Belmont Stakes fans can expect tight security, traffic

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ELMONT -

Fans can expect tight security at Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

Tens of thousands are expected at Belmont Park for the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes, and security is expected to be tight. Metal detectors are out and police say spectators will be screened before entry.

“Our policy with Nassau police is prepare for the worst, hope for the best,” says acting Commissioner Thomas Krumpter. “At this time today we have no known threats, security risks or threats to the race. We'll have significant amount of resources and be able to deal with anything that comes up.”

Certain items will be banned from the racetrack, and officials urge people in attendance to carry belongings in a see-through bag.

“There will be no backpacks, no coolers, no luggage and no duffel bags,” says County Executive Ed Mangano. “You might want to check their website and understand what you can bring in there.”

Anyone driving to Belmont Park is advised to leave extra time to handle traffic on Hempstead Turnpike. Police say Plainfield Avenue will also be closed all day.

Officials say the train will be a better option. The LIRR says it’s ready with an improved station. However, as News 12 reported, thousands of riders a few years ago had to wait up to two hours before getting on a train after the Belmont Stakes. Officials say this year they expect no problems and that there will be extra trains.

“After the race ends, trains will depart every 15 minutes until the park closes and everyone has a chance to get home safely,” says LIRR Vice President Yannis Takos.

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