New York set to host golden ticket race for the 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup

17 May 2024 Written by VRC

The Victoria Racing Club is delighted to announce a new partnership with the New York Racing Association with the introduction of a new international golden ticket race for the Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup with the Grade 2 Belmont Gold Cup now holding ballot exempt status for the winner into Australia’s most iconic race.

To celebrate the beginning of the partnership, the 18-carat Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy will be trackside at Saratoga Race Course on Thursday 6 June as part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, marking the iconic trophy’s first visit to New York.

The Lexus Melbourne Cup is familiar to American racing fans, with the race broadcast into the United States via Fox Sports. Engagement and wagering on the Lexus Melbourne Cup has grown significantly in the past decade, providing a foundation for future growth.

A host of well performed international horses have previously won the Belmont Gold Cup with a strong field assembling for this year’s edition including last year's winner Siskany.

Joining the Lexus Melbourne Cup at Saratoga for Belmont Gold Cup Day will be Australia’s own Matt Hill, the voice behind ‘the race that stops a nation’™ since 2017. Hill’s call of the race will be broadcast across the American Fox Sports network.

VRC Chairman Neil Wilson said the club was pleased to announce the partnership with the NYRA.

"The global footprint of the Melbourne Cup Carnival and Lexus Melbourne Cup is growing every year and the club looks forward to building on its association with the New York Racing Association through this new partnership,” Mr Wilson said.

“The Belmont Gold Cup has a rich racing history, and it is a great opportunity to bring the magic of the Lexus Melbourne Cup to American racing fans. The golden ticket race is sure to capture the attention of international audiences and racing fans worldwide.”

NYRA Senior Vice-President of Racing and Operations Andrew Offerman said the association was pleased to partner with the VRC to offer connections an added incentive to compete in a marquee race at the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.

“The Belmont Gold Cup has proven to be a strong race, attracting top marathon horses from North America and across Europe,” Mr Offerman said.

“The addition of a golden ticket to compete in one of the world’s preeminent turf races only serves to heighten the profile of what is sure to be an exciting festival in Saratoga.”

The Belmont Gold Cup headlines Opening Day of the four-day 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9, at historic Saratoga Race Course.

Highlighted by the 156th edition of the Grade 1, USD$2 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday, June 8, the four-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will include 24 stakes races with purses totaling USD$10.25 million, the highest purse levels and number of stakes offered since the launch of the multi-day festival in 2014. The final field for the 2024 Grade 2 Belmont Gold Cup will be drawn on Friday 31 May 2024.

The Belmont Gold Cup joins the Ebor Handicap (2700m) as an international ballot exempt race for the Lexus Melbourne Cup and six Australian golden ticket races, the Lexus Roy Higgins (2600m), the Lexus Andrew Ramsden (2800m), the Lexus Bart Cummings (2500m), the Caulfield Cup (2400m), the Cox Plate (2040m) and the Lexus Archer Stakes (2500m).