NEW YORK — The New York Racing Association announced the creation of the Turf Trinity and Turf Tiara as part of its 2019 Turf Triple Series. All races will be for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.
The Turf Trinity kicks off July 6 with the Grade I, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational, at 1 1/4 miles. The second jewel will be the inaugural $1 million Saratoga Derby, at 1 3/16 miles on Aug. 4. The final leg will be Sept. 7 with the inaugural $1 million Jockey Club Derby at Belmont, at 1 1/2 miles.
The Turf Tiara also begins on July 6 with the Grade I, $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational, at 1 1/4 miles. The second leg will be the inaugural $750,000 Saratoga Oaks on Aug. 2, at 1 3/16 miles. The final race will be the inaugural $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks on Sept. 7 at Belmont, at 1 3/8 miles.
NYRA has not released its 2019 Saratoga stakes schedule, but has said it is forthcoming shortly. Last year, the top turf race for 3-year-olds was the Grade II, $200,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, at 1 1/16 miles, held on Aug. 3 in 2018. The top turf race for 3-year-old fillies was the Grade II, $300,000 Lake Placid, at 1 1/8 miles, held on Aug. 18 in 2018.
“As American racing moves towards the turf, both series of races should enhance the value of turf stallions, mares and quality turf runners,” said Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice president of racing operations, in a release. “If this helps farms, breeders, sales companies and owners, while at the same time providing an exciting new racing event for race fans to follow,then our efforts will be well rewarded.”