appreciate your frank opinions/advice and tips....asap!

Hi Jellac,
Saturday October 3rd would be a great day to go. Aside from the JCGC, they run the Champagne, Frizette, Kelso Handicap, Flower Bowl Invitational and the Hill Prince.
The box seats usually seat 5 or 6, but in October it can be cool and it is wide open. If that might bother some of your party, you can get a table in the Garden Terrace (888-516-NYRA) (ext:6972) it's nice with a great view of the track, it is enclosed, food is okay...but expensive with a great view of the track (4th floor). They have an unwritten dress code....I'd ask if you decide to go that route.
I wouldn't take the subway to Belmont...not the greatest connections going through Jamaica. The Long Island Railroad might be a better choice, but call Belmont Park (718) 641-4700) or the LIRR about connections from NYC to Belmont Park and return? You would be better off taking a taxi...but that might be pretty expensive, then you might have trouble making a return connection unless you set it up ahead of time?
You will also be there when they have the Breakfast at Belmont program going on from 7-9:30 AM. Breakfast available at the Belmont Cafe, while you watch the horses train, then a tram ride to the backstretch. If you just go and watch the horses...after it's over they hustle you out and allow you to return at 11AM. You might enjoy exiting the back gate and crossing Hempstead Turnpike and getting a bite at the Belmont Diner. Never know who you might see eating there, it's outside the backstretch gate. TJ


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:14 am 
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TJ - Thanks! Your insightful comments were spot on and now we are lined up to enjoy one of the biggest days of racing at Belmont (aside from the decisive Triple Crown race days!). I think the equine line-ups for these top races one month out from the BC in November should be strong...with some trainers choosing it as a last race prep and others entering horses that they haven't yet decided on sending yet/are still on the fence about sending, etc.

We are all flying in Thursday night and staying in Manhattan near Broadway/Times Square, etc. Friday we will take in a show - look to enjoy a nice dinner; basically enjoy the 'Big City' visitor' life and - now - are looking forward to a day of great racing at Belmont on Saturday. FYI: "cool" weather will be welcome relief to a bunch of Gulf Coast located Texans: for example we had a night that dipped down to 59 degrees last week(!) and it was locally news worthy. Still, I appreciate the warning; we'll definitely remember to bring wraps or jackets/raincoats as the weather dictates getting closer to the event (Hopefully NOT raincoats :( !)

Looking into the LIRR and a private car service.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:15 pm 
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Friends in Manhattan swear by Uber. It may be a less expensive viable alternative worth exploring.

Allison

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:54 pm 
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jellac wrote:
TJ - Thanks! Your insightful comments were spot on and now we are lined up to enjoy one of the biggest days of racing at Belmont (aside from the decisive Triple Crown race days!). I think the equine line-ups for these top races one month out from the BC in November should be strong...with some trainers choosing it as a last race prep and others entering horses that they haven't yet decided on sending yet/are still on the fence about sending, etc.

We are all flying in Thursday night and staying in Manhattan near Broadway/Times Square, etc. Friday we will take in a show - look to enjoy a nice dinner; basically enjoy the 'Big City' visitor' life and - now - are looking forward to a day of great racing at Belmont on Saturday. FYI: "cool" weather will be welcome relief to a bunch of Gulf Coast located Texans: for example we had a night that dipped down to 59 degrees last week(!) and it was locally news worthy. Still, I appreciate the warning; we'll definitely remember to bring wraps or jackets/raincoats as the weather dictates getting closer to the event (Hopefully NOT raincoats :( !)

Looking into the LIRR and a private car service.

Hi Jellac,
Sounds like you're gonna have a great weekend. I wasn't much of a city dweller...I was a Long Islander, so not so sure about the connections out of the city to Belmont. Patuxet hit on a better alternative to a cab to get around in the city and everywhere these days, for that matter without a car. Uber has been around 5-6 years and might be a much better alternative.
I'm in Florida now, so I know what you mean about escaping the heat:>) I'll post the entire overnight for all the Belmont Saturday Stakes on Wednesday with past performances in case you want to take a quick look:>) Have a great time. TJ


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:20 pm 
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Patuxent & TJ -

Thanks to both of you for your quick (and smart) suggestions. Uber got off to a rocky start here in Houston, but I understand that long before Uber even tried to enter the market here it was hugely welcome/successful in other large metro markets. Having tried to catch a cab (in front of St Patrick's Cathedral NYC many many years ago I do get the reason/need to investigate alternative methods of transport before arriving in NYC....and I ALWAYS appreciate the PPs being posted ahead of major race days!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:30 am 
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from wikipedia

Transportation

Elmont is located on the border of Queens County of New York City and Nassau County.

Closest airports include:

John F. Kennedy International Airport (7 miles, New York, NY)
LaGuardia Airport (13 miles, New York, NY)
Sands Point Seaplane Base (public use, 10 miles (16 km), Port Washington, Long Island, NY)

The MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) provides race-day-only passenger service to Belmont Park from Jamaica and Penn Station. Elmont is near the Floral Park, New Hyde Park and Valley Stream stations of the LIRR which provide regular commuter service to NYC.

The Nassau Inter-County Express system serves Elmont with routes n1 (Elmont Road/Central Ave.), n2 (Meacham Ave./N Fletcher Ave.), n6 (Hempstead Turnpike) & n8 (Franklin Ave./Dutch Broadway/Hook Creek Blvd.) for connections to the LIRR & NYC subways and buses.

Elmont is located at the junction of the Cross Island Parkway, Belt Parkway, and Southern State Parkway, providing quick access to the Long Island Parkway system. Elmont is about 7 miles (11 km) from the Long Island Expressway and 10 miles (16 km) from the Throgs Neck Bridge for travel upstate.

A long time ago I was a frequent visitor to NYC and areas. If it was me I would do the LIRR Penn Station. You want no part of going through Jamaica and parts of Queens on the subway. What airport are you arriving at?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:28 pm 
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Madelyn -

Thanks for the information on transportation to Elmont NY/ Belmont Race Track.

We are flying in Thurs evening arriving LaGuardia a bit later in the evening than our friends and meeting up that night (or Friday morning) at the hotel.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:15 am 
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La Guardia is the closest to Manhattan - there is actually an MTA bus (#116) for a buck or two. The Triboro used to have a heavy toll. I hope you have a blast. I always had a great time in NYC even though I was usually trying to live on air. On a friend's couch I could keep Manhattan to $25 a day....

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:51 pm 
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I've taken the LIRR a few times, it's not bad. took it to a Breeders Cup - dropped me off a short stroll from the entry gate. Do take enough warm clothing if the wind is up. Even cloudy days might not warm up much and the cavernous grandstand can be like a windtunnel.

jm

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