Thousands of fans expected to attend 2023 Belmont Stakes

With the orange haze now a thing of the past, and air quality slowly improving, several outdoor events including the 2023 Belmont Stakes are set to go on as planned.

The 155th edition of the Belmont Stakes and final leg of the Triple Crown will take place Saturday in Belmont Park.

This third and final leg of the 2023 Triple Crown series poses quite a challenge, as nine horses will race in what’s described as “the Test of the Champion.”

At 1 1/2 miles, this is the toughest of the three Triple Crown races, which includes the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Earlier in the week, air quality posed a bigger challenge than the actual race itself due to the Canadian wildfires that left the northeastern U.S. in a dystopian haze.

On Friday, New York City officials gave the green light to organizers to go forward with the many outdoor events planned this weekend as the Air Quality Alert that was in place for several days was canceled in New York City and other parts of the state like Rockland and Westchester counties and Long Island.

Even though the Air Quality Index has improved, officials will be keeping tabs just in case.

“If the air quality exceeds 200 at the facility, there will be no racing,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul in a press conference leading up to the event. “If the air quality is 150 to 200, only horses that pass an additional pre-race vet examination will be permitted to race.”

As for the fans, 50,000 is expected to arrive for race time at around 7 p.m.

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