Monday, June 2, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . June 2, 2008 . . . With Thoroughbred racing’s elusive Triple Crown on the line, Turfway Park is throwing a Belmont Bash on Saturday, June 7, the day Big Brown will try to win the Belmont Stakes and become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years.
The Belmont Bash begins at noon on Turfway's fourth floor. Tickets are required but are free at the track and on-air and online from Cincinnati radio station WEBN. The bash features games and prizes, including cash vouchers, apparel, and VIP tickets with pit passes to the Meijer 300 at the Kentucky Speedway. Matt Cowherd of 4th Day Echo performs from 1 to 6 p.m., and WEBN will broadcast live.
No ticket is required for admission to the rest of the facility. Admission, parking, and general seating are free. Reserved seating is available at no charge in Players’ Row in the RaceBook and at $5 and $10 in the Homestretch restaurant. Reservations are available by calling (859) 371-0200.
At the Belmont Bash and elsewhere at the track, fans can enjoy Big Brown- and Triple Crown-themed food and drink specials, including Kentucky Hot Brown, Goose Island Nut Brown Ale, and a special drink made just for the occasion that combines Maker's Mark bourbon with Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Soda.
Big Brown and Triple Crown merchandise will be available in the Turfway Park gift shop.
The Turfway Park gates open at 10 a.m. Beginning at noon with the first race from New York’s Belmont Park, the track will offer a full slate of simulcast racing from 25 tracks coast-to-coast.
The Belmont Stakes is the 11th of 13 races simulcast from Belmont Park on Saturday and is set to run at 6:25 p.m. Eastern time. Advance wagering on Belmont's entire Saturday card is available at Turfway on Friday, June 6, from 11:30 a.m. to about 11:30 p.m.
This year marks the first time the Triple Crown has been on the line since 2004, when Smarty Jones got the best of speed duels during the Belmont Stakes but came up short a length—about six feet—at the end. His bid was spoiled by Birdstone, who finished fifth that year in the Lane's End Stakes at Turfway. Big Brown's effortless wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes have sparked "can't miss" predictions, but again two horses who prepped at Turfway will try for the upset, or at least a piece of the pie. Macho Again, this year's Preakness runner-up, was seventh in the Lane's End, and Icabad Crane, third in the Preakness, was third in the Rushaway Stakes on the Lane's End undercard.