New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur to deliver “Riders Up” call for 150th running of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will welcome New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur to Belmont Park on Saturday, June 9 to deliver the traditional call of “Riders Up” prior to the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets.
Shurmur, who was named head coach of the New York Giants in January, will appear in the paddock approximately prior to the start of the Belmont Stakes to announce “Riders Up,” signaling the time for jockeys to receive a leg up on their mounts as they prepare to parade out onto the track.
Jockey Mike Smith will receive the leg up aboard Justify from trainer Bob Baffert as the colt attempts to become the 13th thoroughbred in history to capture the Triple Crown. The Belmont Stakes is scheduled to go to post at 6:46 p.m. and will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 4 p.m. Coverage on Saturday begins at 2 p.m. on NBCSN.
“It’s a great honor to be asked to call ‘riders up’ for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, which is one of the great sporting events not only in New York, but in our country,” Shurmur said. “And to have Justify running for the Triple Crown makes it even more special. So, I am really looking forward to it, and it’s fitting that the head coach of the New York Giants is involved since Chris Mara is a member of the Starlight Racing group, which owns a stake in Justify, and Chris’ love for racing started when his parents, Wellington and Ann, took him to Belmont Park as a child. I am grateful to be a small part of the circle.”
“On behalf of the men and women of NYRA, we look forward to hosting Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur at Belmont Park for the running of a historic Belmont Stakes,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. “The Belmont Stakes and New York Giants are part of the enduring fabric of the New York and national sports scene: Big Blue as one of the original NFL teams and the Belmont Stakes as the oldest sporting event in the country.”
Shurmur was hired as head coach after serving as the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator. His resume also includes offensive coordinator stints with St. Louis and Philadelphia, and two years as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
General admission for the Belmont Stakes is available for $30. With attendance capped at 90,000, guests are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. General admission will be available on Belmont Stakes Day through ticketmaster.com, pending availability. Clubhouse admission is also currently on sale for $60.
Highlighted by the Belmont Stakes, the final jewel of the Triple Crown, the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from June 7-9 features 33 races, including 18 stakes, offering $9.4 million in purses and $3.4 million in guaranteed wagers.
Third Eye Blind will headline the entertainment lineup for the 2018 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival with trackside pre- and post-race concerts on June 9. Belmont Stakes Day will also include a performance from the hit Broadway musical A Bronx Tale. On Friday, June 8, fans can enjoy a performance from the acclaimed Billy Joel tribute band Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot at the conclusion of live racing.
On Thursday, June 7 and Friday, June 8, parking gates open at 10:45 a.m. and admission gates and concessions open at 11 a.m. On Saturday, June 9, parking gates open at 8 a.m. and admission gates and concessions open at 8:30 a.m.
About the New York Racing Association (NYRA)
The New York Racing Association Inc., (NYRA) holds the exclusive franchise to conduct thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of New York State's thoroughbred industry, which is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual economic impact to New York State.
Over the course of 225 days of live racing in 2017, NYRA generated $2.2 billion in all-sources wagering handle with paid attendance exceeding 1.7 million. While staging just over 5 percent of all races run in the United States in 2017, wagering on NYRA's races again accounted for more than 20 percent of all monies bet on thoroughbred racing in the United States.