Gov. Hochul: Belmont Stakes will only happen if air quality improves
The Belmont Stakes may be in jeopardy due to the dangerous air quality.
Gov. Kathy Hochul says air quality numbers will determine if the horses run. If the levels exceed 200, the race will be canceled.
If the levels are between 150 and 200, Hochul says only horses who pass a pre-race veterinary exam will be allowed to compete.
All workouts and trainings were stopped Thursday. Hochul says enhanced measures will continue to protect the horses, riders and spectators.
"The message is this isn't over, we might get a little rest, but I don't want people to let down their guard and to become complacent about this because we have to be prepared for the winds to shift," says Hochul.
The governor says the state will continue to track air quality regularly and that the fate of the Belmont Stakes will be a last-minute decision.
A spokesperson for Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman issued a statement saying, "The county executive is confident the Belmont Stakes will go off as planned and everyone will have a safe and wonderful time."