The racetrack where the Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday was the latest sports venue to be forced to call off events due to the massive wildfires in Canada.
Since April, unseasonably high temperatures in Canada have led to the largest wildfires in the country’s history as millions of acres have burned with no clear end in sight. For the first time the effects of the fires could be seen and smelt in the US and for residents of New York City on Wednesday, at times it felt like they were living on another planet.
The smell of burning trees was common throughout the five boroughs, and the smoke from the fires hundreds of miles away created a cloud dome over the city that was a yellow and orange tinge due to the rays of the sun trying to get through. However, the biggest concerns were the small particles that came with this smokey air that led to the most unhealthy breathing conditions the city and region has ever seen.
It led to multiple postponements of major events, including last night’s New York Yankees game. However, on Thursday the postponements and cancellations continued in New York and beyond.
Belmont Stakes date: June 10
Earlier today, the New York Racing Associated canceled all of their races at Elmont’s Belmont Park — which is the home for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Furthermore, morning training for this weekend’s Belmont Stakes was canceled Thursday at both Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park.
Even a twilight racing program that was set to kick off the weekend-long festival for this year’s Belmont Stakes was also canceled. The situation has certainly led to concern that the final leg in the Triple Crown could be postponed to a later date as the wildfires and the smoke from them continue with the blazes far from being put out.
However, the NYRA delivered some hope that the Belmont Stakes shouldn’t be seriously affected by the smoke in the area.
“Based on current forecast models and consultation with our external weather services, we remain optimistic that we will see an improvement in air quality on Friday.”– NYRA president & CEO David O’Rourke
The weather and wind patterns over the next couple of days will be something to watch with the Belmont Stakes set for Saturday in Elmont, Long Island.