News Releases

Thursday, April 07, 2011Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326
Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration on June 9
to Benefit Equine Research, Backstretch Community

The Belmont Stakes is one of those quintessential New York events so it’s only fitting that the Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration will be held this year at one of New York City’s landmark buildings: The New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

The library site was once a Revolutionary War battlefield and later the home of the Croton Reservoir. The building, with its iconic and world-renowned lion sculptures on its front steps, opened on May 23, 1911.

The fund-raising event, hosted by the New York Racing Association and The Jockey Club, will be held Thursday, June 9, in the Astor Hall section of the library. Tickets are $150 and proceeds benefit Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and the Backstretch Employee Services Team.

The celebration will be catered by renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events and will include hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and a full bar in a cocktail party setting.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Spank, the popular New York City-based a cappella doo-wop quartet that performs songs of the great R&B vocal groups.

The 143rd running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes will be Saturday, June 11, and will be televised by NBC Sports.

“The charity celebration is always one of the highlights of Belmont Stakes week,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward. “We are excited to team with The Jockey Club to host this terrific event and help raise money for horses and the dedicated backstretch workers who care for them.”

“The Jockey Club is proud to partner with NYRA on such a worthwhile event,” said The Jockey Club President and Chief Operating Officer James L. Gagliano. “The Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration builds awareness of the third leg of the Triple Crown as well as two important charities that serve our sport.”

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is traditionally the nation’s leading source of private funding for equine medical research that benefits all breeds of horses. In 2011, the foundation is allocating $841,023 for 17 research projects that address a broad spectrum of issues, including piroplasmosis, laminitis and laryngeal neuropathy (roaring). Since 1983, the foundation has provided $18 million for 279 specific projects at 40 universities. Additional information about the foundation is available at

The Backstretch Employee Services Team (B.E.S.T.) provides a full range of health and human services to support the workers in the Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga barn areas, helping them to lead healthy and full lives. Primary, preventive and urgent health care services are provided free of charge at a year-round clinic at Belmont and seasonal clinic at Saratoga. B.E.S.T. also provides assistance, advice and training on financial, vocational, educational and legal matters. Additional information about B.E.S.T. is available at

Additional information about the Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration is available by contacting Nancy Kelly at (212) 521-5305 or