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Long Island Gears Up for Belmont Stakes Weekend as Local Winning Jockeys are Honored by Bruce Blakeman

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Long Island Gears Up for Belmont Stakes Weekend as Local Winning Jockeys are Honored by Bruce Blakeman

Edited by: TJVNews.com

On hand Wednesday to pay tribute to two Nassau County residents who were the winning jockeys at the 2023 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes was Nassau County Executive Bruce A. Blakeman.  The professional jockeys, Javier Castellano, who was riding “Mage” won the 2023 Kentucky Derby, and John Velazquez, who was riding “National Treasure” won the 2023 Preakness Stakes. This was John Velazquez’ first victory at the Preakness Stakes.

Mage was trained by Gustavo Delgado and has raced for OGMA Investments, LLC, Restrepo, Ramiro, Sterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH, and was bred in Kentucky, United States by Grandview Equine. Mage has raced at Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park, Pimlico Race Course with wins at Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park.

National Treasure is owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, and Catherine Donovan.  The thoroughbred was trained by hall of famer Bob Baffert.

This picture goes with the Belmont Stakes article. Caption is: Left: David Roth, president of the New York Racing Association, Nassau County jockeys who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, Javier Castellanos and John Velasquez. On the right is Nassau County Executive, Bruce Blakeman

Joining Blakeman outside of the Garden City Hotel in honoring the jockeys were representatives of the New York Racing Association and local business owners who officially kicked off the Belmont Stakes Weekend. The race is expected to take place on Saturday.

Blakeman also took the opportunity to address about what is being done to ensure the safety of the famed Belmont Stakes and the economic boom that the annual race brings to Nassau County. As one of the largest sporting events in the world, the Belmont Stakes is the last leg of the Triple Crown. It attracts tens of millions of viewers and spectators who flock to the Elmont racetrack to watch the famed sporting event.   Millions of dollars are injected into the local economy as a result of Belmont Stakes tourism’s return.  Local restaurants, hotels, cafes, and merchants have always seen a large spike in business and this year is no exception as horse racing fans are anticipating an action packed day.

– Jockeys John Velasquez and Javier Castellano, winners of the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. In the middle is Alyssa Lark, assistant of Nassau County Executive, Bruce Blakeman

On Thursday, however, , New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said that whether or not the Belmont Stakes runs as scheduled on Saturday will come down to a game-time decision, as was reported by the New York Post.

As the air quality in New York and the tri-state area continued to be an issue for the third straight day due to wildfires in Canada, Hochul outlined the parameters that would need to be met for the famed third leg of the Triple Crown to take place, the Post reported.

If the air quality index (AQI) reaches above 200 at any horse racing track in the state then “no racing or training may be conducted at that track,” according to a release from the Governor’s office.

Jewish Voice publisher David Ben Hooren with local horse racing stars -Jockeys John Velasquez and Javier Castellano,

If the AQI is between 150 and 200 at any track then “only those horses that pass an additional pre-race respiratory veterinary examination will be permitted to race,” according to the guidelines, as was reported by the New York Post.

“We have instituted enhanced measures to protect the horses and the riders and the spectators,” Hochul said during a news conference on Thursday.

“As New Yorkers continue to experience unhealthy air quality as a result of Canadian wildfires, we must all work to ensure that animals — including these peak-performance equine athletes — are protected,” Hochul said in a statement, the Post reported. “The measures being implemented at tracks across New York State are effective steps to keep all those who participate in the sport safe now and into the future.”


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