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At Retooled Belmont, Stars Align For Triple Crown

California Chrome
(Photo of California Chrome by Al Bello/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Belmont Stakes officials say the possibility of the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years comes as they’re unveiling a new program designed to attract fans even when history isn’t on the line.

Racing operations director Martin Panza says Saturday’s marquee race caps a day of high-stakes horse racing and well-known entertainment including LL Cool J.

Officials say ticket sales were brisk before California Chrome became the 12th horse since 1978 to enter Belmont with wins in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Now they could approach records.

Having a Triple Crown contender in the field means an average of 30,000 more fans, millions more in wagering and about 1,000 additional workers.

Local officials report area hotels are selling out and businesses are seeing a tourism bump.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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