Home » Belmont Stakes, Horse Racing

The Belmont Breeze

15 April 2008 No Comment

The Belmont Breeze is the official drink of the Belmont Stakes. However, planning the trip there is not so easy. As you may know, I am an avid Southwest Airlines customer for multiple reasons. The main one being – they do not charge change fees. No change fees is key for any sports fan trying to rank and file hundreds of possible sporting events to attend.

However, Southwest does not fly to three key sports cities – Minneapolis, Atlanta and New York City. Today I was trying to plan a trip to NYC. Southwest does fly into Long Island (ISP) but the airport is 50+ miles away from Manhattan and the train into town costs $10-13.50 depending on when you take it.

Also, adding to the puzzle is that the Ultimate Sports Wife teaches ice skating on Saturday mornings. Thus, she generally likes to fly out Saturday afternoon, so she can still teach.

Thus, I tried to determine the best way for the Ultimate Sports Wife and me to get to New York City. Here were the options:

1) The easiest route would be to fly to JFK. JFK is only 8 miles south of Belmont Park and about a 15 minute cab ride. Delta has a one-way non-stop flight from Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD) airport that arrives at 10:31 am into JFK for only $119.50. The only problem is getting back to JFK once the weekend is over.

2) Fly to New York’s LaGuardia (LGA) airport (also knowing Nicole would miss the Belmont Stakes and fly into LGA later Saturday evening). American Airlines flies non-stops from ORD to LGA (first one arriving at 10:35 am) but it would be more expensive to cab from LGA on Saturday morning before the race. The one way fare was $124.50.

3) Fly to ISP on Southwest. However, their flight did not arrive until 12:20 pm Saturday afternoon. While the Belmont Stakes post time is not until 6:30 pm ET, the first post is at noon. I was not sure how late I wanted to arrive.

After some discussion with Nicole, she decided she might skip skating on Saturday morning and fly in on Friday night. Thus, we decided to book Southwest into Long Island because we can always change our plans if she decides to teach Saturday morning. We booked the flight that arrives into ISP at 10:50 pm on June 6 for $97.50 one way.

As for race tickets, we are planning to buy general admission. It appears Belmont Park does not have an infield – meaning you can actually see part of the race rather than watching it on TV.

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