Churchill Downs fans who hope to see Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome become racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 36 years will cheer the final jewel of the three-race series while watching the race on the track’s spectacular Big Board during Saturday’s celebration of Belmont Stakes Day at the home of the Kentucky Derby.
The final jewel of the Triple Crown is set for 6:52 p.m. (all times EDT) at Belmont Park and every inch of the 1 ½-mile American racing classic will be viewed by fans throughout Churchill Downs on the Big Board, the 15,224 square foot, 4 K video screen that offers images of breathtaking clarity. Churchill Downs will present 10 live races on Saturday, headed by the $100,000-added Early Times Mint Julep (Grade III), and each will be viewed on the Big Board along with most of a power-packed schedule of Belmont Park stakes events on the Belmont Stakes card. Post time for Belmont Park’s first race on Saturday is 11:35 a.m.
The bid by California Chrome to become just the 12th 3-year-old Thoroughbred to sweep the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes will be celebrated beneath the Twin Spires during a day that features:
- A giveaway of 1,000 California Chrome officially licensed T-shirts;
- The offering of the Belmont Jewel, the official drink of the Triple Crown’s third jewel served in a souvenir glass, and a special Triple Crown cocktail dubbed Chrome in the Big Apple, which will be served in a shining chrome cup;
- And a food special in the “Triple Crown Hot Dog,” available for purchase at locations throughout the track for only $3.
Admission gates at Churchill Downs open Saturday at 11:20 a.m. and post time for the first Churchill Downs live race is 12:45 p.m. Advance purchase of seating for Belmont Stakes Day at Churchill Downs remains available through the track’s online box office at www.churchilldowns.com/tickets or at the on-track box office located at the Gate 1 entrance off Central Avenue. On-track box office hours are set for noon-4 p.m. on Friday, June 6.
The first 1,000 fans who pass through the Churchill Downs admission gates on Saturday will receive a voucher that can be exchanged for an officially-licensed California Chrome T-shirt. Vouchers can be redeemed on the Paddock Plaza.
Along with the presentation of races from Churchill Downs and Belmont Park on the Big Board, Churchill Downs Racing Analyst Jill Byrne will offer thoughts on both the live races at Churchill Downs and the Belmont Park stakes races featured on the board. Patrons at the track also will enjoy stirring Big Board glimpses of past Triple Crown winners in action, features on horses that came close to securing the elusive sweep of the trio of American classic races and highlights of California Chrome’s impressive run through this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Churchill Downs will also offer advance wagering on the Belmont Stakes during tomorrow’s Friday Happy Hours racing on Friday, June 6, which has a first-race post time of 2:45 p.m. Along with food and drink specials in the Paddock Plaza from 3-7 p.m., Friday Happy Hours will also feature the return of local favorite and rising country star J.D. Shelburne to the Plaza Stage.