ELMONT - Festivities began Thursday for Saturday's Belmont Stakes, though residents in Elmont say their town never really benefits from the horse race.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano joined racing officials at the Garden City Hotel to kick things off and celebrate its impact on the local economy. The race takes place in Elmont.

Peter Nicolosi, the president of the Elmont East End Civic Association, says thousands descend upon Elmont for the race, but spend their money elsewhere.

Nicolosi says New York and Nassau County should develop the track to have local attractions that serve the community year-round.