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NEW YORK (AP) — The best seats are sold out, but about 40,000 general admission tickets remain for a chance to see American Pharoah attempt to win the Belmont Stakes and become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.
The New York Racing Association recently capped attendance at 90,000 at Belmont Park, meaning 50,000 tickets have been sold for the June 6 race. They include all grandstand and clubhouse reserved seats, which range in price from $40 to $1,000. Ticket sale numbers are as of Monday, NYRA spokesman John Durso Jr. said.
General admission tickets are priced at $15 each and can be purchased only through Ticketmaster. The ticket does not guarantee a seat.
Last year, a crowd of 102,199 — third largest in Belmont history — watched California Chrome's failed Triple Crown bid. NYRA officials were criticized afterward for traffic and parking problems, running out of food and water, long lines at betting windows, and overcrowded and dangerous conditions at a train station as fans tried to leave after the race.
Earlier this month, NYRA President Chris Kay said of the attendance cap, "We are eliminating potential revenue, but having a better customer experience is more important."
American Pharoah, owned by Ahmed Zayat and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, won the Kentucky Derby on May 2, and the Preakness on Saturday. The colt left Baltimore on Monday and arrived at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky, later in the day. He will prepare there for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont before being sent to New York on June 3.
There have been 11 Triple Crown winners, but none since Affirmed in 1978. American Pharoah will be the 14th horse since to have a chance to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.
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