A host of capital improvements will continue to take place at New York Racing Association (NYRA) tracks in 2017, building on the work done in the past year.
Breaking ground on Sept. 30 at Belmont Park, a top-to-bottom overhaul of Barn 37 is close to completion and will be occupied when the live racing returns to Belmont for the spring meet. Featuring 44 stalls, the complete renovation will facilitate the addition of a slew of new amenities, including LED lighting throughout, plastic wall protectors on each stall and concrete flooring covered with high-quality rubber mats and rubber panels in the inside of exterior walls.
“It’s always a benefit to be able to accommodate more horses, and with the completion of Barn 37 we’ll be able to do so for the upcoming spring meet,” said Glen Kozak, Vice President of Facilities and Racing Surfaces. “Our ongoing renovations at Belmont including new dormitories and track facilities reflect our continued commitment to the improvement and modernization of the backstretch.”
Belmont saw other general improvements in 2016, including an exciting post Labor Day-reveal when horsemen were greeted with a newly renovated and greatly expanded training track. This expansion allows the track to safely accommodate more horses in the mornings after widening the stretches by nearly 17 feet and the far turn by 18 feet. The first turn is approximately 13 feet longer than it was previously.
The project was completed in just 52 days, with the bulk of the work being completed during the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, allowing the training track to be ready by the time racing resumed at Belmont Park for the fall meet.
One week prior to the 2016 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, NYRA celebrated the successful completion of a 47-room dormitory, the first new dorm construction in many decades at Belmont Park and the first step of a multi-year, $28 million plan to overhaul the living facilities on the backstretch.
NYRA will be breaking ground on the second new dormitory in first quarter of 2017 with the project expected to be completed in the fall, reflecting the organization’s commitment to providing the best, most modern facilities for backstretch workers.
Since 2013, the New York Racing Association has spent more than $15 million at Aqueduct to enhance the overall experience for our guests who visit the facility throughout the year.
In 2016, NYRA unveiled the latest improvement to the facility, adding a new Horseman’s Lounge. Located on the second floor, the climate-controlled lounge features sofas and airport-style seating, in addition to AmTote machines and high-definition televisions.