Thursday, June 10, 2010

NYRA Salutes Garden City Belmont Festival's Red, White and Blue

The theme of this year's Garden City Belmont Festival was a "Salute to America." Held on June 4th on the eve of the Belmont Stakes, The United States Air Force Band, The Afterburner, performed along with other bands along Seventh Street in Garden City. The event was sponsored by NYRA and the Garden City Hotel and hundreds turned out for family fun! A "Wing Off" contest featured delicious barbeque wings which raised money for the Molly Biggane Foundation. Resident trainers and jockeys and their families attended and were greated with great fanfare! Todd Pletcher, Tom Albertrani, John Velasquez and Javier Castellano were part of a special opening ceremony which was kick-off by Sam the Bugler.

NYRA sponsors the Floral Park Art League's First Annual Equestrian Art Compeption

The Floral Park Art League held its Annual Outdoor Art Show on Belmont Stakes weekend, June 5th and 6th. The show was held in Memorial Park at the Floral Park Village Square and was sponsored by NYRA. Over a dozen member artists exhibited their oil paintings, watercolors and pastels which were displayed along the traditional winding path through the lovely park.
Prior to the opening of the show, members were invited to enter the First Annual NYRA Equestrian Art Competition, and over twenty entries were submitted and judged.
The winner was Nancy Fabrizio for her entry entitled"Stable Chores." Nancy was presented with a certificate of recognition and a NYRA frame which I was very pleased to present to her. "We are grateful to the New York Racing Association for their sponsorship of this event and for their help and support of the cultural affairs and artistic community of Floral Park and the surrounding areas. We wish to thank Joanne Adams, NYRA's Community Relations Director, for her personal attention to and support of our outdoor show," stated Teresa Musolino, President of the Floral Park Art League.

NYRA Salutes the Chamber of Commerce of Floral Park on a Fabulous Belmont Stakes Festival

The Floral Park Chamber of Commerce coordinated a fabulous Belmont Stakes Festival on Friday, June 4th on the eve of the Belmont Stakes on Tulip Avenue. Sponsored by NYRA and the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce, hundreds turned out on a beautiful evening to enjoy great music and fabulous food! NYRA salutes the Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Floral Park on a superb event!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

NYRA Jockeys Annual Visit to Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

Earlier today, NYRA jockeys visited the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island to the delight of all of the children! They brought NYRA caps and googles and signed autographs. Jockeys in attendance included: John Velasquez, Javier Castellano, Rajiv Maragh, Jean Luc Samyn, Jermaine Bridgmohan and NYRA valet and former rider, Nick Santagata. The jockeys traditionally make this visit each year two days before the running of the Belmont Stakes!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Wing Off" Spices Up Garden City for Annual Belmont Festival

As part of the celebration of the 142nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont stakes, the Belmont Festival at Garden City will be a flavorful affair with the return of the ever popular “Wing Off” chicken wing competition on Friday, June 4 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

During the Wing Off, local restaurants will compete to be named the venue that serves up Garden City’s best chicken wing. Judges will be plucked from the general public as any passerby can get in on the action for $8, which includes a plate of wings and a ballot. The winner of the Wing Off will be crowned Garden City’s chicken wing champion at 9:30 p.m.

Restaurants participating in this year’s Garden City Wing Off include Uptown Grille, J.P. McGeevers, Murphy’s Bar and Grill, Walk Street and Brews Brothers, in addition to the Garden City Fire Department. All proceeds from the Wing Off benefit the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation, named for a Garden City resident who died from melanoma at the age of 20.

The Wing Off is part of the annual Garden City Belmont Festival. This year’s festival, held on the eve of the “Test of the Champion,” will take place on Seventh Street on Friday, June 4 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“We are thrilled to host the Belmont Festival once again and appreciate the continuing support of civic, business, community leaders and local residents,” said Mary Dolan Grippo, chairwoman of the Garden City Belmont Festival. “This festival has become a great way for the community to celebrate one of the world’s premier sporting events - the running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.”

In addition to the chicken wing competition, the Garden City Belmont Festival will feature live music from the United States Air Force band Afterburner and other local bands; family-friendly activities including clowns, street performers and face painters; bounce rides courtesy of Coca-Cola; the Belmont Park starting gate; and Sammy the Bugler, who is renowned for his talented and spirited “Call to the Post” prior to the start of each thoroughbred race at Belmont Park.

Garden City children will have the opportunity to showcase their love of horse racing by taking part in a children’s poster contest. The top three winners will be awarded cash prizes from Sunflower Fine Art Gallery and their names will appear in the local papers.

Artwork will be displayed in store windows along Seventh Street and Franklin Avenue. Designated locations of each child’s artwork will be posted on beginning on June 1.

The Garden City Belmont Festival is sponsored by The Garden City Hotel; the Village of Garden City; and the New York Racing Association (NYRA).

For more information about the Garden City Belmont Festival, or to participate in any of its events, contact Mary Dolan Grippo at 516-571-1936 or via email at

Floral Park Belmont Festival

The Floral Park Belmont Festival will also take place Friday, June 4 on Tulip Avenue from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The street festival will feature live music from three bands, traditional Irish dance performances, bounce rides, face painters, and other family-friendly activities.

Additionally, festival goers will get a taste of Floral Park when a bevy of Floral Park’s restaurants and eateries line the streets to offer culinary samples and tastings.

The Floral Park Belmont Festival is sponsored by the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce and the New York Racing Association, with the cooperation of the Village of Floral Park.

For more information about the Floral Park Belmont Festival, or to participate in any of its events, contact Kathleen Duggan at 516-512-0459.

About the Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s prestigious Triple Crown, also comprising the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The Belmont Stakes is held on an annual basis at Belmont Park in early June, with the 142nd running being held this year on Saturday, June 5. Only eleven horses have swept the Triple Crown, with the most recent being Affirmed in 1978. Belmont Park is operated by The New York Racing Association, Inc., which also operates Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica, NY and Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga, NY. Visit, the official online home of the Belmont Stakes, for more information.

Belmont Jockeys to Visit Ronald McDonald House

On Thursday, June 3, more than a half-dozen jockeys from Belmont Park will ride into the hearts of families at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island as part of the annual Jockey Day event.

Two days before the 142nd running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes, Alan Garcia, Javier Castellano, Maylan Studart, John Velazquez and Edgar Prado, among others, will travel to the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park at 10:30 a.m. to mingle with children at the House. Clad in their colorful silks, the riders will pose for photographs and distribute gifts of personally autographed riding goggles and hats.

“This is a very exciting event for our children and their families,” says Executive Director Joanne Reda. “Meeting the jockeys is always fun for everyone. We wish them good luck on Saturday.”

Garcia and Velazquez will have mounts in this year’s Belmont, with Garcia riding Stately Victor and Velazquez aboard Fly Down. Garcia won the 2008 Belmont Stakes aboard Da’ Tara, while Velazquez won the 2007 race with the filly Rags to Riches, the first female to win the Belmont in 102 years. They are the only two of the 11 jockeys with Belmont victories to their credit.

The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is a ‘home-away-from home’ for families who are caring for seriously ill children undergoing medical treatment in area hospitals. Located on the campus of Schneider Children’s Hospital, the House accommodates families in a warm and supportive environment. Since opening in 1986, approximately 13,000 families from the United States and more than 80 countries around the world have been served. Many of the families are from Queens, Suffolk and Nassau Counties, as well as the surrounding metropolitan area.