Horse racing may be the sport of kings, but when California Chrome runs the Belmont Stakes for the Triple Crown (which no one has won in 36 years), it will belong to the masses for the day. The Belmont track is 1.5 miles, instead of the Derby’s 1.25, and that extra quarter-mile requires a different strategy for the horse. If you can snag a grandstand ticket, don’t let the crowds scare you off. Take mass transit and enjoy racing mania at your leisure. If you can’t make it to the track, there are some terrific sports bars hosting all-day Triple Crown parties. We love The Tempest in Hell’s Kitchen, where “Horse racing is religion,” and if its neighboring pub, the Triple Crown Ale House, wasn’t equally crazy for the ponies, well, they wouldn’t have that name. At the latter, photos of legendary horses line the walls, and more often than not, patrons can provide great stories as well as tips on the races that day.
Sat., June 7, 5 a.m., 2014