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The MTA Is Off and Running to Belmont Park

Updated May 2, 2023 12:45 p.m.
Elmont-UBS Aerial

New LIRR Schedules Include Massive Service Increase to Nation’s Premier Racetrack for Horse Racing

First Direct Service to Belmont Ever from Long Island and East Side of Manhattan

New York City Transit Service Available via Q2 and Q110 Buses with Connections from E and F Subway Lines

When Belmont Park’s Spring/Summer horse racing meet starts on Thursday, May 4, racing fans will benefit for the first time from massive Long Island Rail Road service increases to the racetrack made possible by the recent openings of the new Elmont-UBS Arena Station as well as Grand Central Madison and Main Line Third Track. During track hours between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., 30 trains will serve the track on weekdays and 78 on weekends. Trains operate 365 days a year at the Elmont-UBS Arena station, helping to serve the needs of the local community in addition to sports fans.

The 216 trains operating during race hours represent a substantial service increase compared with the railroad’s previous race day service to Belmont Park, which consisted of eight trains, all from/to New York City, on weekends only.

For the first time, horse-racing fans from Long Island will be able to ride a train directly to the track without the need to change trains at Jamaica. On weekdays, all trains on the Hempstead Branch will stop at Elmont-UBS Arena. On weekends, the Hempstead Branch service is supplemented by trains to and from Huntington and Ronkonkoma. Service on all branches includes trains from Penn Station and Grand Central Madison, with transfer opportunities at Jamaica for service from Brooklyn.

Fans exiting the trains will find a free, frequent shuttle bus operated by the New York Racing Association to whisk them right to the grandstand in less than five minutes, similar to the buses that connect Islanders fans to games at UBS Arena. The Elmont-UBS Arena station is located behind the famed Belmont Park backstretch. Horses make the trip around the sweeping clubhouse turn in about 30 seconds, but humans who opt to make the trip on foot at would need about 15 minutes at a brisk walking pace to cover three quarters of a mile from platform to grandstand.

“Hundreds of thousands of racing fans go to beautiful Belmont Park every year and mass transit is the best way for them to travel,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “New schedules and a full-time Elmont-UBS station have enabled the LIRR to increase the amount of service to and from Belmont Park from the east and west sides of the city and all over Long Island.”

“The service increases in the LIRR’s new schedules didn’t only increase service for people going to and from work, they opened up the LIRR to people who want do more leisure travel as well,” said LIRR Interim President and Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “Having direct service from the east side of Manhattan and a one seat ride to Belmont Park makes it easy for racing fans to enjoy a beautiful day at the track.”

“Thanks to the new Elmont-UBS Arena LIRR station, Belmont Park will be easier to get to than ever before this spring and summer,” said NYRA VP of Communications Patrick McKenna. “As we look forward to the resumption of live racing at Belmont this Thursday, and the 155th running of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on June 10th, we encourage fans to ride LIRR to the full time Elmont station.”

Belmont Park can also be reached by New York City Transit. Two bus routes stop right next to the Belmont Park clubhouse: The Q2 bus, which connects with the F subway at 169 St and 179 St, and the Q110 bus, which connects with the E subway line at Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer. To see all of the MTA travel options has for Belmont Park click here. Before the construction of Elmont-UBS Arena station, the LIRR operated two round trip trains to Belmont Park station on horse racing days, one from Penn Station and one from Jamaica. Racing fans from Long Island who wanted to visit the racetrack would have had to catch a westbound train and change at Jamaica to one of those two eastbound trains.

The 40-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet will open on Thursday, May 4, and continue through Sunday, July 9. Highlighted by the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from June 8-10, the 2023 spring/summer meet will feature 54 stakes worth $15.5 million in total purses.

For the 2023 Belmont spring/summer stakes schedule, visit NYRA.com/BelmontSpringSummer.